Number of fines issued for COVID19 breaches drops significantly
The number of fixed penalty notices issued for breaches in the COVID19 legislation has dropped significantly in Wiltshire over the past two weeks.
Since 28 May, Wiltshire Police has issued just three fines to people for failing to adhere to the Government's restrictions, and none have been issued since 31 May.
In total, over the ten-and-a-half weeks since 27 March, 222 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were issued to 211 people. 11 people have been fined on more than one occasion.
Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said: "Throughout the COVID19 pandemic we have been committed to being open and transparent with our communities about how we as a police force have interpreted the Government restrictions and any enforcement which has been necessary.
"We have focused on explaining, engaging and encouraging our communities to follow the Government restrictions, and we have seen that an overwhelming proportion of people have behaved responsibly as they have understood the seriousness of the situation and the need to stay home during the height of lockdown and abide by the social distancing guidance.
"However, when necessary, we have used enforcement, and have issued 222 fixed penalty notices where people have deliberately or continuously flouted the rules.
"I hope this reassures the public that we have used the new powers carefully, proportionately and lawfully and we continue to urge the public to play their part in helping to stop the spread of the virus."
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner leads on a scrutiny and overview process to review all police action relating to COVID19, including the issuing of FPNs.
This has ensured that clear and decisive action can be taken if any errors have been made, as well as improving training and learning for officers if needed with regards to the application of the new emergency health regulations.
The Deputy PCC provides an independent element to this to ensure transparency, and he and the DCC have also engaged regularly with our Public Service Board and BAME IAG to help to develop public confidence.
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jerry Herbert said: "I am committed to ensuring that no particular group or demographic is disproportionately impacted by the issuing of fixed penalty notices, so I lead a scrutiny panel to carry out a weekly review of all FPNs issued.
"This allows me to have oversight of all the new and additional police powers granted under COVID19 legislation.
"The panel has paid particular attention to how these new powers impact our minority communities, specifically people from a BAME background.
"Overall, I have been content that Wiltshire Police has been using these new powers lawfully and proportionately, which is reflected in the fact that, following a thorough review of all the FPNs issued, only 15 of the 222 have been rescinded."