More than 1,000 Covid fines issued in Suffolk since pandemic began

Police, Trading Standards and Ipswich Borough Council took to the streets of Ipswich on Wednesday 22

More than 1,000 FPNs have been given out by Suffolk Constabulary. - Credit: Archant

More than 1,000 fines for breaches of Covid regulations have been handed out in Suffolk since the coronavirus pandemic began, new figures have revealed.

Officers handed out 1,019 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) in Suffolk from March 26 last year - when the lockdown was legally introduced in the UK - up to March 14 2021. 

Despite being told by prime minister Boris Johnson to stay at home on Monday, March 23 last year, the rules were not legally enforced until a few days later. 

The 1,019 FPNs in Suffolk compare to the 1,268 fines given out by Essex Police and the 1,713 distributed by Norfolk Constabulary over the same period. 

Meanwhile, Essex Police said it dealt with more than 13,000 Covid-related incidents since the lockdown began last year. 

The force said that from March 26 last year to February 28 this year, they attended 13,765 incidents which were directly related to the virus. 

That is around 7% of all the incidents the force attended over the past 12 months, with 194,754 visits in total. 

They also arrested 59 people on suspicion of Covid-related incidents.

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Police in England and Wales have processed a total of 94,368 fixed penalty notices for breaches of coronavirus restrictions up to March 14 2021, according to the figures released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

Suffolk's Chief Constable Steve Jupp.

Suffolk's Chief Constable Steve Jupp said people have "rallied round and done the right thing". - Credit: Rachel Edge

Chief Constable Steve Jupp urged everyone to continue to play their part as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease and the "rule of six" outside comes back into force.

“Overall, we are very pleased with the way the Suffolk public have adhered to the rules we have all had to endure over the past 12 months," he said. 

"People have come together, rallied round and done the right thing, for which we are very grateful.

“Our officers have always tried to strike the right balance between encouraging people to stay within the rules and enforcing them more rigorously where there have been breaches.

"We still need to guard against complacency and while the roadmap rolls out over the coming weeks, we still need to protect ourselves, each other and the NHS by abiding by the restrictions.

"I’d urge everyone to continue to play their part and do the right thing as the vast majority of the people of Suffolk have done over the past 12 months.”