The UK’s largest police force has released analysis showing “a strong correlation” between lockdown breaches, hot weather and holiday periods.
According to the Metropolitan Police data, taken from March 27 to May 14, 973 people were issued Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) for lockdown breaches while only 36 people were arrested.
The analysis shows the number of FPNs issued in St James’ Park peaked with warm temperatures from Sunday April 5 to Tuesday April 7 as well as the Bank Holiday weekend.
The next peak came on Wednesday, April 15 when the temperature rose by six degrees before a final peak was recorded on Saturday, April 18.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons said officers had adopted a proportionate approach to the punishment of coronavirus breaches where enforcement had been used as a last resort.
“We have seen, overall, good compliance when we have intervened, meaning in most cases the need for issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice or arrest has been unnecessary,” he said.
“I hope Londoners will be reassured as a result of the low volume of Covid-19 related enforcement that we have been using the new powers only when we have absolutely needed to.”
Commissioner Simmons added that the vast majority of arrests for alleged lockdown breaches were made in circumstances where an individual was also committing or suspected of committing another criminal offence.
“We have seen very few arrests of people where they have only been in breach of the Covid-19 regulations and not been committing any other offences which further demonstrates the effectiveness of our approach,” he said.