October 2, 2020 11.11 am This story is over 36 months old

Just one lockdown fine in September as restrictions relaxed

More than 230 in Lincolnshire since May

Lincolnshire Police issued just one fine for lockdown breaches in September – but chiefs say the figure reflects national compliance with restrictions.

According to the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the county’s force had issued a cumulative total of 237 fines to rule breakers up to September 21 – up from 236 in August.

In the five months between May to September, the force issued 16 fines, although between July and August three fines were taken off the tally.

A force spokesman said the reduction in numbers since lockdown began “reflects the easing of restrictions nationally and possibly more compliance and understanding”.

Lincolnshire Police relied initially on people taking their own personal responsibility and using enforcement as a last resort.

Chief Inspector Pat Coates, from Specialist Operations, said: “Obviously through June, July and August the restrictions were relaxed significantly so the actual offences police could enforce on were significantly less than they were in April and May.

“The majority of the time people are following the law and certainly abiding by it, if we have to engage with them.

“I would say however, that we are ready to enforce should we need to.”

The cumulative totals for the past five months, according to the NPCC are:

  • May – 221
  • June – 233
  • July – 239
  • August – 236
  • September – 237

Nationally, in September 147 fines were issued by forces in England – many in areas which are facing localised lockdowns.

The majority have been in relation to face coverings, however, there have also been some for large gatherings and those breaching the rule of six.

The NPCC said on Wednesday that provisional crime data showed that nationally crime in the four weeks up to August 30 was just 3% lower than in 2019 and that trends were returning to pre-lockdown levels following a 28% reduction at the height of lockdown.