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Officers issued 30 fines over the weekend, which included breaches at the ports, people failing to isolate, gatherings outside and indoors and unnecessary trips into the county.

On Saturday, 9 January a car was stopped by a patrol in Brookfield Road, Ashford. The driver told the officers that her and her partner had driven from the Essex area to pick up a remote-controlled car that she had purchased via a social media site, they were fined £200.

The same day police on foot patrol broke up a party at a property in Military Road, Ramsgate. The officers heard loud music coming from the address and a number of raised voices. On investigation a house party was underway. On being dispersed the attendees went on to hug and kiss each other. Two people were fined £200 each.

There were also a number of people fined who ignored officers’ warnings regarding breaches in legislation. On 9 January a man was stopped by officers in Cliftonville who said he had travelled from Lancashire to Kent to visit a friend. He was fined and told to return home immediately. Officers later found him in Clarendon Road after visiting his friend. He was fined again.

Three people were fined after being stopped in Lower High Street, Ashford. They had previously been warned about congregating in a large group and stated they had understood the warning. However within hours they were located again and fined £200 each.

Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix said: ‘The vast majority of Kent residents continue to do the right thing and are following the rules, helping to protect the NHS and ultimately save lives.

‘Unfortunately, there are still some people who think it is acceptable to throw parties, gather outside in large numbers or commit other serious breaches of Covid-19 regulations. Holidays within the UK and abroad are also prohibited unless for permitted reasons and, despite this advice, 7 people attempted to cross the Channel at the weekend without valid reasons and were fined as a result.

‘The Government has been very clear that the best way to protect everyone is to stay at home as part of this third national lockdown and no one should be attempting holidays or breaching other rules, not just for their own protection but to prevent the spread of the virus. I am urging all Kent residents to visit the government website and know what is acceptable at this time. Anyone who is permitted to travel abroad should also obtain a negative Covid-19 test prior to departure. Anyone who turns up at the ports without one will also be turned away.

‘It is also unacceptable that officers around the county are still finding some individuals organising or attending house parties with no regard for the seriousness of this pandemic.

‘In these situations we will have no choice but to take enforcement action. People doing this are not only putting their own lives at risk but that of anyone they meet, some of whom will be extremely vulnerable. Anyone who flagrantly or repeatedly breaks the rules at a time when there is so much pressure on Kent’s health services should be left in no doubt that action will be taken against them.’

Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix

Sat 9 Jan 2021 – 19 fines issued

  • Three men from Wolverhampton and a man from Cornwall were fined £200 each during two separate incidents after attempting to travel abroad at the Port of Dover without a valid reason and, despite being turned away, tried to cross via the Channel Tunnel.
  • A man was fined £200 for breaching the regulations by being at a property in Zealand Road, Canterbury.
  • A man and woman who weren’t part of the same household were fined £200 each for travelling together from Essex to Kent by car to pick up a product they purchased via a social media site. They were stopped and fined in Ashford.
  • A man was stopped in Pelham Road, Gravesend and fined £200 after attending a party with friends.
  • A man in Chatham who should have been isolating but instead left his home to go to the Post Office after someone in his household had tested positive for Covid-19 was stopped in Tobruk Way and fined £1,000.
  • A woman in Regis Crescent, Sittingbourne, was fined £200 for leaving her home to visit someone outside of her bubble and household.
  • A woman at Sittingbourne Train Station was fined £200 for being outside of her home without a valid reason.
  • A man was fined £1,000 as he should have been isolating after a positive Covid-19 test, when officers found him sitting on a bench inside a shopping centre in Gillingham.
  • Two women and one man were each fined £200 after gathering in Ashford High Street. Officers had already spoken to them earlier in the day and despite advice continued to congregate.
  • A man was given a fixed penalty notice after officers stopped him in Palm Bay Avenue, Cliftonville. He said he was from London, down visiting friends and unaware of the restrictions. Officers fined him and told him to return home to his address. His vehicle was located later in the evening in Clarendon Road and it transpired he had not followed advice and continued his journey to visit a friend. Officers issued him with a second fine as a result, totalling up to £400.
  • A man and a woman were fined £200 each for gathering inside a property in Military Road, Ramsgate, which was not their home.

Sunday 10 Jan 2021 – 11 fines issued

  • Five men from Leicester, travelling together in a vehicle, were each fined £200 for attempting to travel abroad without a permitted reason at the Port of Dover and despite being turned away, tried to travel via the Channel Tunnel instead.
  • A man was fined £200 for gathering outside in Dover Road, Folkestone with a group of people not in his household.
  • A man was fined £200 for gathering outside in Harbour Way, Folkestone with a small group of people not from his household.
  • A man was holding a party in Elham Road, Canterbury and was fined £200 for hosting a small birthday gathering.
  • A man was fined £200 for being out, on his way to a friends and in breach of the restrictions with no valid reason in Sittingbourne.
  • A man was fined £200 for cleaning a vehicle at a car wash that should have been closed in Tunbridge Wells. A customer at the car wash was also fined £200 for having his car cleaned.

By Ed

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