We're being urged not to become complacent, as Scarborough tops North Yorkshire's table for fixed penalty notices issued for covid rule breaches.

Superintendent Mike Walker is leading North Yorkshire Police’s response to the pandemic and he chairs the multi-agency North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum. These are his comments about the past week's (8-14 March 2021) Covid-19-related issues and the policing arrangements for Easter time...

“Together with our partner agencies and the people of York and North Yorkshire, it is imperative that we maintain the collective effort to reduce the infection rate as low as possible while the vaccination programme is rolled-out across the population.

“We can all see that better times are on the horizon, that’s why we must keep going and not allow all the hard work and sacrifice to be undone through complacency.

“We all must keep adhering to the health protection regulations around travel and gatherings, maintaining social distance, wearing face coverings in shops and on public transport, and keeping our hands as clean as possible.

“From a policing point of view, we will continue to play our part in tackling the public health crisis as we head towards the Easter holidays.

“Each district is on with preparing patrol plans to ensure there are sufficient resources to provide reassurance and continue our ‘4 Es’ approach – to engage with the public, explain the regulations, encourage compliance, and enforce if there is no other way of dealing with breaches.

“The patrol plans will obviously reflect any changes in legislation post 29 March as part of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

“When it is safe to do so, we will welcome visitors to the county again. However, everyone can expect to see an increased policing presence as we work alongside our partners to help keep the virus at bay in the weeks and months ahead.

“Also, we expect normal policing demand to increase as the regulations are further relaxed, therefore North Yorkshire Police will utilise the Government’s surge funding provided to ensure we can respond to the public as they would expect.”

Latest enforcement data

During the past seven days (8-14 March 2021) we have issued 102 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) – the previous week’s total was 210.

This takes the total to 1,662 FPNs during the third lockdown, and 3,555 FPNs since the first lockdown on March 2020.

  • 54 were issued to local people and 48 were issued to visitors
  • 40 issued for being outside place of living
  • 10 for outdoor gatherings
  • 29 for indoor gatherings
  • for obstruct/contravene/fail to close business
  • 20 for gathering of more than 15

Broken down into districts, the number of FPNs issues are as follows:

Craven – 3

Hambleton – 15

Harrogate – 12

Richmond – 2

Ryedale – 5

Scarborough – 50

Selby – 7

York – 8

Notable recent breaches

Scarborough was again the location for the most indoor gatherings with 18 FPNs issued. There were also two separate indoor gatherings in the town over the weekend consisting of more than 15 people – this resulted in 20 FPNs being issued. One occurred at a flat on Pavilion Square following a report of a party at 10.45pm on Saturday (13 March).

Just after 5pm on Saturday, an online report was made to the police that a group of men from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, were drinking together in a hot tub at a lodge in the York area. When officers arrived they initially claimed they were work colleagues staying together in digs, but this proved not to be the case and the five men were issued with FPNs.

At 4.50am on Monday (15 March), a VW Polo car was stopped by officers as it was travelling east on the A64 at Bilbrough. The four occupants from Leeds, two men and two women aged in their late teens and early 20s, states that they were going somewhere to watch the sun rise. They each headed home with FPNs for being outside their place of living.

Also, for being outside their place of living, two men from Hessle, Hull, were issued with FPNs when police spotted their car at the St James Retail Park at Knaresborough at 12.45am on Monday (15 March). They said they were out for a drive to get a McDonald’s meal.