Less than 1,000 fines for breaking coronavirus lockdown have been issued in London – with residents keeping new rules much better than anticipated, according to one of the city’s leading politicians.
Police across the country have new powers to enforce the Government’s lockdown – and those who break the rules have to pay £60 for a first time offence.
But Deputy Mayor for Fire and Resilience Fiona Twycross – co-chair of London’s Strategic Coordinating Group, which leads the city’s response to the pandemic – said most people are keeping to new restrictions.
Reports of busy public spaces early in lockdown – particularly over the Easter bank holiday – sparked fears that rules were not being followed in the capital.
Several boroughs temporarily closed parks to the public, including Victoria park on the border of Hackney and Tower Hamlets, and Brockwell park in Lambeth.
But speaking at a virtual meeting of the London Assembly, Ms Twycross said “well under” a thousand fines had been issued by police for lockdown breaches – despite the “huge population” in the capital.
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“While we’ve seen some instances of people breaking the social distancing rules around lockdown, we’ve had a huge level of compliance from Londoners on this,” she told the GLA Oversight Committee.
“Actually Londoners have been incredibly compliant much more so than people envisaged when the measures were first introduced,” Ms Twycross said.
“I think that as long as the Government tells a clear story to the public and we continue to reenforce why social distancing needs to be maintained over the coming weeks and months, there’s no reason why that won’t continue to be the case,” she added.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to update the nation on plans to ease lockdown on Sunday.
He suggested yesterday during Prime Minister’s Questions that some early easing could begin as soon as Monday.
But it is not yet clear what if any changes will be made to current rules, and when those changes will happen.
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