POLICE have issued more than 1,000 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for breaching Covid-19 regulations since the beginning of the third national lockdown.

North Yorkshire Police said half term proved to be the busiest week they have experience in enforcement terms, with more than 191 FPNs issued over seven days.

A further 18 penalties have been issued in Ryedale, 60 in Scarborough and 34 in York.

Chief Inspector Charlotte Bloxham said the public needs to keep sticking to the rules to protect the chances of moving out of lockdown.

“As we expected, half term proved to be the busiest week we have experienced so far in enforcement terms, with 191 FPNs being issued across the seven days,” she said.

“Over half of the tickets issued were to visitors to the county and the majority for being outdoors without a reasonable excuse.

“Earlier this week we heard from the Prime Minister on the Government’s road map for leaving lockdown.

“I know we’re all eagerly awaiting life to return to normal and being reunited with our loved ones, but the Prime Minister did make one thing clear, the path out of lockdown was going to be led by data and not dates.

“The four steps he outlined to 21 June would only be taken if certain criteria were met – one of which was around the NHS being able to cope with the level of demand placed up on it and another the risk associated with new emerging variants of the virus.

“So, it’s really important that we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves and through irresponsible actions, jeopardise the progress we have made and need to keep making, to enable us all to move forward.”

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

A total of 1,017 penalties have been issued since the third lockdown began on January 6 – including 22 for being outside a place of living and 12 for indoor gatherings in Ryedale. 

North Yorkshire Police has issued more than 2,910 FPNs since the first lockdown in March 2020.

“Until the Government indicates that it is safe to move to the next stage of the road map on the 29 March, the current lockdown rules and regulations will stay in place and North Yorkshire Police will continue to police them,” added Inspector Bloxham.

“We will take the necessary enforcement action required to protect the green shoots of recovery we are starting to see and to protect all our chances of getting out of lockdown.

“So, I would ask the public to keep going. We are on the right path and we are doing the right things, but we must remain vigilant to the threat of the virus.

“Covid-19 has not gone away, please carry on sticking to the rules, so we can continue to move towards better times ahead.”