AVON and Somerset Police have chased up 61 people through the courts after they failed to pay fines totalling more than £100,000 for Covid-19 law breaches.

The culprits have been convicted in local courts for failing to pay fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued up to the end of June.

Among the fines issued by the courts are one for £2,000 and 35 for £1,760.

A force spokesman said the FPNs were handed out for breaches of Covid-19 legislation in place to stop the spread of the virus, which has to date claimed the lives of more than 50,000 people across the UK.

The offences included:

  • contravening a direction/failing to comply with instruction;
  • leaving or being outside a place where living without a reasonable excuse;
  • participating in a gathering of more than two people.

Three cases are currently scheduled to go to trial in December and January.

Chief Supt Claire Armes, Avon and Somerset Police head of operational support, said: "The courts have taken a robust response to those who have wilfully refused to pay the fixed penalty notices given out by officers for blatant breaches of the Covid-19 legislation.

"Our approach throughout the pandemic has always been to engage with the public, explain the legislation and encourage compliance, but in a small number of cases we have had to move to enforcement to protect public safety.

"Officers do not want to be issuing fines and it’s clear the vast majority of people are following the restrictions in place and understand the clear risks of engaging in activities which could increase the spread of COVID-19 to their family, friends and those around them – and we thank them for the daily sacrifices they’re making."