Surrey Police thanks the public for their continued support as lockdown measures are eased.
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Today (Friday 10 July) The National Police Chiefs Council has published the latest data on Covid-19 related fixed penalty notices issued by police forces across the UK.
The figures show that the number of fines issued by forces have fallen as lockdown measures are eased. In Surrey one fine has been issued in the last three weeks (up to July 6). Nationally 97 fines were issued in England during the last fortnight.
A total of 16,019 fines were issued by forces between 27 March to 6 July in England, of which 511 were issued in Surrey, compared to 866 issued in Sussex. Surrey ranks 10th nationally for the number of fines issued over that period.
From 1 June, it has been lawful for groups of up to six people to meet outdoors in England (as long as social distancing measures are maintained). Where groups exceed that size, officers will follow the established 4E’s approach to encourage them to comply.
In all cases, we enforce as a last resort, following a process of engaging, explaining and encouraging. All those who have been issued a fine have flouted the rules in place to limit the transmission of this virus.
Superintendent Graham Barnett who is overseeing the policing response to Covid-19 in Surrey said: “This new data is a demonstration of just how determined our communities in Surrey have been to reducing the spread of the virus. I’d like to thank everyone for complying with the Government regulations and engaging with us when we have been alerted to potential concerns or breaches of the legislation.
“In recent weeks the policing response across the UK has focused on blatant breaches of the rules. The fact that in the last three weeks only one fine has had to be issued in Surrey demonstrates that people have respected the government regulations.
“We will of course continue to enforce the regulations in place when it is proportionate to do so, but you can expect our teams to use the 4E’s approach, so as to explain why people should think twice about taking part in any restricted activity, giving them an opportunity to understand the importance of these before any enforcement action takes place. As measures begin to lift, there are fewer circumstances where someone may be in breach. It’s important to remember that our officers do not enforce government guidance, such as social distancing.
“I would however like to take this opportunity to remind people to continue to take responsibility for looking after each other by following the government regulations and guidelines. We should not become complacent to ensure that the spread of the virus does not increase again, which could undo all of the hard work that each and every one of our communities across Surrey has undertaken”