ONE HUNDRED and thirty fines issued for COVID-19-related breaches in West Yorkshire were proven in people's absence at court during September, police have said.

The fines issued were between £440 and £990, while a further 21 people pleaded guilty to breaking coronavirus rules and now face paying a penalty of between £80 and £250, depending on the number of offences they have committed.

Following the latest government announcement of the new three-tier lockdown system, people are being urged to check the restrictions which apply to their area via the GOV.UK website postcode checker and comply with the current guidelines.

West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Tim Kingsman is co-chair of the Local Resilience Forum, and says that, first and foremost, the police seek the co-operation of the public in complying with the regulations, but will use the legislation where necessary to help keep communities safe.

He said: “We really do not want to be handing out fines to people and as we have said throughout this pandemic, enforcement action has only been taken where absolutely appropriate and necessary.

“There has to be a recognition, however, that there are consequences for those who continue in activities that significantly contribute to the spread of infections across the county.

“The fines are real and people are having to pay them, which we can clearly see in the latest updates from the courts.

“As we are again experiencing an increasing trend of COVID-19 across West Yorkshire with enhanced restrictions in place, the seriousness of this situation is obvious.

“Please, do not put yourself in the same scenario, not simply to avoid a fine, but because it is the right thing to do and it is our responsibility to each other.

“We all have people we love who could potentially be placed at serious risk if we do not collectively comply with the rules.

“It is a matter of using our common sense, but where we find individuals or organisations blatantly putting the safety of others at risk, they will be first feeling it in their pockets.”

Robin Tuddenham, Co-Chair of West Yorkshire Prepared – the Local Resilience Forum – and Chief Executive of Calderdale Council, said:  “One immediate action people can take is adhering to self-isolation legislation. We know that self-isolating is one of the most effective ways of stopping the spread of the virus.

"Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, or has been told they need to isolate by track and trace, must quarantine.

“We all need to take responsibility and work together to do all we can to bring the rate of infection down, protect each other and prevent more severe restrictions being put in place.”