Martin EvansThu, 11 February 2021, 7:42 pm
Police have been forced to apologise after a woman was cautioned and issued with a fine for driving seven miles to take her young daughter for a walk on the beach.
The incident occurred as officers from Merseyside’s Covid-19 unit were patrolling the area around Crosby.
The officers, who were being filmed by a local television news crew, were checking car number plates to ascertain where motorists had travelled from.
After establishing that the owner of one vehicle lived seven miles away, they approached her and asked what she was doing in the area.
The woman explained that she had finished work and was taking her young daughter for a walk on the beach.
But despite the fact the law does not stipulate how far you are allowed to travel to take exercise, the woman was issued with a fixed penalty notice.
The officer could also be heard on camera cautioning the woman, which is not necessary as the breach is not an arrestable offence.
The incident took place on January 25, but last night Merseyside Police said the fine had been withdrawn and apologised to the woman for not telling her sooner.
A spokesman for the force said the officer had changed his mind about issuing a ticket to the woman after he returned to the station.
The spokesman said: “On reflection he decided not to proceed with it as he felt that the words of advice that had been given to this lady were sufficient.
“As such the lady will not have received a fine, and we are contacting her inform her that this is why she won’t have received anything in the post. We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to her for not having advised her of this sooner.”
The force did not explain why the woman had been cautioned when she was issued with the fine.
Guidance issued to forces by the National Police Chiefs’ Council states: “The Covid regulations which officers enforce and which enables them to issue FPNs [fixed penalty notices] for breaches, do not restrict the distance travelled for exercise.”