255 fines handed out in Dorset for breaking lockdown restrictions

255 fines handed out in Dorset for breaking lockdown restrictions

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:28am 1st May 2020.

255 fines have been handed out to people flouting the lockdown restrictions by Dorset Police.

166 (65%) of the fines were issued to people travelling into the county from elsewhere.

Yesterday, 8,877 on-the-spot fines for alleged breaches of the lockdown laws were announced.

Some examples include:

  • Three people who travelled down from Surrey to look at nature
  • Four people who drove from Slough to walk at Durdle Door
  • One person who came from Nottingham to visit Lulworth Cove

Officers are concerned about the rising number of people trying to visit Dorset.

police stopping vehicles in Dorset
Police stopping vehicles in Dorset

Chief Constable James Vaughan says there's been an increase recently in the number of people travelling here.

He said:

"The public can't say they didn't know.

"We are turning people around when they're coming into the county and we're taking prosecution action in most places now.

"People coming into the county are putting the good people in Dorset at risk."

He says they're starting to take a harder stance now because people have had the chance to comply and those in Dorset who are sticking to the lockdown deserve protecting.

police weymouth town centre

He added:

"We will not tolerate people who travel hundreds of miles because they want to see the sea or visit one of our tourist hotspots.

"The guidance is clear - we should stay at home unless we need to make essential journeys.

"On the whole the vast majority of people are only making essential journeys and are doing what is asked of them - staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives - and I would like to thank them for this. Together we are truly saving lives."

Martyn Underhill

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill (pictured above) said:

"It's very disappointing that some members of the public have begun to flout the lockdown restrictions, giving the Force no option than to issue more fines, particularly as a significant proportion were issued to people who have tried travelling into Dorset from other parts of the UK.

"It's vitally important everyone understands our county remains closed until lockdown is lifted, and we all need to continue to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

"Now is not the time for people to try pushing back against the restrictions - if you persist, you will get fined."