New figures have revealed that young white men are breaking lockdown rules the most, according to data from police forces across England and Wales. Noting that most people are compliant with social distancing guidance, it showed that nearly 9,000 fines had been issued in England in April.
Deputy Chief Constable Sara Glen of Hampshire Police shared the information in a briefing this morning, stating that the ‘vast majority of people were all working towards a common aim and that's to restrict to a bare minimum social contact, to reduce the spread of infection and they absolutely understand the police role in this'.
However, in gathering the data, the police have found that good weather has made it more challenging for people to stay at home and they are preparing for this inevitability in ‘the coming weeks and months’.
Breaking down the data, which looked at fines issued between 27 March and 27 April, there was a 15% increase in fines in the last two weeks of the month compared to the first – from 4,152 up to 13 April to 4,725 in the remaining two weeks.
Of those fines, eight out of 10 were handed to men and 58% to those who self-identified as white. In terms of age, 36% of fines were handed to 18-24-year-olds and 18% to 25-29 year olds meaning 18-29 year olds made up more than half of lockdown fines.
The data is backed up research from insight company Britain Thinks, which found 42% of 18-24 year olds were not coping well with lockdown – more than twice the proportion of over 65s asked the same question, perhaps explaining why young people are more likely to break the rules.
Only 9% of people are actively resistant to lockdown.
While the statistics about fines are concerning, it’s worth bearing in mind they only represent a small proportion of the UK population. In fact, another survey – by Kings College London – found that only 9% of people are actively resistant to lockdown, admitting they are less likely to follow the restrictions.
Categorising people into three groups – accepting, suffering and resisting – researchers found that 48% of people are following the rules and coping well, while 44% are overwhelmingly trying to obey all rules but struggling – often with loss of sleep, anxiety or depression.
And, even with the prospect of reduced restrictions on the horizon – according to reports – the vast majority of people are still wary about going back to normal life. A survey by Ipsos MORI released this morning found that more than 60% of people would be uncomfortable going out to bar and restaurants and using public transport.
The research suggested that people are obeying the rules not because of the government enforcements, but because they don’t want to catch or spread the virus.