The vast majority of people in North Yorkshire are complying with the Coronavirus legislation on restriction of movement. That’s the findings of North Yorkshire Police as the first national enforcement figures are released.
Since 2 April 2020, North Yorkshire Police has issued 153 fines to a minority of people who have failed to comply with the restrictions as officers work to protect the NHS and save lives.
Officers have spoken with 1,000s of people since the restrictions were introduced and have taken nearly 2,000 direct reports from members of the public in relation to suspected breaches. They are pleased to report that most people have either a genuine reason for travelling or that talking to people is enough to help them understand the need to stay at home.
Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker, said: “Since day one we have maintained our neighbourhood policing approach during the Covid-19 response, focusing on what has become known as the three ‘Es’ strategy – engage, explain and encourage people to adhere to the restrictions, using enforcement as a last resort. We have also made it clear across our public messaging that we would take this approach so that people are in no doubt, and although we would prefer not to, we are not afraid to use enforcement if we have to.
“We have also maintained some of the lowest absence levels across the country, enabling us to increase our capacity and redirect resources towards frontline policing. This has subsequently increased patrols and police visibility, resulting in greater engagement activity.
“Most people understand the gravity of the situation we face, most people are moved by the tragic stories we have seen, and most people have stayed at home.
“Yes there have been pockets of breaches across the county, but the majority of people have listened. Each area is different and each area brings its own challenges, for example, all of the fines issued in the Craven area, the home of the Yorkshire Dales, were issued to visitors, whereas in Scarborough and York, the majority of fines were issued to residents.
“I would like to reiterate my thanks to everyone who continues to stay at home. We will get through this, and we will continue to work together to protect the NHS and save lives.”
Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, added: “The vast majority of us are following the Government instructions – staying home, protecting the NHS and saving lives – and I know most of us also back the approach we are taking in North Yorkshire to those who are flouting the rules.
“Given the size of our county, the magnet we are for visitors from across the UK and our ease of accessibility by major roads, it is no surprise that enforcement action has had to be taken in cases where people have not responded to engagement, explanation and encouragement. I fully support the approach of North Yorkshire Police and the brave officers and staff who continue to be on the frontline in our battle with coronavirus.
“For me, it’s simple – anyone can catch this brutal disease, and anyone can spread it, so those who do not follow the rules are putting themselves and others at risk. We must ensure the huge effort put in by the many who are selflessly complying is not undone by the dangerous few who aren’t.”
Figures in more details
North Yorkshire Police is geographically the largest single county police force in England. It polices
3,200 square miles including towns, cities and villages
6,000 miles of road
Two national parks
Two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
55 miles of coastline
The City of York
The 153 fines were issued at 101 incidents meaning in some cases there was more than one person fined at one incident
Some incidents officers have encountered:
Four men from London who were stopped in a car were all issued with a fine after they claimed to have travelled to York to buy a car
Two women from South Yorkshire were fined after driving a 200-mile round trip as they wanted to fly a drone at the seaside
Two men from West Yorkshire were fined after travelling to North Yorkshire to buy a second-hand TV
In the Scarborough area several people were fined after numerous people from different households gathered at a public place to have a barbeque.
Group of three men on Scarborough seafront intoxicated
Couple from West Yorkshire camping near village on the North York Moors
Adults responsible for children
10 fines have been issued to parents or guardians for failing to control a child under 18
Breakdown in fines across areas
Craven District – 20
Hambleton District – 25
Harrogate District – 6
Richmondshire District – 6
Ryedale District – 5
Scarborough District – 44
Selby District – 15
City of York – 32
Out of 153 fines:
57.7 percent have been issued to residents of North Yorkshire
42.3 percent have been issued to non-residents including:
18.3 percent issued to residents of West Yorkshire
11.8 percent issued to residents of Cleveland
The remainder have been issued to people from London, Durham, Lancashire, Humberside, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and Cheshire.
91 of the 153 fines were issued over the four-day Easter bank holiday weekend.
Gender and age
18 – 25: 68 fines issued
26 – 35: 49 fines issued
36 – 45: 19 fines issued
46 – 55: 10 fines issued
56 – 65: 4 fines issued
65 and over: 3 fines issued