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Notts police handed out 153 penalty notices for lockdown breaches – one of the lowest in the UK

It was also revealed almost 500 (496) members of staff had been tested for coronavirus, of which 26 tested positive.

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Police officers in Notts have issued fewer fines for people breaking lockdown and social distancing laws than most other parts of the country, it has been revealed.

As of yesterday, (Monday, June 1), 153 fixed penalty notices (fines) had been issued for people breaking lockdown rules.

Chief Constable Craig Guildford has said this was the result of a deliberate effort to use enforcement only as a last resort.

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He welcomed the figures and said it was evidence that the policy of educating and informing people before taking action had been a success.

It comes as the Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping gave an update on the force’s response to coronavirus to a meeting yesterday.

It was also revealed almost 500 (496) members of staff had been tested for coronavirus, of which 26 tested positive.

Of those, only two remain off work, although the force’s total absence rate is currently 8.3 per cent, with more people staying at home due to shielding or self-isolation of members of their household.

Speaking to the police and crime panel yesterday, Mr Tipping said: “Coronavirus has caused a great deal of worry, a great deal of concern and a great deal of focus.

“The important thing to recognise is that nationally, and here in Nottinghamshire, overall crime has gone down, nationally it has been calculated as being down by 25 per cent, here in Nottinghamshire it’s slightly higher than that at around 30 per cent.

“Our real concern early doors was that officers and staff would go off sick, and indeed some have, some have had the virus, and most of them are now back at work.

“The absentee rate today is 8.3 per cent, which is broadly double our normal rate. That’s pretty standard across the country.

“Most of those aren’t ill, most are self-isolating for a variety of reasons and many of them are able now to work at home.

“One of the things we’ve worked out during this episode is the importance of remote and agile working, and I don’t think we’ll ever go back to where we were.

“Early doors we had a drive-in (testing) site at Boots in Nottingham, and as of today 496 officers and staff have been tested.

“One of the big issues nationally has been PPE, and I’m pleased to say that our stocks aren’t lavish but they’re adequate.

“As of today about 18,000 fixed penalty notices have been issued, here in Nottinghamshire, the number is a lot smaller at 153.

“In the main, people have acted responsibly and respectfully, and we’ve not had some of the problems there have been elsewhere.

“There have been problems, but they’ve been well handled, and I’m very pleased to see looking at the number of fixed penalty notices, we’re in the bottom quartile here in Nottinghamshire.

“Leicestershire and Derbyshire, neighbouring counties with similar size forces, have broadly 50 per cent more notices than here.

Craig Guildford said: “We’ve done a huge amount of testing of the workforce, which has gone down really well, and that’s had a good impact on morale.”

He said the fact the force was in the bottom 25 percent in terms of fixed penalty notices given out was the result of a ‘deliberate strategy’.

“I think it’s important to work with people, the education and the explaining is first and foremost, and enforcement comes right at the end of the list of options.

“I think the front end (officers) have done very well in making sure that message is understood.

“We’re now much more able to send work to home, so for those who have had to self isolate – officers and staff – which really does link in to the ‘we need to do things differently in the future’ conversation.

“I think the future challenges around COVID, I think will be just to understand the nuances of the change, and in particular should there be a local outbreak somewhere, around policing that, both from a health perspective but also from a police perspective, and we’re developing plans and some work arrangements to do that.”

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