Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

Man fined £200 by police for visiting friend’s house for cuppa during lockdown

A man has been fined by police after breaching coronavirus rules to visit his friend's house for a brew.

Officers say they issued a fixed penalty to the man at the property in Lowton, near Wigan, on Friday night.

After being found to be breaking the latest government restrictions, police say the man then 'tried to lie about why he was there'.

Under current rules, people are not allowed to meet with family or friends indoors unless they are part of a household or support bubble, reports the Manchester Evening News.

In a Facebook post, officers from GMP's Golborne and Lowton team said: "As a follow on from yesterday's post reminding you we are currently in Lockdown 2.0 as they say and under Government restrictions, a fixed penalty was issued to a male last night who decided he was going to see his mate and have a brew with him and to make matters worse he tried to lie about why he was there.

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"You cannot go to another persons address unless for certain exemptions i.e. child care, support bubble etc. full details are available on line."

In the post, officers also said there had been a number of vehicle thefts in the Lowton and Golborne areas, and warned residents to be vigilant.

Leaving your home without a valid reason can now land you a £200 fine and criminal record in England.

Since a second national lockdown was introduced in England, people can only leave for work, exercise, medical need, to get food and some other reasons set out under the new coronavirus restrictions.

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Leaving your local area to go on holiday and mixing with other households indoors or in private gardens not in a support bubble is banned.

But meetings of two people from different households in an outdoor public space, such as a park, are allowed.

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People can still face fines for not self-isolating when they are ordered to (£1,000) and for attending or organising gatherings (up to £10,000).

And businesses can face extra penalties too for not upholding the laws in their premises from £1,000 for a first offence up to £10,000 for the fourth and subsequent breaches.

Police are expected to exercise judgement on a case-by-case basis.

A 21-page College of Policing guide for officers states: "The list of reasonable excuses is not exhaustive and it is key that officers exercise judgment in a case where they encounter a person with an excuse that is not included in the list of exceptions."

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