Yorkshire and London worst areas for covidiots as 14,000 fines issued across UK – how does your region rank?

YORKSHIRE and London are the worst areas for Covidiots in the country – as more than 14,000 fines have been issued across England and Wales.

The fines were all handed out before lockdown regulations were relaxed in England from Wednesday.

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Of the 43 regional police forces in England and Wales, the Metropolitan Police dished out the highest number of fines with 906.

This was followed by Thames Valley Police, with 866, and North Yorkshire, with 843.

Warwickshire issued the fewest, with just 31.

A staggering 80 per cent of the fines were issued to men and over half were to people under 30.

The figures run from March 27 to May 11. There have been 862 repeat offenders, including one person who was fined nine times.

Meanwhile the Crown Prosecution today admitted dozens of people have been wrongly charged by police under a new coronavirus law.

All 44 charges brought under the Coronavirus Act, which allows officers to remove or detain a "suspected infectious person" for screening and assessment, since it was brought in on March 27 were wrong.

And 12 charges under the Health Protection Regulations 2020, which give powers to break up gatherings and fine people breaching restriction of movement rules, were also wrong.

So far there have been no prosecutions of potentially infectious people who have refused to comply with lockdown laws.

Kirsty Brimelow QC, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, said: "The results are a shocking reflection of poor leadership and guidance by police chief constables, some of whom very publicly encouraged over-zealous policing by misstating the law."

National Police Chiefs' Council chairman Martin Hewitt said: "We do of course apologise if anybody ended up in court who shouldn't have been there."

However he added: "The figures show our approach is proportionate with just 0.02 per cent of the population in England and Wales being issued with a fine.

"I want to thank people for continuing to follow the regulations – I recognise it's not easy and that this is a challenging time for us all.

"Our approach of – engage, explain and encourage, and only as a last resort, enforce – will continue.

"It is working across the UK. I urge the public to keep going, keep following the advice.

"Officers are working hard to keep us all safe from the full range of crimes in what remain challenging circumstances so we would ask everyone to work with us and remember that if you need our help we are here for you."

Police across the country have been hit with accusations of overzealous enforcement.

Former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption labelled the tactics of Derbyshire Police "disgraceful" for monitoring people with drones.


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