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Update on Coronavirus FPNs issued by police – May 2021

27 May 2021

Police in England and Wales have processed a total of 115,203 fixed penalty notices for breaches of Coronavirus restrictions up to 16 May 2021.

The latest provisional figures released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council show that 4,881 fines were processed in the latest reporting period.

The total processed in England is now 103,623 and 11,580 in Wales. 

Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Martin Hewitt, said: 

“As expected, the number of fines processed in the last four weeks has fallen significantly and reflects the encouraging strides we are making out of lockdown.

“Despite the further easing of restrictions and being able to meet families and friends again, we mustn’t forget that there are still some restrictions in place.

“The emergence of new variants in recent weeks has reinforced the need for us all to be personally responsible and follow the remaining rules. For the selfish minority who continue to blatantly break the rules, such as organising or attending illegal indoor gatherings, officers won’t hesitate to take necessary enforcement action.

“As restrictions ease across the country, I understand people will want to go out and enjoy themselves, but this still needs to be done responsibly and safely.

“Officers will continue to be out in communities helping to stop the spread of this virus and keep us on track with the Government’s roadmap.”

Fixed penalty notices were processed for the following reasons: 

Large gatherings (£10,000 fine) 

    • 341 FPNs have now been processed relating to holding a gathering of more than thirty people in England and three in Wales. 
    • These include, but are not limited to, unlicensed music events, protests and private parties. 

Participating in a gathering of more than 15 people (£800 fines) 

    • 3,275 FPNs have been processed in England under regulations requiring people not to participate in a gathering of more than 15 people. 452 processed in Wales.

Face coverings 

    • 3,678 FPNs were processed between 15 June and 16 May for breaches of the Face Coverings Regulations in England.  
    • 613 of these fines were processed for failure to wear a face covering on public transport. 
    • 3,065 fines were processed for failure to wear a face covering in a relevant place, such as a retail setting. 


    • 807 FPNs were processed to businesses up to 16 May. 
    • The main reasons for the issuance of an FPN included: Businesses refusing to close during the emergency period or refusing to close during restricted hours, gatherings of more than the restricted number taking place within a business; businesses not adhering to the table service only rules. 

International travel regulations

    • Up until 16 May, 666 FPNs have been processed in England. Breaches of the regulations include failing to self-isolate after arriving from a country on the UK Government Quarantine list, including red list travel ban countries, among other reasons. 11 have been processed in Wales.

Self-isolation regulation

    • Up until 16 May, 165 FPNs have been processed under the Self-Isolation regulation; failing to self- isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

The full breakdown of FPNs can be found within the attached data pack here

Examples of police action in the past few weeks includes: 

  • In the space of four days in April (20/04-23/04), officers from Avon and Somerset Police broke up two house parties and a lock-in at a pub. Officers issued 21 fines in total.
  • On Sunday 25 April, the Metropolitan Police shut down an illegal rave at a disused shop in Newham. The event was stopped at 3am and officers dispersed the crowd, with the organiser receiving a £10,000 fine.
  • In Gedling, a café that repeatedly flouted Covid-19 restrictions was issued with more fines by Nottinghamshire Police. The café had previously been served a three-month closure order in November 2020 following a number of breaches. Despite this, on Saturday 8 May, officers responded to reports that it was open again, with staff and customers inside, and no one wearing masks. A total of 10 fines were issued.

Notes on the data: 

    • In order to provide a clear national snapshot of FPNs for a reporting period, the NPCC draws from ACRO data. The totals issued in this release reflect a mix of new FPNs issued in the latest reporting period, alongside additional processing and cancellation by ACRO for dates covered by previous releases. There will always be a processing lag time between forces issuing a notice and ACRO processing it. Actual force totals may therefore differ from the national totals presented in this release. 
    • International Travel Quarantine fines: Police only become involved after a referral from UK Border Force via their triage centre. Totals are for police issued fines only and do not include those issued by Border Force. College of Policing guidance states that where police are unable to get an answer following a visit to an address, then additional follow-up visits are suggested. If there is still no answer, the times and dates of the visits should be recorded and fed back to Border Force via the triage centre. For any questions about penalties issued at the Border, triage centre referrals, and information concerning the Passenger Locator Form, please contact Border Force. 
    • Payment of FPNs: At this stage we are unable to provide individual force totals or payment proportions for Regulations which still have payment periods outstanding. We have committed to publishing this at a later date. If an FPN is contested or not complied with within the 28 day payment period, the case becomes a matter for HM Courts and Tribunals Service following a force level review.