New figures reveal sharp rise in Covid-19 rule breaking

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Credit: Phil Hearing via Unsplash

The West Midlands Police issued 561 fixed penalty notices (FPN’s) to people breaking Covid-19 regulations during the first two weeks of the winter lockdown, compared to just 44 FPN’s in the two weeks after 23 March.

A freedom of information request obtained by Birmingham Eastside reveals that of the 1332 total fixed penalty notices issued as of the 22 January, 42% were issued during the first two weeks of the January lockdown.

Chief Superintendent Kim Madill has expressed concern over falling rates of Covid-19 compliance:

“The current infection rate is significantly high and we all need to play our part by staying at home, protecting each other and saving the NHS.”

Two weeks ago, it was revealed that the West Midlands Police were ordering 800 people a day to leave public areas for breaching Covid-19 restrictions.

The vast majority of FPN’s (79%) were issued in the West side of Birmingham – only 21% were issued in the Birmingham East neighbourhood policing unit.

The new data also reveals the demographic breakdown of people issued with Covid fines relating to age and ethnicity.

The majority of FPN’s were issued to people of a white ethnic background.

The highest number of fines were issued to people between the age of 18-24.

Last Friday, the West Midlands Police broke up an illegal student party in Lower Loveday Street and issued 50 fixed penalty notices.

Inspector Steve Barnes said:

 “We understand that young people are frustrated at not being able to enjoy themselves and I do feel their pain, but we have to stick to the rules so that we can get back to some sort of normality sooner rather than later.”

On Thursday, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that fines of £800 would be introduced in England this week for anyone attending a house party of more than 15 people.

Ms Patel said the government would “not stand by while a small number of individuals put others at risk”.

“If you don’t follow rules then the police will enforce them” she said.

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Multiplatform journalist covering crime, education, health and politics in Birmingham

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