Kent Police: Car rally and clown among weekend Covid fines

A large group of men who had gathered for a car rally in Greenhithe are among over 80 fines issued for breaching Covid regulations over the weekend.

Other offences reported in Kent over the weekend include a woman, wearing in clown-make, seen on the wrong side of the safety barriers on a bridge in Sevenoaks.

Kent Police said a total of 86 people were fined between Friday, February 19 and Monday, February 22, with good weather resulting in ‘large visitor numbers flocking’ to popular locations, prompting a warning of the important of lockdown regulations.

Officers received ‘numerous’ calls from members of the public concerned about a large group of men gathering in Greenhithe on Saturday evening.

It was established the meet-up was a car rally attended by a number of motorists in Charles Street.

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In addition to breaching Coronavirus regulations, it was reported the group were also driving dangerously. Officers attended and fined five men.

In another bizarre case, a couple were fined after they sparked an emergency response and the closure of a main road all for a photoshoot for social media.

Officers were called to a bridge in Gracious Lane, Sevenoaks at 4.51pm on Sunday after a member of the public reported seeing a woman on the wrong side of the safety barriers.

Officers stopped the traffic in both directions on the A21 and attended the bridge where they located a woman wearing clown make-up.

It transpired she was taking part in a photo shoot for her social media page and was accompanied by a man who was taking pictures. They were both fined.

In addition, large groups, and reports of people failing to socially distance, were received concerning locations including Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Bedgebury Pinetum, Mote Park, Maidstone, Whitstable, Broadstairs and Herne Bay.

Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix said: ‘The warmer weekend naturally resulted in more people wanting to visit some of the more popular destinations in the county.

“Whilst this is understandable, with the current situation, I would ask people to carefully consider the impact that their actions may have.

‘Many locations are closing their car parks, toilet facilities and take-away cafés in an effort to try and keep visitor numbers to a minimum and clearly this will have a knock-on effect if you are planning a visit.

“The limitations are only being placed on these locations in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19 and keep people safe.

“By attending in large numbers people are putting unnecessary strain on the emergency services and other agencies and I would ask for people to be considerate and not travel unless necessary and to stay local.”

Following the weekend’s tally, the total number of people fined in the county since March 2020 is now 1,975.

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Last month, we reported on further coroanvirus fines issued, from football games to barbers caught on video.

The story is not too different across the Kent/London border, with several people caught and fined for breaching lockdown rules.

Kent Police added: “Whilst nationally the picture is improving with the infection rate dropping, more people being vaccinated and fewer Covid-19 deaths recorded, as a nation, we are not quite out of the woods yet.

“Though I completely understand the desire to get outside to these popular destinations I would ask people for patience and restraint until the regulations are lifted so eventually we can enjoy the freedom of meeting our friends and family without the fear of spreading Coronavirus.”

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