No ‘rule of six’ fines issued in North Yorkshire - but officers warn they will get tough on Covid rule-breakers

Police in North Yorkshire have not yet fined anyone over breaches of the 'rule of six' coronavirus restriction.

By Jacob Webster
Thursday, 1st October 2020, 4:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st October 2020, 4:22 pm

North Yorkshire Police - which holds the record for handing out the most lockdown fines in the country - said it has yet to penalise anyone under the new rule which came into force on 14 September.

The law change made social gatherings of more than six people - anywhere indoors or outdoors - illegal and is being enforced through fines recently doubled to £200.

North Yorkshire Police superintendent Mike Walker said he was pleased to report that most people are following the rules, but warned officers will take action against those who do not.

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Police in North Yorkshire have not yet fined anyone over breaches of the 'rule of six' coronavirus restriction.

“We’re really pleased to say that the large majority of the public are following the new guidelines around the wearing of face coverings, social gatherings and the rule of six and we’d like to thank them for their support," he said.

"However, those who choose not to abide by new legislation should expect police to take enforcement action.

"We’re at a point in time where it’s crucial that everyone in North Yorkshire takes all the relevant steps to slow the spread of this virus."

The force has also yet to fine anyone for failing to wear a face mask.

The 'rule of six' applies to people in private homes, indoors and outdoors, and places such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and public outdoor spaces.

It does not apply to schools, universities and workplaces, or weddings, funerals and organised team sports.

North Yorkshire Police has issued 1,151 fixed penalty notices under all new emergency health regulations during the pandemic - the most out of any force in England.

Officers previously said the high figure corresponded with people travelling to the county's beauty spots during lockdown.

North Yorkshire has so far avoided tighter restrictions on socialising that have affected many northern towns and cities, but officials have warned the situation could soon change if people do not stick to the rules.

Superintendent Walker said: "The choices and decisions each one of us makes right now will have a huge impact on the whole community in the weeks to come.

“Sadly it does not take many making poor decisions to undo all the good work and sacrifice the public of North Yorkshire has put into beating this virus and the police will play their part in not letting this happen.”

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter