As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the UK government has implemented various social distancing strategies in order to get the spread of the virus under control.
However, despite these measures being put in place, some people continue to leave their homes unnecessarily, and have subsequently been issued fines by the police.
These are the areas with the highest number of fines for not following social distancing rules - is your hometown on the list?
The places with the highest number of fines
Police data takes into consideration the population of the area, the number of fines and the rate of fines per 10,000 people.
The area with the highest number of fines was Lancashire. Lancashire has a population of 1,498,300, and its residents were found to have received 380 fines, working out at 2.5 fines per 10,000 people.
In second place was North Yorkshire, with 1.8 fines per 10,000 people - 150 fines overall.
Third place goes to Surrey, with an overall number of 205 fines, which is 1.7 per 10,000 people in the area.
Other areas include:
• Cleveland, with a score of 1.6• Norfolk, with a score of 1.4• Suffolk, with a score of 1.3• Devon and Cornwall, with a score of 1.0• Wiltshire, with a score of 1.0• Sussex, with a score of 1.0
What can I get fined for?
The government issued guidelines for people about when they can and cannot leave their houses during lockdown.
There is only a limited number of activities for which people are permitted to leave their homes. These are:
• Shopping for basic necessities, like food and medicine• One form of exercise per day, like going for a walk or a run• Any medical needs, like donating blood or caring for a vulnerable person• Travelling for work purposes where you cannot work from home
The government stated that if you leave your home, or gather in public for any reason other that those specific, then the police may:
• Instruct you to go home• Instruct you on how to stop your children breaking the rules• Take you home, or arrest you, if you do not follow the instructions• Issue a fine. This fine will be doubled on each occasion for repeat offenders
How much can I be fined?
If you’ve been found by the police not to be following social distancing rules, then as a first time offender, you can be issued a fixed penalty notice of £60, which would be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.
For second time offenders, this fine will increase to £120 and will continue to be doubled each time you make another offence.
If you do not pay your fine, you could be taken to court, where magistrates will be able to impose unlimited fines.