Two £10,000 Covid 'super fines' A WEEK are being issued in Northamptonshire
'We need to keep going after those people who are not following the rules,' warns Chief Constable
Northamptonshire Police are dishing out £10,000 Covid fines at the rate of more than two a week.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley revealed his Force has issued 14 fines totalling £140,000 for illegal mass gatherings in less than seven weeks.
Events relating to only five of those have been made public and the number does not include a Fixed Penalty Notice which Police said would be going to the organiser of a funeral in Kettering on November 9 but is still yet to be issued.
The local Force also admitted it cannot say if any of the fines that were issued have actually been paid.
Full figures are not due to be published until the end of the month, alongside those of other forces.
But Mr Adderley also revealed Northamptonshire's officers dished out 80-plus £200 fines last weekend for other Covid breaches such as failing to wear face masks, leaving home without good reason and meeting up with more than one person from another household.
He also added that 188 fines were issued on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day — 30 more than previously thought.
But the Chief Constable headed off accusations of heavy-handedness, saying in a BBC interview: "The vast majority are following rules, supporting us and the NHS but there is a small minority who are not and we need to keep going after those people."
"New Year was a really busy period for us. We issued 188 tickets over New Year's Eve into New Year's Day and, to put that into perspective, only the Met Police issued more.
"From a county of our size, that is a huge number.
"Just last weekend we issued a further 83 Fixed Penalty Notices and in total we have now issued 14 £10,000 FPNs.
"Where there are breaches out of ignorance, we are not going to fine those. That's where the other two Es, education and encouragement, come in."
Police went public following three house parties in Northampton — one on December 5 and two on December 12 — and a religious event at the Campanile Hotel at Grange Park on December 13 which saw five £10,000 fines issued.
They also insisted organisers of a funeral attended by more than 150 people in Kettering would be ticketed following a public outcry. But a spokesman this week admitted investigations are still ongoing and no decision has been made.
Asked if any of the £10,000 fines have been paid, Northamptonshire Police told this newspaper that the ACRO Criminal Records Office deals with Fixed Penalty Notices once they have been issued.
A spokesman for the Criminal Records Office said: "ACRO is supporting the policing response to the Covid-19 pandemic by administering FPNs issued under coronavirus legislation, on behalf of police forces in England and Wales. We are unable to comment on specific cases."