Essex Police have patrolled the county to stop coronavirus rulebreakers.
And during their patrols, they’ve handed out many fines to covid rule breachers who have had some very creative excuses.
From a night trip to Southend to ‘see the sea’ to a couple who travelled almost 250 miles to Essex for a hospital trip 9 days early, Essex Police have heard some very imaginative excuses this week.
One 18-year-old man had an expensive wake-up call after he travelled from West Mersea to Colchester for a coffee. He had to add the cost of a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) to the price of his drink after he picked up his girlfriend, from a different household, to keep him company.
Colchester Community Policing Team (CPT) handed out FPNs on Saturday, February 6 to two women, aged 19 and 20, who had left their separate households in London to spend the night sleeping in a car by Abberton Reservoir in freezing conditions.
A trip to ‘see the sea’
Southend seafront has always been a beautiful and popular place to socialise but this shouldn’t be the case during a pandemic.
A man who decided to take a late-night trip to Southend to ‘see the sea’ with two friends, had to make alternative arrangements to get home after being stopped by officers. All three sightseers were slapped with a fine and the car was seized as it was uninsured.
Elsewhere, a night out with friends turned out to have a hefty price for five young men in Southend on Thursday, February 11. Officers were patrolling in the Prittlewell area when they stopped a car, which was being driven erratically.
The occupants were searched after officers noticed a suspicious smell coming from the vehicle.
One of them, a 17-year-old boy from Hockley, was then arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon following the discovery of a knife. He has since been released under investigation. His friends were all issued with fines for Covid-19 breaches.
9 days early for a hospital appointment
Nobody wants to be late but a couple who travelled from Devon for a hospital appointment in London were directed back to the South-West after stopping off to stay with family in Benfleet. Records showed they weren’t due at the hospital for another nine days.
To combat lockdown rulebreakers, Essex Police say officers will continue to take a “common-sense approach” to the government’s regulations. They will continue to engage with people, explain the regulations and encourage them to do the right thing.
But, where reasoned conversation is not successful, enforcement action will be considered. Officers will also continue to respond to clear and blatant breaches and, where they occur, work to resolve them.
Essex Police urges Essex residents to continue to report Covid-19 breaches.
You can report them via the Essex Police website by using the digital 101 services, where you can speak to an operator via Live Chat, any day between 7am and 11pm.