IN FOUR months, there have been almost 1,000 fines issued by Gwent Police for Covid-19 breaches.

The figure stands at 933 fines given out between December 20 and April 18, 76 per cent of the 1,228 total fixed penalty notices the force handed out since the first Covid-19 regulations and powers to police came into place on March 27.

The figures were published by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) and also showed that 61 fines were given out over the period between March 14 and April 18.

Police forces across England and Wales have issued a total of 110,322 fixed penalty notices under the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations. 10,580 of these have been issued by Welsh police forces, which is around a tenth of the total number.

However, a report by the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) said the Coronavirus Act had been misunderstood and wrongly applied by police forces, with MPs and peers who described the fines as “muddled, discriminatory and unfair” in their call for a review.

The JCHR has criticised the system in place and raised concerns over the validity of the fines, the inadequacy of the review and appeal process and the size of the penalties.


The report by the JCHR found that police have faced an overall challenge in policing the Covid-19 rules as they have changed at least 65 times since being introduced in March last year.

The report said: “It is astonishing that the Coronavirus Act is still being misunderstood and wrongly applied by police to such an extent that every single criminal charge brought under the Act has been brought incorrectly.”

The maximum penalty for a breach of a Covid-19 law is £10,000.

JCHR chairwoman Harriet Harman said: “The police have had a difficult job in policing the pandemic.

“We hope that their initial approach – to engage, explain and encourage before issuing fixed penalty notices – will continue.

“However, since January there have been greater numbers of FPNs as police move more quickly to enforcement action.”

The NPCC said it would consider the recommendations in the report by the JCHR.

NPCC lead for the police response to Covid-19, assistant chief constable Owen Weatherill, said: “Policing has quickly adapted to changes in these unprecedented circumstances.

“When new regulations are issued, we ensure officers have additional guidance on the legislation and we continue to support them to reduce any errors in its application.

“We do recognise however that we have not got it right in every circumstance.”

Gwent Police declined to comment.