Northamptonshire Police is preparing to up its enforcement activity against those who continue to flout the COVID-19 restrictions in the county.
The Force has not issued any fines for non-compliance so far, preferring to adopt an approach which seeks to educate people, engage with them and explain how their behaviour could affect others.
While the majority of the public have been fantastic in staying inside, with police officers on foot patrol sharing photos of the many empty spaces across the county, a small minority have chosen to break the rules, greatly frustrating those people who have made a positive choice to stay inside.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley, said: “Firstly, I want to thank the majority of people in Northamptonshire who have risen to this unprecedented challenge and saved lives by staying at home. Please do not think we underestimate how much of an ask this has been and we do really appreciate your support.
“Sadly, there are a small minority of people in this county who continue to flout the restrictions despite how hard we have tried to engage with them, and considering what is at stake here, this is hugely disappointing.
“NHS staff are dying on the frontline fighting this deadly disease and over 85,000 people have lost their lives worldwide because of it. COVID-19 has taken people of all ages away from their families far too soon - sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, partners, friends.
“And yet some people are still breaching the restrictions put in place solely to protect them and the people they love. Rightly and understandably, this is starting to greatly frustrate those members of the public who are following the rules.
“This is why we will be upping our enforcement activity and fining people who are found to be breaching the COVID-19 restrictions, be it people gathering in public or at other people’s homes, or making journeys that are not essential.”
Northamptonshire Police can issue penalty notices of £60 where they have reason to believe there has been an offence under the regulations. These penalties are doubled for each repeat offence up to a £960 cap.
Chief Constable Adderley, added: “Once again I would like to thank the majority of the public who are supporting us and the NHS by only going out to make essential journeys.
“To those who have been breaking the rules - when this is all over, will you be able to take pride in how you responded to this national emergency or will you be remembered as one of the people who were fined for risking the lives of your family and friends, and our brave NHS medics fighting COVID-19 on the frontline?”
We all have a shared responsibility in adhering to these regulations - please apply your common sense. Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.