Covid-19 crackdown results in 21 fines in first week from Northamptonshire Police

Travelling miles to see friends, or sharing car to collect a barbecue are NOT good reasons to go out

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 16th April 2020, 11:10 am
Updated Thursday, 16th April 2020, 11:11 am

Police have issued 21 fines in Northamptonshire in a week since stepping up enforcing the Covid-19 lockdown laws.

Chief Constable Nick Adderley announced the end of "three weeks grace" and ordered his officers to hit those repeatedly flouting the regulations with fixed penalties of up to £960, arrests and court.

That followed public calls for a clampdown on offenders after reports of people out in open spaces.

Local officers have continued to share photos on social media of deserted streets, shops and parks around the county, despite warm weather over the bank holiday weekend.

A dozen tickets were issued during the four-day Easter break, mainly involving unneccessary car journeys.

Travellers were stopped heading from Manchester to Milton Keynes and on route to visit friends in Slough while a Luton man appeared in court on a number of motoring charges after being picked up travelling from Luton to see a friend in Northampton.

Another vehicle was stopped with three men inside, all from different households on their way to collect a barbecue.

Officers are still finding plenty of empty streets, shops and park around the county

Government ministers are meeting today (Thursday April 16) to confirm extending the stay-at-home orders and drive down the spread of deadly coronavirus bug which has so far killed 127 people in Northamptonshire.

And police hope Northamptonshire residents will continue to follow instructions to only go out when absolutely necessary. Assistant Chief Constable Simon Blatchly, said: “In any situation, there will always be a small minority of people who ruin it for everyone else by falsely believing the rules don’t apply to them.

"These rules apply to everyone and those people breaking them have been issued with fines.

“By going out unnecessarily, you are not only putting yourself in danger, but you are also putting the ones you love in danger and putting more pressure on our NHS.

Chief Constable Nick Adderley announces the crackdown last Thursday

“We will continue taking action against the people who ignore the restrictions and I know we have the public’s support in doing so.

“We are now nearly four weeks into the lockdown and we know it isn’t getting any easier being asked to stay inside.

“But you are saving lives by doing so and I can’t reiterate that point enough. When this is all over, and it will be over, though it might be hard to see the light at the tunnel at the moment, you can be proud of how well you rose to such an unprecedented national challenge.”