50 coronavirus lockdown fines issued in Southwark and Lambeth

Josh Salisbury (10 June, 2020)

The data also reveals black Londoners were disproportionately fined under the rules

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At least fifty fines have been issued over coronavirus lockdown breaches in Southwark and Lambeth, according to new data.

Met Police figures, covering the period between March 27 and May 15, show fifty fines were issued by cops in those two boroughs, accounting for around 5 per cent of London’s total of 973 fines.

The data also reveals that black people in London were disproportionately likely to be hit with a Covid-19 fine.

While just twelve per cent of the capital’s population is black, over a quarter of all fines were issued to a black person.

Meanwhile, their white counterparts made up 45 per cent of fines, but make up 60 per cent of the London population.

According to Southwark’s top cop, Ch Supt Colin Wingrove, the reasons for this are “complex.”

“The reasons for this are likely to be complex and reflect a range of factors,” he said.

“This includes interactions between the areas subject to significant proactive policing activity targeting crime hot-spots and both the variation in the age-profile and geographical distribution of ethnic groups in London.”

Nearly three hundred of the fines were issued in one week alone, in mid-April, which is close to the peak of the epidemic in the UK.

The Met says that the vast majority of those who were arrested under coronavirus regulations were also likely to have been committing another offence.

“We have seen, overall, good compliance when we have intervened, meaning in most cases the need for issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice or arrest has been unnecessary,” said assistant commissioner, Mark Simmons.

“I hope Londoners will be reassured as a result of the low volume of Covid-19 related enforcement that we have been using the new powers only when we have absolutely needed to.”

Only 36 people had been arrested during that period for Covid-19 breaches where no other substantive offence was committed, states the force.

 

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