We know many people have received fines under the new coronavirus laws that were unfair and unlawful. This is not right.
We have heard reports of people being fined for buying snacks, sitting on park benches and driving for exercise. Some people have even been fined ‘leaving their home’ despite being homeless. These things are not, and have never been, unlawful. Under the Health Protection Regulations, you can be fined only if you do not have a ‘reasonable excuse’ for leaving your home. Leaving your home does not have to be essential, only reasonable. If you believe you have been issued a fine when you shouldn’t have been – let us know.
A recent review by the Crown Prosecution Service into convictions under the new emergency laws has shown staggering errors by police and courts, with every conviction under the Coronavirus Act being overturned. This has clearly shown that the emergency powers are being used incorrectly. Police forces in Lancashire and Wiltshire have already been forced to withdraw fines after they have been wrongly issued. We believe that a significant number of other fines may also have been wrongly issued.
We have already written to the National Police Chief’s Council with other rights groups, asking them to review the fines. Now we need your stories. If you or someone you know has been issued a fine – whether you paid it or not – contact us in confidence: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to include as much detail about the circumstances as possible.