Most Covid rule breakers paid up in Cambridgeshire, figures show

MP Steve Barclay (inset) has given his support to prime minister Boris Johnson after he was fined for breaking lockdown rules

MP Steve Barclay (inset) has given his support to prime minister Boris Johnson after he was fined for breaking lockdown rules. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Constabulary / Steve Barclay MP

Over 50 per cent of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued in Cambridgeshire for breaching Covid-19 lockdown rules were paid. 

Figures from a report by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) show 320 payments were received by Cambridgeshire Police between December 2, 2020 and March 28, 2021. 

12 of the 610 FPNs issued were contested, while 278 non-compliant notices were exceeded with 28 days. 

Out of 41 English police forces, Cambridgeshire ranked low compared to the likes of the Metropolitan Police, who issued 14,235 FPNs during the above time frame. 

The Ministry of Defence recorded the lowest number of FPNs issued with just 77. 

In the report, the NPCC found no FPN has been issued by any English police force since July 18 last year. 

They said: “Enforcement levels have been falling since the peak in early February 2021. 

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“Following the announcement in March 2021 of the roadmap out of lockdown, there was a steep downward trend in the number of FPNs issued.” 

over 50 per cent of fixed penalty notices issued by Cambridgeshire Police for breaking Covid rules were paid

Over 50 per cent of fixed penalty notices issued by Cambridgeshire Police for breaking Covid rules were paid. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Constabulary

In Cambridgeshire, 951 FPNs were issued between March 27, 2020 and February 27, 2022, nearly 20 times less than the highest figure of 17,829 recorded by the Metropolitan Police. 

The county had recorded one of the lowest Covid fine rates in the country, with 111 FPNs issued per 100,000 people between March 27, 2020 and December 19, 2021. 

In the NPCC report, the most common reason for breaking Covid-19 regulations in England was a “contravene a requirement to not participate in a gathering in the Tier 4 area of two or more people – private dwelling/any indoor space.” 

Over 32,000 FPNs were issued because of this reason. 

Steve Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire, offered his support for Prime Minister Boris Johnson after he was fined for attending parties during lockdown. 

MP Steve Barclay has backed prime minister Boris Johnson after he was fined for breaking Covid lockdown rules

MP Steve Barclay has backed prime minister Boris Johnson after he was fined for breaking Covid lockdown rules. - Credit: Steve Barclay MP

In a tweet, Mr Barclay, who was appointed chief of staff to Mr Johnson, said: “The Prime Minister has apologised to the public and brought about the changes in No10 that he promised. 

“Both the PM and the Chancellor have my full support as we continue to focus on the priorities of the British people.” 

Mr Johnson said he paid the fine and offered “a full apology”.