Nearly 1,000 fines for coronavirus breaches issued by Beds Police over past year

Nearly 1,000 fines were issued by Bedfordshire Police for breaches of Covid-19 laws since the start of the pandemic, figures show.

By Stewart Carr
Thursday, 29th April 2021, 1:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 1:42 pm

Statistic published by the National Police Chiefs' Council reveal a total of 963 fixed penalty notices were issued by Bedfordshire Police between March 27 last year and April 18 this year.

Of the fines in Bedfordshire, there were 58 for failing to wear a face covering when required, and six for breaching international travel rules.

There were also six for breaking business regulations and two for holding a gathering of more than 30 people.

Beds Police has issued 963 fines for coronavirus breaches since the start of the pandemic

One fine was given for breaching self-isolation regulations.

More than two thirds of these fines - 642 - were issued over the Christmas and New Year period.

Across England and Wales, police forces have issued 110,322 fixed penalty notices under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations.

However, the Joint Commission on Human Rights (JCHR) has criticised the system, raising concerns over the validity of the fines and the inadequacy of the review and appeal process.

The maximum penalty for the breach of a Covid-19 law is £10,000.

Harriet Harman, JCHR chair, said: “The police have had a difficult job in policing the pandemic.

"We hope that their initial approach – to engage, explain and encourage before issuing fixed penalty notices – will continue.

"However, since January there have been greater numbers of FPNs as police move more quickly to enforcement action."

Coronavirus rules have changed at least 65 times since March 2020, providing “obvious challenges for police”, according to the report by the JCHR.