POLICE have issued a further 186 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for breaching Covid-19 regulations since February 9. 

In terms of issuing these penalties, this has been the busiest week during the third lockdown for North Yorkshire Police.

A further five penalties have been issued in Ryedale, 64 in Scarborough and 55 in York.

House parties and indoor gatherings continue to be a problem in the Scarborough District and in York.

Two people in Scarborough were part of an indoor gathering near the town centre at 10pm on February 13 (Saturday) and were issued with fixed penalty notices.

Nearly three hours later at 12.45am on February 14 (Sunday), the same two people were at another indoor gathering 4.5 miles away in Eastfield where they were again issued with fixed penalty notices.

Other breaches include a couple who travelled from Hull to Grosmont for a walk and four people from Manchester ventured to Whitby to ‘see the sea.’

“News that infection rates are reducing in all parts of North Yorkshire and the City of York is greatly heartening,” said Superintendent Mike Walker, who is leading North Yorkshire Police’s response to the pandemic.

“This is down to the collective effort within our communities and all the agencies working together. 

“The continued roll-out of the vaccination programme is clearly the significant boost that will, eventually, underpin our return to a more normal way of living. This is what we are all striving for.

“However, we’re still in a precarious position as the infection rate can fluctuate. We must continue to do all we can to abide by the health protection regulations which are designed to limit the spread of the virus.”

The breaches are split into four categories: being outside place of living, outdoor gatherings, indoor gatherings and obstruct/contravene.

A total of 826 penalties have been issued since the third lockdown began on January 6 – including 16 in Ryedale for being outside a place of living.

North Yorkshire Police has issued more than 2,719 FPNs since the first lockdown in March 2020.

Superintendent Mike Walker added: “This is not the time to become complacent about the coronavirus.

“We’ve got to keep going and make sure all the hard work and sacrifice has been for the worthwhile purpose – protecting our loved ones and returning to the lifestyle we have taken for granted in the past.

“As for the reckless minority who think the regulations do not apply to them, we will continue to actively target these blatant breaches, while providing a highly-visible and reassuring presence for the wider community who are doing the right thing and helping to tackle this public health crisis.”