What people in Wales had to say about the fines issued to the public compared to Downing Street’s ‘partygate’

Recent figures have come to light showing the number of Covid breach fines issued by police forces across Wales over the last two years. South Wales Police force tops the list at 5,406 fixed penalty notices issued between March 27, 2020 and February 27, 2022, while North Wales Police sat at 3,030, Dyfed-Powys Police at 2,160 and Gwent Police behind at 1,254. You can see the figures from across the UK here.

In the aftermath of Downing Street’s partygate and Sue Gray’s investigation into gatherings at Number 10, these figures have led to interesting discussions as to the consequences of breaching Covid restrictions and the ‘fairness’ in the issuing of fines. Some may think that the public has forgiven and forgotten. However, our comment section on Facebook says otherwise.

Most compared the issuing of fines to the general public with the consequences faced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and those in attendance at gatherings in Number 10 and other government buildings. The common denominator between most of the publics over 140 comments was disbelief.

Read more: The man and the parties that made a mockery of millions of people

Some like Raymond Bonnici asked, “what about the MPs and the Prime Minister himself?” while Robert Lomas questioned how the PM could “expect people to listen to his rules when he cannot even follow them himself” and reminding Johnson to “lead by example”.

Others felt as though Gray’s investigation hadn’t gone far enough and wanted to see further prosecution of Mr Johnson and involved MPs. Justin Shearan challenged the conclusion stating that “the Government still hasn’t been prosecuted for the blatant breach on the Christmas party.”

Steven Williams took it one step further and declared he “won’t accept anything less than a resignation” from the PM. Not everyone took such a hard stance on the topic, but they certainly still had questions.

Dee Judah wanted to “see proof [of] Boris and friends” being fined and “of Boris paying his fine”. Meanwhile, Michelle Evans compared the disparities between the costs of the fines paid by the general public and those paid by politicians stating that she’d “bet they were more than £50 each”.

The public Covid breach fines in Wales started at £200 and could go up to a staggering £10,000, for comparison – you can read about some of the fines issues to people during lockdown here. Others took the opportunity to suggest that the public should be paid back their fines in hindsight to the scandal. Glyn Davies agreed that “Every single one of these fine MUST be rescinded.”

South Wales has one of the highest figures behind only four other policing regions. Three out of the four police forces in Wales has a rate above 40 fines per 10,000 people. To follow more of our politics and coronavirus news, subscribe to our newsletters here.

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