POLICE DROP FINES AGAINST GROUP PAINTING AT VENTNOR FOOTBALL CLUB

£600 of fines levied against a group of people volunteering their time to redecorate Ventnor Football Club have been officially dropped, Police have confirmed.

As first reported by Island Echo yesterday (Sunday), the group of 6 volunteers were each slapped with a £100 fine whilst giving Ventnor FC a spruce up, with claims a disgruntled dog walker reported them to the authorities.

It was said at the time that Police told them the volunteering work being carried out was not essential maintenance and therefore did not qualify as being permitted under the coronavirus regulations.

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Hampshire Constabulary has today confirmed the full circumstances of the situation and has said that all 6 fines have been torn up.

A spokesperson for the force has said:

“We were called to the sports centre on Whitwell Road, Ventnor, at around 4pm on Saturday 27 February, after reports of a gathering of people drinking inside.

“Six men were initially reported for summons by the attending officer in relation to fixed penalty notices for suspected breaches of the current Health Protection Regulations by gathering. The men were compliant and left the premises.

“Subsequent enquiries have confirmed that the football club had been aware that the men were undertaking voluntary work, which is covered as an exemption to the regulations, to maintain the buildings in support of grass roots football. The men were taking a break when an officer attended.

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“Based on the new information that has been confirmed the men will no longer face fixed penalty notices.

“We would like to remind the public that while the current national restrictions are in place until at least the end of March, people are advised to stay indoors and only leave for essential reasons. This includes leaving home for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where it isn’t reasonably possible to do so from home”.

A fundraiser was set up to help pay the group’s fines, with the money now set to be donated to Ventnor Football Club. To date over £800 has been raised.

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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box
6 months ago

About time too, should never even have been fined.

Truth
Truth
Reply to  Jack in the Box
6 months ago

Vee have vays of making you pay….

Bert
Bert
6 months ago

Well pathetic really, when police anouce no fines to be imposed now, to difficult to police.

Level Phil
Level Phil
6 months ago

The Old Bill have gone even further down in my estimation as a result of this. They should make a public apology, and then fine the ‘stool pigeon’ dog walker.

Lady Dunstanding
Lady Dunstanding
6 months ago

Begrudgingly, I have to agree that the volunteers involved were guilty of non essential activities. Unfortunately Her Majesty’s boys in blue are not so quick to pop around to all the estate agents in Ventnor who are actively inciting, and inviting, people from the mainland to break the law every day. Moving house is a legitimate reason for travel. Making a day of it on the Isle of Wight to view properties one may like to buy to make upwards of a grand a week is not permitted. Still, the main estate agents locally have threatened their employees with the sack, or never buying a house again! Fact. Island’s oldest agent’s employee told me that.

Nick Rowe
Nick Rowe
Reply to  Lady Dunstanding
6 months ago

Stop whinging a get on with YOUR own life.

Rebel
Rebel
6 months ago

Told you all, unlawful! This whole thing is wrong, trying to police with fear not law!

Ben
Ben
6 months ago

Imagine if this fine was given to a poor old person they would have just payed it and not gone to the press so that would have been robbery by the police

Adrian Moran
Adrian Moran
6 months ago

My only question is, was the maintenance essential ? If it wasn’t, then they were in effect breaking the law. But as most people and businesses here only appear pay lip service to the current regulations it all becomes rather academical.

Russell Obbs
Russell Obbs
Reply to  Adrian Moran
6 months ago

Unless the maintenance had to be conducted immediately to avoid a serious event, then it could be easily be challenged that it was not essential. However, many permissible activities are also unessential, resulting in confusion for our Constabulary. They need to employ their gray matter and assess if the activity concerned is likely to result in an increase of coronavirus transmission.

Steve Clark
Steve Clark
Reply to  Adrian Moran
6 months ago

I checked the regulation. The voluntary work itself doesn’t need to be essential. Leaving home has to be for necessary reasons or one of the listed exceptions. Voluntary work is one of the listed exceptions and leaving home to do it is allowed if the voluntary work can’t be done from home.

Just Sayin’
Just Sayin’
6 months ago

So common sense prevails. Now is it possible to charge the dog walker with wasting police time. A real offence that needs to be investigated or perhaps the dog walker could make a public apology then a line could be drawn under the whole thing.

Nick Rowe
Nick Rowe
Reply to  Just Sayin’
6 months ago

Dog walker is probably out looking for someone else to report. Complete sado

Nick Rowe
Nick Rowe
6 months ago

What are all the people going to do after lockdown when there are no people to report? I bet they will all buy dash cams and drive round the island filming until they get a law breaker. Then upload to the police state web site.

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