UK (Sky News)

Coronavirus: Police have dished out 3,203 lockdown fines – as ‘car park’ trick being used by drug dealers is exposed

By June 28, 2020 No Comments

Police have issued 3,203 fines for breaches of coronavirus lockdown laws in just over two weeks.

But they have scrapped 39 fines given to 16 and 17-year-olds – who would not reveal their age – because they have no powers to target children.

There has also been a 28% fall in overall reported crime compared with the same period (27 March to 13 April) last year.

The figures were given in a briefing by police chiefs who said criminals were having to adapt to the new restrictions.

This photo illustration taken on January 28, 2020 shows protective face masks in Bangkok. - Thailand has detected 14 cases so far of the novel coronavirus, a virus similar to the SARS pathogen, an outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP) (Photo by MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images)
Image:Police said a man had been stopped with 14kg of cocaine hidden among face masks. File pic

Lynne Owens, director-general of the National Crime Agency, said county lines drug dealers were frustrated at the travel ban.

She said: “They are dealing drugs in supermarket car parks and passing themselves off as key workers to try to avoid police.”

Police found 14kg of cocaine hidden in a consignment of face masks hidden in a lorry at Dover
Image:Police found 14kg of cocaine hidden in a consignment of face masks hidden in a lorry at Dover

She also said a Polish lorry driver stopped by Border Force officers at Dover on Tuesday night had 14kg of cocaine hidden in a consignment of face masks.

Police found 14kg of cocaine hidden in a consignment of face masks in a lorry at Dover
Image:The drugs were found in a lorry driven by a Polish national

Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), said forces were “in a good position” to deal with enforcing COVID-19 restrictions, in spite of 10% staff absence.

He said most crime had fallen – with rape down by 37%, serious assault by 27%, burglaries down by 37% and vehicle crime down by 34%. Domestic abuse was up by 3%.

Anti-social behaviour was up by 59%, largely linked to people ignoring coronavirus restrictions.

Sara Glen, of the NPCC, said although serious assault was down, there were already indications it could rise again with the lockdown set to be extended.

She also said eight out of 10 of the 3,203 people fined for breaking lockdown rules were men, two-thirds of them aged 18-34.

Some 60% were white, which Ms Glen said showed police were not acting disproportionately.

The highest number of £60 fines issued by a force was 380 by Lancashire police, possibly because of visitors to Blackpool.

Ms Glen said: “We absolutely see temperatures and coastal resorts having a challenge there, very much due to barbecues, house parties, beaches, you’ve got a lot going on there.”


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