Lockdown UK: Can you be arrested for breaking lockdown rules? How much is the fine?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has placed the UK on lockdown for three weeks, warning Britons not to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary due to the spread of coronavirus across the country. The police have the power to enforce these conditions, and already videos and pictures have surfaced across social media of police having to disperse those flouting the lockdown rules.
Britons are not allowed to go outside unless for one portion of exercise per day, to buy essential groceries, attend key jobs or care for a vulnerable person.
While many have been abiding by these conditions, some have still flouted the rules and ignored the plea to remain in their homes.
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The lockdown aims to delay the peak of coronavirus across the UK, with cases reaching more than 9,000 on Thursday.
Bars, pubs, and non-essential shops have been ordered to close, but parks have remained busy as Britons flocked to enjoy the sunshine despite warnings.
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Can you be arrested for breaking lockdown rules? How much is the fine?
New powers for police have been introduced on Thursday in a bid to stop Britons ignoring the lockdown rules.
These new powers allow police to issue instant fines those who leave their homes without good reason or gather in groups of more than two people.
In northern England, one police force has begun introducing random vehicle checkpoints to ensure the new rules are enforced.
The head of the Church of England has told Britons who were flouting the instructions to “get your act together”.
While millions have respected the measures, roads and parks have remained busy, and authorities across the country have repeatedly reported people have not respected the two metre (six foot) guidance on social distancing.
The new regulations which came into effect today give the authorities the power to impose a £30 fixed penalty on those who breach the rules.
Repeat offenders could ultimately receive a fine of up to £960 and might be arrested.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Individuals who do not pay a fixed penalty notice under the Regulations could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.
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- Coronavirus UK: Police given powers to arrest and fine people
“If an individual continues to refuse to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and the police may arrest them where deemed proportionate and necessary.
“However, in the first instance, the police will always apply their common sense and discretion.”
The Government warned those who did not pay up could be taken to court, where magistrates could impose unlimited fines.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said of the measures: “The prime minister has been clear on what we need to do: stay at home to protect our NHS and save lives,”
How long will lockdown measures be in place?
Initially, Mr Johnson has said the lockdown will last three weeks, with a review at the end of this period to decide whether it should continue.
Now Britain’s deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries has said some lockdown measures which restrict the social interactions of Britons could be in place for six months.
However, Ms Harries added the steps taken are beginning to show signs of working in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
She said at the daily coronavirus press conference from Downing Street: “We may see measures of lockdown going forward over the next six months.
“That would not be an implausible outcome.
“But I also said I think that as we’re watching the curve, it may be possible… to start moving that.
“We are starting to see some helpful movement… But we must not take our foot off the pedal.”
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