During the first week of the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, we issued just 15 fixed penalty tickets for COVID breaches.

Last Monday (08/03) saw the first step in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, with children returning to schools and people allowed to meet up with one other person for recreational reasons.

And the initial signs suggest that the vast majority of the public are listening to official advice about remaining cautious.

The latest figures show that between 08/03 and 14/03 Wiltshire Police:

• Issued 15 fixed penalty notices. This brings the overall total to 767 (this will include FPNs issued retrospectively).
• Issued 31 formal warnings to people for failing to adhere to the Government rules.
• Recorded 191 reports from members of the public, either via the phone or using our online reporting tool.
• Recorded three Covid-related crimes and 11 Covid-related incidents.

Four of these fixed penalty notices were issued at a house party in Swindon over the weekend.

In the early hours of Sunday morning (14/03) officers were called to an address in Ramsbury Avenue, in Penhill, and found loud music and singing coming from within.

The homeowner initially denied anything was happening and tried to prevent officers from entering.

He then admitted that he had friends over and two women and two men, all aged in their 20s and 30s, were issued with £200 fines.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mill said: “We know that there was a slight change to the lockdown rules last week, but we want to remind people that the Stay at Home messaging is going to remain in place until at least the end of the month.

“The Government has been very clear that the dates for the next phases of the roadmap will be based on data and can be moved if required.

“This is our lowest weekly FPN figure since the beginning of January, and suggests that the vast majority of people understand the importance of continuing to be cautious, and I hope we will continue to see the number of fixed penalty notices fall as people see the positive impact their actions is having on the falling infection rate.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson added: “I welcome this week’s figures and believe it shows that we are continuing to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.

“We have lived with these restrictions for such a long time now, but if we continue to stay strong through this final push then we remain hopeful that life will return to normal soon.”

For a full update on the changes to the Government’s lockdown restrictions please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus