Couple 'in state of undress' at beauty spot fined for lockdown breach

Whitlingham Broad
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018

Whitlingham Broad Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Two people found "in a state of undress" at a Norfolk beauty spot and three people who hired an Air BnB for Valentine's weekend are among nearly 60 fines handed out in Norfolk for breaches of lockdown rules. 

Norfolk Police issued a total of 59 fixed penalties between Friday and Monday.

The two people in a state of undress at Whitlingham Broad, near Norwich, were found to be from different households.

Officers also issued fines to people attending a children's birthday party in Thetford, some who had travelled from Ipswich, and to a couple from Lewisham in London, who travelled to Heacham to enjoy the countryside.

The force has issued 251 fines over the last three weekends. 

Temporary Superintendent Nathan Clark has reminded the public ahead of warmer weather this weekend that travelling to beauty spots or coastal areas when not from the local area was not essential.

Chief Inspector of Great Yarmouth Police said the force will come down hard on the suspects involved

Nathan Clark, of Norfolk Constabulary, outside Great Yarmouth police station - Credit: Archant

He said: "With warmer weather forecast this weekend, we understand that people will want go outside and make the most of it following the recent spell of snow and freezing temperatures. This, combined with the ‘lockdown fatigue’ which has firmly set in for many people, naturally leads to the temptation of a change of scenery. 

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"However, it’s important to remember that lockdown rules remain in place and any journeys we make should be made for essential purposes only.

"Travelling to beauty spots or coastal areas for a walk, when you’re not local to the area, is not regarded as essential." 

"We have seen blatant breaches of the rules, which has led to 251 fines being issued over the last three weekends. People continue to make real sacrifices to adhere to these restrictions and we must continue to work together so we don’t undermine the efforts that have been made." 

Temp Supt Clark said officers will continue dedicated Covid-19 patrols this weekend, with a focus on beauty spots and coastal areas. 

Between February 5 and Sunday, February 7, Norfolk Police issued 88 fines, with the most severe a house party of 16 people at a property in Anne Batholomew Road, in Thetford.

When officers arrived, they found 16 people in a single property having a house party - all of whom were fined £800 on the spot and ordered to leave.

The last weekend in January saw 55 fines issued.