A number of men who were involved in an unofficial football match for more than 20 people were amongst 146 fined for breaching Coronavirus regulations in Kent at the weekend.

The action brings the total number of fines issued for breaches of regulations to 1,343, of which 993 were handed out since 1 January 2021.

With lockdown measures still in place to help control the spread of Covid-19, to save lives and to protect the NHS, police are urging people to follow government guidelines and do their part to protect others.

Among those fined between Friday, 29 January and Sunday, 31 January were four men who were part of a group of 20 involved in a football match in Dartford. The men accessed the pitch via a hole in the fence of a venue in Green Road, Dartford on Sunday afternoon. Upon police arrival the majority of those present dispersed, however a number returned to collect personal items from the pitch and were met by police and fined. Some of the men had travelled from outside Kent to take part.

A woman and four men were fined after officers visited an address in Cox Drive, Hawkinge at 8.13pm on Saturday. The group were having a party.

Five women were fined after police were called to a property in Zealand Road, Canterbury on Sunday evening following reports of a student house party. The party, which involved around 30 people who left the house on police arrival, had been arranged to celebrate a student’s 21st birthday.

Last week on Wednesday, 27 January 2021, police responded to reports of a business breaching Covid regulations in Northfleet. Officers attended the barbers where a man confirmed he was still taking appointments. Whilst officers were giving advice to the man a customer called the business to advise they were ‘out back’ and waiting for their haircut. The man was fined.

Assistant Chief Constable, Claire Nix said: ‘Whilst it is encouraging that the rate of infection is falling and more people are being vaccinated – now is not the time to drop our guard and be complacent, we are not yet at the stage where lockdown can be relaxed.

‘I would like to thank those residents who are doing the right thing and following the guidelines, it is a difficult time for everyone and I appreciate it is frustrating when you witnesses or learn of people breaching the guidelines – this selfish behaviour puts others in harms way.

‘We will not hesitate in taking action against those who blatantly ignore lockdown measures and put some of the most vulnerable members of our community at risk.’

By Ed