THE proportion of Covid-19 fines issued to BAME people across the county during lockdown has been revealed.

Since March 27, data issued by the National Police Chiefs’ Council shows a total of 183 fixed penalty notices (FPN), 150 to white people and 24 to people of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. There were a small number of cases where the ethnicity was not recorded.

The number of FPNs issued to BAME people in Wiltshire was at a rate of 4.7 per 10,000 population, compared to 2.3 per 10,000 population for white people.

However, police say these figures are largely in line with the picture across England and Wales, and are significantly lower than other police forces regionally.

Wiltshire Police has not issued a FPN since May 31, and has not had to make a Covid19-related arrest since the week commencing on June 8.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jerry Herbert said Wiltshire Police had been one of the first police forces in the country to regularly publish its FPN data, including a breakdown of the ethnicity, gender and age of the people receiving fines, on its website.

He said: “From the very beginning of the COVID19 pandemic we were clear that we wanted to ensure the process of issuing fixed penalty notices was carefully and thoroughly scrutinised to ensure it was fair, transparent and appropriate.

“Each FPN has been independently examined and we have regularly published detailed reports on our website, outlining our figures for who exactly has been fined.

“We want the public to have confidence that police officers in Wiltshire have used these new powers in a proportionate and fair way and I believe our scrutiny process shows that we have been transparent at every stage.”

A Scrutiny Panel meets regularly to review all FPNs issued in Wiltshire and Swindon.

This process has resulted in 15 FPNs being rescinded, in some cases because individuals were subsequently charged in connection with more serious offences.

Between July 13 and 19, Wiltshire Police has recorded three Covid19-related incidents and four Covid19-related crimes.

Assistant Chief Constable Deb Smith said: “The recent reopening of pubs and restaurants has gone ahead without serious issues and we are seeing people trying to socially distance when they are out and about.

“However, Friday saw the introduction of new legislation making it compulsory to wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets and we need to work hard once again to educate the public about why this is so important.

“We will continue to focus on engagement and encouraging people to be sensible and only use enforcement as a last resort.

“To me, these FPN statistics show that we have used our police powers proportionally and I hope we will continue to see very low numbers of enforcement action needed.”