Praise for public as Suffolk police hand out among fewest Covid fines

Domestic violence reports increase. A police officer on patrol in Suffolk.

Most of the 1,100 fines issued in Suffolk were for breaches of All Tiers regulations that replaced lockdown measures in December

Police have praised the public's discipline during the Covid-19 pandemic, as figures revealed Suffolk officers handed out among the fewest fines in the country for regulation breaches.

Suffolk Constabulary issued the eighth least amount of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) under emergency health regulations of any territorial force between the first lockdown and the middle of October this year.

Only two FPNS were issued for regulation breaches in the five months since numerous restrictions were lifted as part of step three of the government's roadmap out of lockdown in May. 

Figures released by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) this week showed that a total of 118,438 FPNs were handed out across England and Wales since last March.

Most of the 1,100 fines issued in Suffolk (759) were for breaches of All Tiers regulations that replaced lockdown measures in December.

Another 265 were handed out for breaches of lockdown regulations, while 23 were issued during the government's four-step roadmap.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “The people of Suffolk have shown great discipline, restraint, compassion and patience over the past 18 months.

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"Their strength of character and sense of responsibility and sacrifice since March last year has not only made our job much easier but has also crucially protected the NHS in extremely challenging times.

“We should, however, keep in mind that the virus is still out there and is still causing loss of life.

"There are still some restrictions in place for very good reason, such as for self-isolation and rules around international travel.

"We ask that everyone continues to be mindful of others when out and about, following public health guidance in place for everyone’s safety.”

It was previously reported that two FPNs were issued to the owners of properties where more than 20 people were gathered for a party.

Another was issued after police attended a holiday let where more than 15 people, from mostly different households, were gathered for a family social event.

Meanwhile, a man living alone was handed an FPN after about 17 people came and went from the property at different times of the day.

Very limited enforcement continued between July and October for regulations relating to self-isolation and international travel, which are still in place.