FIVE people in Chippenham were given £200 Covid fines by police after being caught breaching lockdown rules on Saturday evening.

Officers attended a house in Curlew Drive, Chippenham, where five people aged between 23 and 55 were issued with fines.

Police also issued fines and warnings to people in four separate incidents in Swindon.

Now officers have warned people to stick to the Covid lockdown restrictions still in place.

Latest figures show that between February 22 and 28 Wiltshire Police issued 59 fixed penalty notices. This brings the overall total to 696, including FPNs issued retrospectively.

They also issued 93 formal warnings, recorded 357 reports from members of the public, and recorded three Covid-related crimes and 38 Covid-related incidents.

On Friday night, officers were called to a property in Bembridge Close, Swindon, where they found five adults, a teenager and two young children present. All the adults, aged between 24 and 33, were given £200 fines.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, officers went to a house in Whitehead Street, Swindon, and fined five adults, aged between 21 and 27.

Later that evening, police attended a house in Raleigh Avenue, Swindon, where five 18-year-olds were fined and two 17-year-olds were given warnings.

Police also went to a property in Curlew Drive, in Chippenham, where five people aged between 23 and 55 were issued with fines.

On Sunday morning, officers responded to reports of a disorder at a property in Kirkstall Close, Swindon, and found a group of people who had been celebrating upcoming birthdays. Six people, aged between 20 and 56, were fined £200.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said: “Last week’s announcement from the Prime Minister, which highlighted the positive news about the battle against Covid-19 and the potential for restrictions to be lifted over the coming months, has given many people a much-needed boost.

“However, it seems that a combination of that, and other factors over the weekend such as the warmer weather, have prompted some to inadvertently believe they had been given the green-light to start socialising again.

“In fact, the very opposite is true. The Prime Minister has made it clear that the roadmap relies on keeping cases down and we all need to continue to show restraint if we are going to see a return to normal by the summer.

“We all need to remember that we are currently still in lockdown and the stay at home message remains the same.

“As the examples from the weekend show, if we receive information that you are breaking the rules then we will take action and you should expect to receive a fine.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said the Government was now focusing on reminding people that, despite the planned roadmap out of lockdown, it was important to remain cautious.

He said: “As we have seen recently in Swindon, the pandemic is far from over and we can very easily see cases begin to rise if we lose focus or start socialising again too quickly. Please make sure you are doing all you can to keep everyone safe.”