Scarborough is Covid-19 breach hotspot with more than half of county's fines given to people in seaside town

More than half of all fines for breaches of Covid-19 regulations in North Yorkshire in the last week were given out in the seaside town of Scarborough, latest police figures show.

Scarborough at the height of summer.

North Yorkshire Police issued a total of 89 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to people in Scarborough between March 22 and March 28, the force revealed. This is out of a total of 170 fines given out across the whole county - equating to 52 per cent.

The district with the second highest amount of FPNs was York with 34, followed by Harrogate with 23, Hambleton with 20, and Selby with three, and Rydale with one.

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A total of 82 fines were issued to local people and 88 to visitors.

A total of 76 were for indoor gatherings and 11 for outdoor meetings.

Three were given to businesses who failed to close during lockdown.

Chief Inspector Charlotte Bloxham, the force's silver commander, has issued a plea to the public ahead of the Easter weekend.

She said: "Our plea to everyone this Easter is to be extremely careful and to keep following the regulations until it is safe to resume a more normal way of living – we have come too far and made too many sacrifices for this effort to be wasted now.

"When it is safe to do so, we will welcome visitors to the county again. However, everyone can expect to see an increased policing presence as we work alongside our partners to help keep the virus at bay in the weeks and months ahead."

Lockdown relaxations this week mean there is no longer any restriction on leaving home without a reasonable excuse and the "stay at home" rule has come to an end.

Chief Insp Bloxham said: "This means the police’s role in helping to tackle the public health crisis has become much more focused on the revised restrictions around indoor and outdoor gatherings.

"For indoor gatherings, the regulations remain the same with only members of the same household allowed to be together, subject to some exceptions including support bubbles and providing care.

"Our overriding message is that households still must not mix – there remains a high-risk of infection and we must do all we can to avoid community transmission of the virus.

"Outdoor gatherings are governed by “the rule of six” or two households, and these can take place in public spaces and in private gardens with social distancing rules remaining in place."