More than 3,000 coronavirus fines handed out by police in Yorkshire since the start of the pandemic, figures show

Police in Yorkshire have handed out more than 3,300 fines relating to coronavirus laws since March, new figures show.

North Yorkshire Police handed out the most in Yorkshire since the start of the lockdown, with 1,484, while West Yorkshire Police also issued more than 1,000 fines.

South Yorkshire Police gave out 673 fines, while Humberside gave out just 169.

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The figures have been released by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), which revealed a total of 32,329 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were issued by forces in England and Wales between March 27 and December 21 last year.

Police in Yorkshire have handed out more than 3,300 fines relating to coronavirus laws since March

The report said there has been a downward trend in recent weeks following a rise in fines as restrictions were tightened from September, with the peak of 3,288 coming during the week of the Easter Bank Holiday in April.

Although the NPCC figures do not cover the Christmas and New Year period, Home Secretary Priti Patel said more than 800 fines have been handed out for breaches of coronavirus rules over the last two weeks.

The report said there has been a downward trend in recent weeks following a rise in fines as restrictions were tightened from September, with the peak of 3,288 coming during the week of the Easter Bank Holiday in April.

The most recent weekly figures showed 542 tickets were handed out in the week to December 17, compared with 821 in the previous seven days.

For face coverings, the NPCC figures showed a total of 958 fines were issued between June 15 and December 20, including 199 on public transport, an average of seven a week.

The remaining 759 were handed out in relevant places such as shops.

NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said: “Enforcement doesn’t and shouldn’t always equal police involvement or the issuance of a fixed penalty notice.”

But he added: “It is right for officers to be inquisitive about why individuals may be away from home.

“Those who blatantly ignore the regulations should expect to receive a fixed penalty notice and we’ll target our resources towards those who commit the most serious breaches and put others at risk through their behaviour.”

The figures come after senior officers warned of tougher enforcement during the latest national lockdown in England.

The Metropolitan Police said people could be stopped by officers to explain why they are away from home, with Londoners breaching Covid legislation “increasingly likely to face fines”.

People not wearing masks when they should be “and without good reason” can also expect to be “fined – not reasoned with”, the force said.