Group fined for ignoring Covid rules by gathering at skate park in Harborough

Here is a list of the latest fines that have been given out by Leicestershire Police

By Red Williams
Monday, 8th February 2021, 1:35 pm

Police handed out more £200 fines to people in Leicestershire in January for breaking Covid-19 rules than for the whole of 2020 – including to a group of people in Market Harborough.

A total of 889 fixed penalty notices were issued to people for flouting the country’s tough coronavirus restrictions by Leicestershire Police from January 1 to February 2.

That tops the 850 tickets dished out for the whole of last year’s Covid pandemic.

Police handed out more £200 fines to people in Leicestershire in January for breaking Covid-19 rules than for the whole of 2020 – including to a group of offenders in Market Harborough.

On January 21 a group of 8-10 people who gathered at a skate park in Bellfields Street, Market Harborough, ignoring signs that the park is closed, were spoken to and given fines by police.

Police have also released an online video where an officer says his health worker wife has been crying for two weeks as she “honestly cannot watch people die any more” as he hands out tickets to Covid rule breakers.

The policeman, who was on a routine patrol, is seen to approach a vehicle near East Midlands Airport where he finds two people who have driven from West Bridgford, near Nottingham, 13 miles away.

The couple claim to be “just watching planes”.

The officer gives them two fixed penalty notices and implores them to “please pay attention to the guidelines, people are dying”.

You can watch the video here: Chief Constable Kerry Smith said: “We continue to say thank you to all of the public who are complying with the rules and understand why they are in place.

“This is allowing us to continue to do other work tackling crime and getting some really good results.

“The bottom line is that we have had to step up our enforcement as the message was not getting through to the small minority who are continuing to ignore the rules.

“We also have to thank the public for helping us by reporting Covid breaches to us.”

She added: “In the last month we received 2,480 calls relating to the pandemic.

“This is double the amount of calls we were receiving before this current lockdown.

“We need the public’s information to guide us and we have been clear as to what the consequences are.

“We are continuing to engage with the public but we are being more proactive in giving out the tickets where possible.

“We continue to share the public’s frustration that the small minority are still taking terrible risks.”

Since New Year’s Day, officers have issued 889 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) adding up to about £170,000.

From March 23, 2020 to February 2, 2021, Leicestershire Police have given out 1,739 FPNs and received 21,508 reports of Covid-related incidents.

Officers have visited some 17 licensed premises in this period.

The following outlines new examples of breaches to show where police are giving out FPNs during January:

· On 21 January, 8-10 people had gathered at a local skate park in Market Harborough, ignoring signs that the park is closed.

· On 18 January a man is stopped in Leicester and tells officers he lives in Walsall but has driven to Leicester to visit family.

· On 18 January, police attend Tesco supermarket at Beaumont Shopping Centre to find a man not wearing a facemask and without a reasonable excuse for not wearing one.

· On 18 January, a man stopped in a car on Glenfrith Way, Leicester, was found to have driven from Bradford to Leicester without a reasonable excuse.

· On 19 January, officers attended Merlin Heights student accommodation to reports of a party with over 30 people – the crowd had dispersed leaving only five men who did not live at the address and were fined.

· On 20 January, a vehicle was stopped with four males in it not from the same household. They claimed to be going to get a McDonald’s meal.

· On 22 January, a group of five people were found at a residential address from different households in Leicester. Officers were sworn at when they told the ticket recipient that we were in lockdown.

· On 23 January, a man who had tested positive was seen to be shopping in his local shop in Ibstock, North West Leicestershire. When speaking to police he also confesses to going to a BP Garage.

· On 23 January, a man is found in a private property in Coalville having travelled from London in order to do DIY for the family.

· On 23 January, four people are fined as they are in one vehicle but are from different households – they tell officers that they just wanted ‘to hang out’.

· On 23 January, seven people from different households were found in a private address in Syston who had gathered to watch the boxing.

· On 24 January, police attend a private address in Heritage Way, Leicester finding four people from different households having a party.

· On 24 January, four friends are stopped by police at 2.40am in Leicester City, they state they are on their way to get food and are all from different households.

· On 25 January, four people were stopped in a car in Blaby who have driven there from Kent.

· On 26 January, a man was stopped in West Street, Leicester and admitted to police he was from Manchester.

· On 28 January, in Salisbury Road, Leicester officers find a number of people and cars just ‘chilling’ at the location. They provide no other reason for being there and are from different households.