First £10,000 fine issued as Council continues Covid enforcement
Sheffield City Council has issued the first £10,000 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) to a business repeatedly breaching Covid-19 restrictions, as Covid enforcement continues across the city.
The fine was handed to Speedy Car Wash on Sheffield Road in Tinsley, after they were caught opening during lockdown for the fourth time. Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) of £1,000, £2,000 and £4,000 have already been issued to the business following complaints that they were operating as a non-essential business.
The premises is under further monitoring and the council is seeking an application for notice to close. If the outstanding fines are not paid the owner may be prosecuted.
7 other fines were given to businesses, during the last two weeks, for operating outside of lockdown rules including other car washes, hairdressers and gyms.
The Council’s health protection officers, wardens and enforcement officers work across the city to make sure people and businesses adhere to Covid-19 restrictions, helping to keep people safe and prevent transmission of the virus.
Visits are made in response to complaints and as part of planned work to support businesses and monitor known problem areas.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 3,400 reports of non-compliant premises or Covid related complaints have been made.
During this time council officers have made more than 8,300 visits to advise and support businesses across the city and check they are compliant with Covid regulations. In the last two weeks alone more than 200 visits have taken place to various types of businesses.
In total, more than 450 warning letters have been sent and 37 FPNs and 15 Prohibition Notices (orders to close) served to non-compliant businesses.
As well as enforcement and advice to businesses, officers also visit households and public places such as parks to prevent gatherings and social interaction outside of Government restrictions.
Last week Council officers visited a property in Page Hall which had been reported as holding frequent parties, continually playing loud music. During the operation, which was supported by South Yorkshire Police, a range of musical equipment was seized to prevent further incidents.
Councillor Mark Jones, Cabinet Member for Environment, Streetscene and Climate Change, said:
“We take our duty to protect the public and prevent the spread of Covid-19 very seriously.
“I understand that it’s a really hard time for businesses, but it’s essential that we all uphold the rules so that we can get out of this situation. We will take action against those who show no regard for the legislation and use the powers at our disposal to put a stop to them. Their actions undermine the sacrifices made by all other compliant businesses in the city.
“Our officers are working extremely hard, day and night, every day of the week, to keep people safe and we can’t allow the few to set us all back in our continued efforts to control virus transmission.
“The number of complaints we are receiving each week demonstrates that most people are playing their part and do not condone these breaches, we are very grateful to everyone who helps us with this intelligence and encourage others to report any issues.”
Follow up visits are made to businesses found to be breaching restrictions. Further action can be taken against those who continue to operate outside of restrictions and those who refuse to pay the fines, including notices to close and prosecution.
During the national lockdown only essential shops and services can remain open. People are reminded that they should stay at home other than for work, education, medical appointments, essential shopping and exercise.
Issues relating to non-compliance and breaches in businesses can be reported at firstname.lastname@example.org