LOCKDOWN “fatigue” has been blamed for more than a third of all fines for breaching Covid-19 regulations arriving inside a four-week period.

Data published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) shows a total of 68,952 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were issued by forces between March 27 last year and February 14.

A whopping 26,277 – 38 per cent – of those were issued in the latest four-week period between January 17 and February 14.

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Breakdown of the data is by police force with West Mercia Police recording a total of 1,655 fines.

They include five for gatherings of more than 30 people, 204 for breaching national lockdown restrictions and 259 for breaking rules on not wearing a face covering where required.

Eight involved international travel and 12 related to business regulations.


NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said police had stepped up enforcement action since November last year and deployed extra officers in areas that had seen the most serious breaches.

He said there had always been a “hardcore” of people who had chosen not to follow the rules but acknowledged: “I think it probably is fair to say that – and I’ve used the phrase before – there is no question there is a fatigue in the country.

“We’ve been living with this for 11 months, it’s really hard, it’s very restrictive on people’s lives.

“The numbers say there have been more people who have breached the rules and in the circumstances they have not taken the encouragement we’ve given them, we’ve given them a ticket, bearing in mind a lot of those tickets would’ve gone out in mass gathering-type events.”

Mr Hewitt said officers were monitoring social media to find out when events may be taking place, describing house parties as “particularly irritating”.


The report says the large majority – 72 per cent – of all notices were issued to males

More than seven in 10 were issued to people under the age of 35 with 45 per cent issued to people aged 18-24.

Where ethnicity was identified by the person fined, 76 per were issued to people who consider themselves to be white, 12 per cent to those who consider themselves to be Asian and seven per cent who consider themselves to be black.


The report said steep rises in the number of tickets handed out following the introduction of tier four restrictions before Christmas and the latest national lockdown in England on January 6 reflected a move towards quicker enforcement by police.

A total of 4,752 fines were handed out in the seven days to February 11, down from 6,218 the previous week, but higher than the first lockdown’s peak of 3,294 during the week of the Easter bank holiday in April.

The figures show 272 £10,000 fines had been handed to organisers of mass gatherings of more than 30 people, including illegal raves, parties and protests, in England, with three in Wales, while 485 £800 tickets had been issued to people attending gatherings of more than 15 people.

For breaches of face coverings regulations, a total of 2,344 fines were issued between June 15 and February 14 in England, including 456 on public transport and 1,888 in relevant places such as shops.

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Mr Hewitt said: “We all know we must wear a face covering in a shop or on a bus and we all know we can’t meet up in groups.

“We’re taking a common-sense approach, applying discretion and judgment when engaging with the public.

“But common sense would dictate that someone having a party is well aware what they are doing is wrong and has made an informed decision to do it anyway.

“Our extra dedicated patrols across the country will continue to support those of us making significant sacrifices in following the rules by taking enforcement action against those who are not.”

The data also shows 582 FPNs had been handed to businesses for breaches of regulations that came into force in England last September, including failures to enforce face-covering regulations, unlawfully staying open, hosting large gatherings or not sticking to table service rules.

Some 402 fines had been issued by forces in England and three in Wales to people failing to self-isolate after arriving from a country on the Government quarantine list up to February 14.

The data does not include regulations around hotel quarantine for those entering from red countries, which came into force on February 15.