Couple fined during lockdown for driving 120 miles to watch seals

A man and woman in their 50’s have been fined after they drove from their home in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire to a beach in Horsey, Norfolk on Thursday to watch seals at play.

Couple fined during lockdown for driving 120 miles to watch seals: Police who had been carrying out patrols approached their vehicle in a car park during the afternoon as they noticed during a check that the car was not registered in the county. Norfolk Constabulary confirmed that, after talking to the couple, they admitted not being from the local area and were handed a fixed penalty notice.

Julie Wvendth, Norfolk Temporary Assistant Chief Constable, said “The ‘stay at home’ rule is clear; you should only leave your home for a reasonable excuse such as food shopping, caring for someone who is vulnerable and for one form of exercise a day. If you do need to leave home for any of these reasons, you should stay local. The government have outlined that staying local means staying in the village, town or part of the city where you live.

It’s our responsibility to adhere to this no matter how tempting it is to travel for a change of scene.” After the couple were fined Norfolk police said that checks would continue with patrols dedicated to town centres and beauty spots so that people would adhere to the new rules. As part of the patrols police will be stopping and questioning people as to why they are outside of their homes the force said.

Julie Wvendth added “Officers will use their discretion, as they routinely do in the course of their duties when dealing with people who have travelled away from their home. We will be proportionate in our approach but if we find people are blatantly breaking the rules, we will issue fines. We are almost a year into this pandemic; people know the rules and the risks associated with breaking them, so people do not have any excuse for not knowing what is expected.”


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