North Yorkshire Police say they had to issued a “shocking number of fines” to tier 3 residents who chose to flout regulations and visit York at the weekend.
Local policing teams made proactive visits with City of York Council covid support marshals and enforcement officers to a number of licensed premises on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to ensure people were acting responsibly and being safe by sticking to the regulations around indoor gatherings and the rule of six outdoors.
However, officers encountered large numbers of visitors from tier 3 areas, who had chosen to ignore the warnings and put local residents at risk by flouting the regulations.
Many were found to be from multiple households who were mixing indoors, clearly breaking the tier 3 restrictions which travel with them.
When spoken to by officers, some did disperse and leave the area, but some groups were resistant to police advice, resulting in enforcement action being taken.
Over the weekend police processed 61 tickets issued in York alone, with 55 being handed to tier 3 residents in breach of their tier regulations.
However, officers have stated that there are over 100 more tickets in the pipeline, awaiting paperwork completion and processing.
Superintendent Mike Walker, who is leading the North Yorkshire Police response to Covid-19 said: “Looking at the numbers of fines handed out this weekend which are still awaiting processing, we believe that we have handed out over 160 tickets, with the vast majority being issued to tier 3 residents who visited York to mix and socialise indoors, which is in clear breach of their restrictions.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have been very clear about our approach and the action taken this weekend is evidence of it. We have stated our teams would be patrolling, speaking to the public and encouraging them to adhere to the rules. Where we encounter people who refuse to adhere to the regulations and believe their pint is more important than someone’s life, we will use our enforcement powers.
“Some people who were spoken to by officers did go home. However, our teams encountered large numbers of people who were not responsive to the advice, leaving us no option but to enforce through the use of fixed penalty notices.
“We will continue to patrol the city and the wider county and we will be visiting licensed premises and busy shopping areas. People very clearly know and understand the risks, they know that this virus is deadly, they will know about the identification of a new strain and know the serious steps the Government has taken in the South East, so there really is no excuse for acting so irresponsibly.
“If you choose to visit the city of York from tier 3 areas without a justifiable reason to have made your journey – with our extra patrols, chances are you will encounter one of our officers and you’ll be asked about the reason for your visit. It is our responsibility to ask those questions, to determine the truth and take the necessary action, in order to stop the spread and ultimately save lives.
“We remain undeterred from our objective to keep the people of North Yorkshire safe.”