PEOPLE continue to flout coronavirus rules in Lancashire more than almost anywhere else in the country, the latest figures have shown.

Last month, data from the National Police Chief’s Council revealed how more fines had been dished out to those living in Lancashire than anywhere else in the country to those refusing the quarantine when returning from overseas.

Thirteen holidaymakers had been slapped with a fixed penalty notice after they flouted rules put in place to stop those entering the UK from spreading the coronavirus.

The 13 fines dished out across Lancashire up to September 22 were significantly higher than anywhere else in the country, accounting for more than a third of the total number of fines, 38, dished out nationally.

And now data released this week shows that outside of London, the place where the most people have been fined for holding illegal large gatherings is Lancashire.

Presently, Blackburn with Darwen has the highest coronavirus infection rate in all of England, with the borough's hospital struggling to cope with an increase in deaths over recent days.

A total of 865 fines have been issued by the county’s police officers since the start of the pandemic in March – the fifth highest total in England.

Of those, 788 were handed out during the first lockdown, with the remaining fines issued since full restrictions were lifted but regulations around gatherings and face masks were implemented.

The latest data, which covers the period of March 27 to October 19, shows nine fines have been issued across the county for large gatherings – second in the country only to the Met.

Nationally, 64 FPNs have been issued relating to holding a gathering of more than thirty people in England, and two in Wales.

These include but are not limited to unlicensed music events, protests and private parties, and carry a £10,000 penalty.

A further 258 FPNs were issued between 15 June and 19 October for breaches of the Face Coverings Regulations across England and Wales.

Of those, 86 were issued against the regulations concerning wearing a face covering on public transport, across nine forces (including British Transport Police in England and Wales).

172 fines were issued against regulations concerning the wearing a face covering in a relevant place, such as a retail setting, across twenty one forces (including British Transport Police in England and Wales).

National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair, Martin Hewitt said: “Coronavirus is something we have all had to rapidly adapt to, and officers have had to pick up new regulations in a record pace, and apply them across the population. The number of instances where enforcement action is necessary at all is a small fraction of the total engagement we have had with the public.

“Enforcement doesn’t and shouldn’t always equal police involvement. Individuals, businesses and a range of agencies all have a responsibility to ensure the virus is suppressed, and police will continue to play their part.”