Yorkshire police receive thousands of reports of neighbours flouting lockdown rules in just ONE week

Police across the county have received thousands of reports of neighbours flouting new lockdown rules in just one week and handed out hundreds of fines, The Yorkshire Post can reveal.

Figures obtained by the Yorkshire Post reveal police forces across the county have been inundated with calls from concerned members of the public spotting neighbours breaking coronavirus laws by holding gatherings both indoors and out.

South Yorkshire Police received a total of 871 calls to 101 reporting Covid-19 breaches, along with six 999 calls, between Wednesday, January 6, and Wednesday, January 13.

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Of the calls received, officers attended 496 incidents.

South Yorkshire Police received a total of 871 calls to 101 reporting Covid-19 breaches, along with six 999 calls, between Wednesday, January 6, and Wednesday, January 13.

The force also revealed it had issued 208 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for coronavirus-related offences between January 1 and January 7, in the most up-to-date figures available. It also revealed that the majority of fines were given to people participating in indoor gatherings and parties.

No arrests of cautions were made under the Covid-19 legislation.

Across North Yorkshire, 107 FPNs were issued since the national lockdown commenced on January 6 - more than double the number the force issued in the first week of the first national lockdown last year.

Scarborough saw the highest number of fines given, with 49 penalties issued.

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Superintendent Mike Walker, lead for the force’s Covid-19 response said: “Sadly we are seeing a minority of people flouting the rules and who are making unnecessary journeys into or across the county or who are gathering indoors and holding house parties.

“I cannot emphasis enough the risk this behaviour presents at this current time and I urge people to think about their actions and very carefully consider the decisions they make about leaving home. You should only leave home for essential reasons and if you do go out, you should stay local.

“Currently within North Yorkshire and the City of York we have some of the highest infection rates across the Yorkshire and Humber region. So it isn’t just about the risk of people bringing the virus in with them. It’s about the risk that you could pick up the virus here and take it home with you, spreading it wider to your family and loved ones.

“So please follow the rules – stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Yorkshire's largest force - West Yorkshire Police - would not reveal how many fines had been handed out during the first week of lockdown or the number of calls received in relation to coronavirus law breaches, but did issue a warning to those considering flouting the rules.

“We all miss our friends and family, but the more we follow the rules now, the better the chances of restrictions being eased sooner rather than later.

“I am pleased to say that the vast majority of people in West Yorkshire have been incredibly compliant and supportive since the start of this pandemic, sticking to the rules and guidance in place at the time.

“While I am sure this will continue, the police do have additional powers of enforcement, which are there to keep the wider public safe.

“We will continue our approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging compliance, but where there are blatant breaches, which clearly show a disregard for the health and safety of the wider public, we must take action and we will use our powers."

Since March, some 32,000 have been issued in England and Wales.

Fines start at £200, but large parties can be shut down by the police - with fines of up to £10,000.