800 people a day are being ordered to leave public areas for breaching Covid-19 restrictions as the West Midlands Police (WMP) seek to clamp down on Covid-19 rule breaking.
The WMP have issued 970 fixed penalty notices since the start of the second national lockdown and are receiving 200 calls per day from people reporting Covid-19 restriction breaches.
Speaking at a West Midlands Combined Authority press briefing, Deputy Police Commissioner Waheed Saleem spoke out against “imbeciles” who continue to flout restrictions.
“There are a small number of imbeciles who continue to break the rules when they know the virus is deadly”.
There were over 300 illegal gatherings reported to police across Birmingham on New Year’s Eve.
Home secretary Priti Patel has stressed that “strong enforcement” of Covid-19 restrictions are necessary to “safeguard our country’s recovery from this deadly virus” – she is calling on police forces around the country to target rule-breakers.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair, Martin Hewitt thanked the “vast majority” for sticking to the rules but warned that “those who blatantly ignore the regulations” should expect to receive fines.
According to the National Police Chiefs Council, a total of 32,329 fixed penalty notices were issued in England and Wales under Coronavirus Regulations between Friday 27 March and Monday 21 December.
80 per cent of all coronavirus notices were given to those aged between 18-39.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Todd has defended issuing seven, £200 fines to people attending a peaceful protest outside police headquarters organised by campaign group Justice4the21.
The decision to fine campaigners was labelled “morally wrong” by Northfield MP Gary Sambrook.
In a statement issued yesterday (10 December), Mr Todd said:
“We accept the right to freedom of expression and peaceful protest is a key part of any democracy. However, coronavirus remains a deadly disease and there are still restrictions in place to prevent its spread.”