Police chief: Cracking down with lockdown fines ‘won’t work’

Monday, May 4, 2020

Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation Ken Marsh has warned that issuing fines is not the most effective way of ensuring compliance with coronavirus lockdown rules.

Speaking with talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, he said instead that officers should try to engage more with the public when enforcing social distancing.

He said: “We want the public to understand what we’re doing rather than doling our fine after fine because half of them can’t even afford to pay them, you’ll clog up the courts after this, it will just be a complete nonsense.

“It won’t work by waving a big stick and start cracking down and fining thousands and thousands of pounds, it will just turn into a complete melee.”

His comments come as ministers are set consider proposals to increase the fines for lockdown breaches after more than 9,000 were handed out in England and Wales.

Some 391 were given to repeat offenders, with one person being fined six times.

Police currently have powers to present rule breakers with a £60 penalty, that is reduced to £30 if paid within two weeks, but doubled for each repeat offence up to a £960 maximum.

New plans could see a fine start at £100 and allowed to reach well into the thousands for consistent offenders.

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