No Fixed Penalty Notices for breaches in the Coronavirus legislation have been issued in Wiltshire since 31 May and the force has given out no penalties to people not wearing face coverings.

Police say no-one has been arrested for COVID related matters since the start of June and only 20 crimes linked to COVID have been recorded in the same period.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has published data on FPNs issued between 27 March and 6 July for all Forces in England and Wales.

Wiltshire Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon (OPCC) have issued fortnightly FPN overview summary reports online since April.

The report shows that:

• No FPNs have been issued in Wiltshire since 31 May

• No FPNs have been issued to individuals for not wearing face coverings

• No FPNs have been issued to individuals who were required to self-isolate post travel and didn’t

• 151 of the 214 people issued an FPN self-identified as white British

• 10 individuals self-identified as black

• Six self-identified as Asian

• Four self-identified as having a mixed background

• 11 individuals did not state their self-defined ethnicity

• 11 people have been issued with more than one FPN

Wiltshire’s PCC Angus Macpherson has approved a process to provide scrutiny and oversight of the legality and proportionality of FPNs.

A Scrutiny Panel meets regularly to review all FPNs issued in Wiltshire and Swindon with an option to recommend that unlawful and/or disproportionate notices are rescinded.

This review has resulted in 15 FPNs being rescinded, in some cases because individuals were subsequently charged in connection with more serious offences.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said: “This latest FPN data shows a downward trend in the number of fines issued and arrests made relating to the restrictions in place as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“This position recognises that we have worked with our communities throughout this period to encourage and explain the importance of compliance with the regulations and have only resorted to enforcement when there has been the absolute necessity to do so.

“I am grateful to our communities for working with us through this difficult period and helping to stop the spread of the virus.

“Throughout this period we have recognised the importance of a fair and proportionate use of our powers and working with the OPCC we have reviewed every FPN issued during the lockdown period.

“Through this process of ongoing review we have rescinded 15 FPN’s and we have continued to engage and update our Independent Advisory Groups on our approach.”

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jerry Herbert said: “Very early on in lockdown, we approved a transparent process of sharing FPN data with our communities and stakeholders – it is crucial that the public knows exactly how Wiltshire Police are responding to this public health crisis including the manner in which they are enforcing the legislation.

“The national data issued today shows that Wiltshire Police is broadly in line with the national trends, including around the ethnicity of who has received FPNs to date.

“I am pleased to see that the national process set up to administer and collect the fines once they have been issued by police officers is making steady progress, with a clear majority now paid.

“I am pleased to see that our communities overwhelmingly continue to respect the regulations and Wiltshire Police officers will continue to concentrate their efforts on engaging with our communities whilst out and about so that enforcement clearly remains a last resort.”