Humberside

Humberside Police Covid-19 rule-breaking complaints top 17,000

Keep your distance sign Image copyright Mike Kemp/Getty Images
Image caption Humberside Police launched the system in March to allow people to submit details of those suspected of flouting the rules

An online portal for people to report breaches of lockdown rules received more than 17,000 complaints.

Humberside Police launched the system in March to allow people to submit details of those suspected of flouting the rules.

Ch Supt Darren Downs said the high numbers were due to "woolly" government guidelines, which were open to interpretation.

The Home Office said it tried to ensure the rules were as "clear as possible".

The comments came as the police chief was updating a scrutiny committee on the impact the pandemic had had on crime in the East Riding, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Cllr Ben Weeks told the committee local residents had contacted him to report their neighbours were ignoring the rules, hosting visitors and throwing parties.

In response, Ch Supt Downs said the force had received "around 900 complaints a day at one point".

"So far we've had around 17,000 online reports submitted. We're not going to visit every one of those," he said.

"The idea of what was classed as a breach was subjective," he added.

"We monitored the log and if we got several calls about the same address or from the same complainant, then community teams would go and visit."

He said most of the fines issued were "accepted and paid".

According to data from The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), Humberside Police issued 127 penalty notices between 27 March and 22 June.

In contrast, the neighbouring force in North Yorkshire issued 1,122 over the same period.

A Home Office spokesperson said it had "worked closely" with the NPCC and College of Policing during the pandemic to ensure guidance was clear and police had the powers "to take action when necessary, with fines starting at £100".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites