HM Court Service has issued fines of more than £100,000 to people who have failed to pay a fixed penalty notice for breaches of COVID-19 legislation in the Avon and Somerset Police area.
So far, a total of 61 people who received FPNs up until the end of June have been convicted at local courts after failing to pay, following a decision by the force to prosecute. Among the fines issued by the courts include one £2,000 fine and 35 fines of £1,760.
The FPNs were given for breaches of COVID-19 legislation in place to stop the spread of the virus, which has to date claimed the lives of more than 50,000 people across the UK.
The offences included:
- Contravening a direction/failing to comply with instruction
- Leave/were outside a place where living without a reasonable excuse
- Participating in a gathering of more than two people
Three cases are currently scheduled to go to trial in December and January.
Chief Supt Claire Armes, Head of Operational Support, said: “The courts have taken a robust response to those who have wilfully refused to pay the fixed penalty notices given out by officers for blatant breaches of the COVID-19 legislation.
“Our approach throughout the pandemic has always been to engage with the public, explain the legislation and encourage compliance, but in a small number of cases we have had to move to enforcement to protect public safety.
“Officers do not want to be issuing fines and it’s clear the vast majority of people are following the restrictions in place and understand the clear risks of engaging in activities which could increase the spread of COVID-19 to their family, friends and those around them – and we thank them for the daily sacrifices they’re making.”