GREATER Manchester Police (GMP) has handed out the second highest number of fines in the country for breaking coronavirus rules, figures have revealed.

Data published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) shows that GMP has dished out 2,183 fixed penalty notices (FPN) for breaching Covid-19 restrictions since the start of the pandemic.

Only Northumbria Police has issued more during the health crisis, with 3,034.

The statistics show that GMP has also given out the second highest number of FPNs during the three national lockdowns (380) and the most for breaking international travel rules (41).

The force has also issued the most FPNs when the government’s tiers rules have been in place (190).

Twelve notices have been dished out by GMP for large gatherings of more than 30 people, 58 have been handed out for breaking face coverings rules and 23 have been issued for breaching business regulations.

Across England and Wales, 32,329 FPNs have been recorded being given out between Friday, March 27, and Monday, December 21.

NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said: “Thank you to the vast majority of the public for sticking to the rules and following the guidance in place to limit the spread of the virus.

“It is vital that everyone continues to take personal responsibility by staying home unless they have a valid reason not to be there.

“I understand that this is not an easy request to be making but as we return to national restrictions, everyone must play their part in protecting the NHS and saving lives.

“Enforcement doesn’t and shouldn’t always equal police involvement or the issuance of a fixed penalty notice.

“Individuals, businesses and a range of agencies all have a responsibility to ensure the virus is suppressed, particularly now as we again see increased pressure on the health service.

“Those who blatantly ignore the regulations should expect to receive a fixed penalty notice and we’ll target our resources towards those who commit the most serious breaches and put others at risk through their behaviour.”