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Police issue 30 fines to people breaching Covid restrictions in Kent during the first weekend of the latest lockdown

Police issued 30 fines for lockdown breaches in Kent at the weekend, which included people hugging and kissing each other after a house party had been broken up by officers.

Other rule-breakers were penalised for attempting to cross the Channel, failing to socially distance and making unnecessary trips into the county.

Police issued 30 fines to people in Kent for breaching Covid-19 regulations during the first weekend of lockdown
Police issued 30 fines to people in Kent for breaching Covid-19 regulations during the first weekend of lockdown

On Saturday, a car was stopped by police in Brookfield Road, Ashford. The driver said she and her partner had driven from Essex to pick up a remote-controlled car she had bought online. They were fined £200.

The same day police broke up a house party in Military Road, Ramsgate, after hearing loud music and raised voices. When the party-goers were dispersed, they hugged and kissed each other. Two people were fined £200 each.

Also on Saturday, a man was stopped by officers in Cliftonville who said he had travelled from Lancashire to Kent to visit a friend. He was fined and told to return home immediately. Police later found him in Clarendon Road after visiting his friend and he was fined again.

Three people were fined after being stopped in Lower High Street, Ashford. They had already been warned about congregating in a large group and said they had understood the warning.

However, within hours they were found again and fined £200 each.

Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix

Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix said: "The vast majority of Kent residents continue to do the right thing and are following the rules, helping to protect the NHS and ultimately save lives.

"Unfortunately, there are still some people who think it is acceptable to throw parties, gather outside in large numbers or commit other serious breaches of Covid-19 regulations.

"Holidays within the UK and abroad are also prohibited unless for permitted reasons and, despite this advice, seven people attempted to cross the Channel at the weekend without valid reasons and were fined as a result.

"The government has been very clear that the best way to protect everyone is to stay at home as part of this third national lockdown and no one should be attempting holidays or breaching other rules, not just for their own protection but to prevent the spread of the virus.

"I am urging all Kent residents to visit the government website and know what is acceptable at this time.

"People doing this are not only putting their own lives at risk but that of anyone they meet, some of whom will be extremely vulnerable."

"Anyone who is permitted to travel abroad should also obtain a negative Covid-19 test prior to departure. Anyone who turns up at the ports without one will also be turned away.

"It is also unacceptable that officers around the county are still finding some individuals organising or attending house parties with no regard for the seriousness of this pandemic.

"In these situations we will have no choice but to take enforcement action.

"People doing this are not only putting their own lives at risk but that of anyone they meet, some of whom will be extremely vulnerable.

"Anyone who flagrantly or repeatedly breaks the rules at a time when there is so much pressure on Kent’s health services should be left in no doubt that action will be taken against them."

Saturday, January 9 – 19 fines issued

  • Three men from Wolverhampton and a man from Cornwall were fined £200 each during two separate incidents after attempting to travel abroad at the Port of Dover without a valid reason and, despite being turned away, tried to cross via the Channel Tunnel.
  • A man was fined £200 for breaching the regulations by being at a property in Zealand Road, Canterbury.
  • A man and woman who weren’t part of the same household were fined £200 each for travelling together from Essex to Kent by car to pick up a product they purchased via a social media site. They were stopped and fined in Ashford.
  • A man was stopped in Pelham Road, Gravesend and fined £200 after attending a party with friends.
  • A man in Chatham who should have been isolating but instead left his home to go to the Post Office after someone in his household had tested positive for Covid-19 was stopped in Tobruk Way and fined £1,000.
  • A woman in Regis Crescent, Sittingbourne, was fined £200 for leaving her home to visit someone outside of her bubble and household.
  • A woman at Sittingbourne Railway Station was fined £200 for being outside of her home without a valid reason.
  • A man was fined £1,000 as he should have been isolating after a positive Covid-19 test, when officers found him sitting on a bench inside a shopping centre in Gillingham.
  • Two women and one man were each fined £200 after gathering in Ashford High Street. Officers had already spoken to them earlier in the day and despite advice continued to congregate.
  • A man was given a fixed penalty notice after officers stopped him in Palm Bay Avenue, Cliftonville. He said he was from London visiting friends and unaware of the restrictions. Officers fined him and told him to return home. His vehicle was seen later in the evening in Clarendon Road and it transpired he had not followed advice and continued his journey to visit a friend. Officers issued him with a second fine as a result, totalling up to £400.
  • A man and a woman were fined £200 each for gathering inside a property in Military Road, Ramsgate, which was not their home.

Sunday, January 10 – 11 fines issued

  • Five men from Leicester, travelling together in a vehicle, were each fined £200 for attempting to travel abroad without a permitted reason at the Port of Dover and despite being turned away, tried to travel via the Channel Tunnel instead.
  • A man was fined £200 for gathering outside in Dover Road, Folkestone with a group of people not in his household.
  • A man was fined £200 for gathering outside in Harbour Way, Folkestone with a small group of people not from his household.
  • A man was holding a party in Elham Road, Canterbury and was fined £200 for hosting a small birthday gathering.
  • A man was fined £200 for being out, on his way to a friends and in breach of the restrictions with no valid reason in Sittingbourne.
  • A man was fined £200 for cleaning a vehicle at a car wash that should have been closed in Tunbridge Wells. A customer at the car wash was also fined £200 for having his car cleaned.

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