An offshore rescue which led to three men being fined was just one example from the weekend where over 200 fixed penalty notices were issued for breaching Covid-19 regulations.
On Sunday 24 January 2021 the trio travelled from Staffordshire to Southend by car before using their boat in an attempt to reach the historical Red Sands Sea Fort in Whitstable. However, they got into difficulties and had to be rescued by the Coastguard and other emergency services.
They were brought into Sheerness Docks where they told officers they had intended to spend the night at the sea fort. The men, who were aged between 31 and 41, were issued with fines for breaching Covid-19 regulations.
The trio were among 202 people issued with fines for breaching regulations between Friday 22 January and Sunday 24 January. Since the start of the year 737 people have been fined. The total since March 2020 stands at 1,085.
Other breaches include:
• A man was stopped at the Port of Dover at 1.45am on Saturday 23 January. He had travelled from Nottingham and wanted to go on holiday to Hungary and officers advised him to go home. He then returned to the port at 6.30am and was fined.
• A man who previously received a fine on 18 January for going out following a positive Covid test was stopped and fined again after he visited a shop in Tonbridge Road, Maidstone at around 2.30pm on Friday 22 January.
• A woman was fined for hosting a house party after police were called to Upper Chantry Lane, Canterbury shortly before midnight on Friday 22 January.
• Two men were fined after failing to wear face masks without an exemption at a shop in Chatham at around 10.30pm on Sunday 24 January. The men were from separate households.
• Five men and six women were fined for attending a student house party in Havelock Street, Canterbury at around 1.30am on Sunday 24 January.
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix, of Kent Police said: ‘Whilst the vast majority of people continue to abide by the latest government guidelines to help stop the spread of the virus, it is incredibly frustrating that there are still a small minority who think the rules don’t apply to them.
‘We have seen examples of people who are not only behaving selfishly, but also putting unnecessary strain on the emergency services with their reckless actions. Whilst I understand the desire we all have to return to normality, we are still in a critical time and it is important to do the right thing, follow the guidelines, save lives and protect the NHS.
‘Preventing the spread of the virus is a shared effort and all members of the public need to take personal responsibility.’