Hampshire police say Covid lockdown flouters were 'putting lives at risk' as more taken to court

PEOPLE who flouted lockdown rules are being taken through the courts after failing to pay fixed-penalty notices.

Sunday, 1st August 2021, 7:28 am
ACC Maggie Blyth. Picture: Malcolm Wells (180320-8586)

Hampshire’s courts are dealing with offenders and are often dishing out fines of around £1,700 to individuals.

Police have said gatherings that took place flouting lockdown – which lifted on July 19 – were ‘ultimately putting lives at risk’.

But assistant chief constable Maggie Blyth also heaped praised on residents who stuck to the rules in the ‘incredible challenge’ of the last 16 months.

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She said: ‘Gatherings that were prohibited at the time and other breaches of the regulations during the pandemic were ultimately putting lives at risk. This included the risk posed by Covid-19 to the individuals themselves, their families, and the wider community.

‘Actions like this placed increased and unnecessary pressure on the NHS at a time of incredibly high demand.

‘It’s disappointing that a minority flouted the regulations when the vast majority of people in our communities made such a concerted effort in such challenging times.

‘Our officers did all that they could to keep our communities safe. We followed the tried and tested approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging people to comply with the restrictions, before moving to the need for enforcement action, especially where blatant breaches were reported to us.’

She said limiting the spread of Covid-19 remains a collective responsibility.

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