‘Will NOT hesitate!’ - Priti Patel backs fierce police crackdown amid £200 ...

PRITI Patel has backed police after they were granted powers to issue on-the-spot fines of £200 to people they believe are breaking coronavirus rules.

PUBLISHED: 00:36, Sun, Jan 10, 2021 | UPDATED: 00:36, Sun, Jan 10, 2021

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UK coronavirus cases increases by 59,937

The new officer guidance states the fines can be issued if people refuse to follow the measures when asked by officers. The advice, reported this weekend by the Sunday Telegraph, states that “initial police response should be to encourage with voluntary compliance,” followed by the potential fines.

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Home Secretary Priti Patel has now praised the rules, citing “the tragic number” of new coronavirus cases and deaths that occurred over the past week.

She said: “Enforcing these rules saves lives. It is as simple as that.

“Officers will continue to engage with the public across the country and will not hesitate to take action when necessary.”

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Coronavirus UK Police enforcing measures in LondonCoronavirus UK: Police approaching lockdown protesters in London this weekend (Image: Guy Smallman / Getty)

The Tory MP also said the “vast majority” of people have been following Boris Johnson’s new national lockdown, which was legally imposed earlier this week.

However, she added “the tragic number of new cases and deaths this week shows there is still a need for strong enforcement where people are clearly breaking these rules to ensure we safeguard our country’s recovery from this deadly virus.”

The on-the-sport fines of £200 are cut in half if they are paid within 14 days, it is understood.

READ: Coronavirus crisis: SAGE official blasts ‘lax’ lockdown demanding ‘stricter’ measures

Coronavirus UK: Priti Patel speakingPriti Patel has said she supports 'strong enforcement' by police (Image: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty)

It comes after two women in the East Midlands were both fined with the penalties after it was claimed they drove to a remote spot for a walk around five miles from where they lived.

One of the two told the BBC she thought the police decision was “bonkers” after saying she was “surrounded” by officers

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