Coronavirus: Police get power to arrest or fine those breaking lockdown rules
Police have been given the power to arrest or issue fines of £60 to people found to be breaching the UK coronavirus lockdown rules.
In a bid to enforce the restrictions that were announced on Monday evening, police can issue a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.
Repeat offenders will receive heavier fines, with police able to issue a fine of £120 for a second breach, which will then double for each subsequent offence.
Police have also been handed the authority to arrest individuals that refuse to comply with the rules “where deemed proportionate and necessary”.
“However, in the first instance the police will always apply their common sense and discretion”, the Home Office said.
On Monday the government said people should only leave their homes to buy essential items, exercise once a day, for medical reasons or to go to work if it is essential and can not be done at home.
Home secretary Priti Patel said: “The Prime Minister has been clear on what we need to do: stay at home to protect our NHS and save lives.
“All our frontline services really are the best of us and are doing an incredible job to stop this terrible virus from spreading.
“That’s why I’m giving the police these new enforcement powers, to protect the public and keep people safe.”
The government also announced support to boost police resources, including relaxing tax and pensions rules which could deter officers nearing retirement and those recently retired from returning to work.