Covid lockdown: Norfolk Police fine 160 people on sunny weekend

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image captionOfficers, seen here at Sea Palling, patrolled the Norfolk coast

Good weather at the weekend saw a police force hand out 160 fines for breaching lockdown, many to people who live outside the county.

Norfolk Police said a large number of those fined had travelled to the coast from as far as Leicestershire, London, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Bedfordshire.

Officers disrupted four house parties and warnings were given to 132 people.

Assistant chief constable Julie Wvendth said: "The 'stay at home' rule remains in place."

"While the roadmap out of lockdown offers new confidence, we still need to take action now to get us there," she said.

She described the breaches as "blatant" and added: "A combination of better weather, lockdown fatigue and the impending easing of restrictions will no doubt influence some people's behaviour."

The current lockdown rules say people in England can exercise outdoors once per day in their local area.

Officers fined visitors at Sea Palling, Wells-next-the-Sea and Hunstanton.

'Respecting rules'

Thirty vehicles were parked near Sea Palling beach on Saturday, with officers issuing eight fixed penalty notices.

People had travelled from as far as Peterborough, 100 miles (160km) away, and Ipswich, 67 miles (108km) away, for a walk on the beach, police said.

More than 15 adults, who were each given an £800 fine, were gathered at one of two children's birthday parties broken up by police in Great Yarmouth.

Smaller house parties were also disrupted in Attleborough and Thetford, with those attending fined £200.

Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk's director of public health, said: "Most people in Norfolk have done an excellent job of respecting the rules so far and have played a key part in the fall in infections rates we're seeing now.

"It is important that we keep to the rules and stay local to keep numbers of cases down.

"I know most people will, but where they don't - I support the police in taking enforcement action."

image copyrightAFP

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