November 18, 2020 5.36 pm This story is over 42 months old

60% of Lincolnshire Police COVID fines still unpaid

And around 63% for Humberside Police

Over half of the COVID-related fines issued by Lincolnshire Police went unpaid.

The data obtained by the Press Association under a Freedom of Information request showed that 60% (142 out of 237) of the fines from Lincolnshire Police went unpaid within 28 days between March 27 and September 21.

Humberside Police saw 88 out of 140 fines unpaid, which is nearly 63%, for the same time period.

Paul Anderson, Assistant Chief Constable at Humberside Police, said: “Of the 210 fixed penalty notices that we have issued so far during the COVID crisis, many of these are still being processed through the system, so whilst they are not included in the figures that are reported as paid yet, we do expect that they will be paid in due course.

“Of the cases which have been through the court system in our area, the average fine has been set at around £600.

“The vast majority of the public are abiding by the rules and we encourage everyone to do so. We have some of the highest infection rates in the country in our area and the rules are in place to help reduce these rates, protect the NHS and save lives.”

The data comes as police forces were told to resume handing out £10,000 “super fines” less than a week after a decision to suspend them.

The recent data also shows that highest proportion of unpaid fines was in the Cleveland force area, where 72% of fines for the same period went unpaid.

The total number of fines issued in England and Wales between March 27 and September 21 was 18,912.

However, people can appeal a fine to the police force which handed out the penalty to try and get it withdrawn. In total, 293 fines issued between these dates in England and Wales were being formally contested.

A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said: “We have enforced the law as set by the government and Parliament. It is only right that fines are then processed in accordance with the law and we therefore encourage people not intending to contest a fine to pay it.”

Meanwhile, Lincolnshire Police said earlier this week that they are receiving around 30 calls a day from self-appointed COVID watchdogs reporting businesses or neighbours for allegedly breaching lockdown rules.

This comes after a Sleaford gym and two out-of-towners visiting Lincoln have been the first to get into trouble with police over the new lockdown laws.