People in Kent are being urged to continue to follow lockdown guidance after figures revealed that more than seven hundred people have been fined for breaching Covid-19 legislation.
A total of seven hundred and twenty nine people were fined between £200 to £1,000 for having house parties, making unnecessary journeys, breaching travel regulations or going to public places whilst infected with Coronavirus.
Despite targeted government campaigns urging people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives, people are still making unnecessary journeys and gathering in groups potentially spreading the virus and putting vulnerable people at risk.
Among those fined were three men and three women who were having a house party at an address in Havelock Drive, Dartford on Saturday 16 January. Shortly after dispersing the group the officers were called back to the address where they found three women attempting to conceal their presence by hiding in cupboards, they were all fined. One of the women had already been issued with a fixed penalty notice on the first police attendance.
Failing to self isolate
A woman was stopped by a patrol in Weymouth Road, Folkestone shortly after 1am on Saturday 16 January. She told officers she had tested positive for Covid-19 three days previously and that she should be self-isolating. She was issued with a fine.
Officers were called to a property in St Martin’s Road, Canterbury just after 9pm on Friday 15 January where a party involving around 20 people was taking place. Two men and a woman were fined and the party was shut down.
A man was fined for visiting a brothel in Minster, Isle of Sheppey at around 6pm on Friday 15 January.
Refusing to wear a mask
A woman was fined after behaving antisocially in a supermarket in Herne Bay at around 7pm on Friday 15 January. The officers were called to the store following a report of a disturbance. The patrol offered the woman a mask, she refused it and became aggressive. She was issued with a fine and moved on from the store.
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix said: ‘We remain in critical times and whilst the NHS have been remarkable in what they have achieved, they are still dealing with an overwhelming amount of seriously ill patients.
‘The limitations posed by lockdown are difficult for everyone and it is testament to the people of Kent that the vast majority of residents have changed their way of life to help stop the spread of this virus and protect the most vulnerable within the community. I would like to thank these people for making such sacrifices, which will not only take the strain off the NHS, but ultimately save lives.
‘Whilst it is encouraging to see that many are being vaccinated against Covid-19 and the infection rate is slowing, we must not be complacent and use that as an excuse to breach the regulations. The virus remains deadly to many and it is crucial that we all do what we can to protect others and prevent overwhelming our hospitals.
‘Officers will continue to patrol the county, explaining, engaging and encouraging people to adhere to the regulations. They will take action against those who show a blatant disregard for others by holding parties or going out when they have a positive Coronavirus test.’