People fined for driving more than 70 miles to Clacton to go 'sightseeing'

The public will now be able to drive to Tendring Council car parks to visit Clacton seafront Picture

Essex Police fined two people for driving to Clacton in lockdown to 'sightsee'. - Credit: Archant

A driver and his passenger have been fined for breaching Covid rules after travelling more than 70 miles to Clacton to go sightseeing in lockdown. 

In the early hours of Saturday, January 23 patrolling officers from Essex Police issued two fixed penalty notices (FPNs) after they stopped a car close to the Clacton seafront at 3.30am.

Police said the driver and his passenger had travelled from Barking to Clacton to "sightsee", contravening a requirement not to travel unless making an essential journey.

The following day officers from Braintree’s Community Policing Team stopped a car for speeding just outside Rivenhall village. The four men in the car had driven from Birmingham in snowy weather to pick up a new vehicle. 

While questioning them about their journey, officers also discovered that the four men were from two different households.

The driver was issued a speeding ticket and all four were issued FPNs for non-essential travel before being directed back home.

These incidents were among several where enforcement action took place and fines were issued in Essex in January. 

A few weeks ago police fined a group of four people for travelling more than 10 miles to get a takeaway in lockdown.

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The four people were from different households and had travelled together from Maldon to Chelmsford for a takeaway on the evening of Saturday, January 16.

Officers also handed out a fine to a Braintree woman for failing to self-isolate despite testing positive for the disease.

The woman left her home at least twice after receiving a positive result, despite the legal requirement to self-isolate for 10 days.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We would ask of anyone about to organise a social gathering or to make a non-essential journey to stop and reconsider. Help those in the NHS, police, schools and everyone who is supporting us all through the pandemic to stay safe and stop the unnecessary spread of coronavirus."