A top British police official Tuesday said officers have issued about 45,000 fines for violations of COVID-19 restrictions and that they will issue more to keep the infection from spreading.
The chair of Britain’s National Police Chiefs' Council, Martin Hewitt, made the comments at a news conference, along with Home Secretary Priti Patel. Hewitt said he makes no apology for the fines levied because too many people were still choosing not to abide by the rules.
He warned there would be more officers out on patrol to catch those who he said were "endangering us all."
Britain is among the countries hardest hit by the pandemic and is in the midst of a third national lockdown to stop rapidly spreading infections. The nation reported 1,243 more deaths Tuesday, bringing the current number of fatalities to 83,203.
Patel described the figures as "horrifying" and stressed the "absolutely critical" need for people to follow the rules. Patel said she supported the efforts of police officers, and that a minority of people were putting the entire nation at risk by not following the rules.
She said, "Our ability to get through the coming weeks and months depends on each and every one of us contributing to what is truly a national effort.”