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Curfew violators are not tolerated anymore, police say

It has been six nights in total that curfew from 22:00 to 5:00 has been imposed in Latvia. However, according to the Latvian Television camera crew,  there are still people who believe that these rules do not apply to them, LTV reported January 10.

LTV camera crew accompanied Rīga Municipal Police on their patrol a little past ten o'clock in the evening. Compared to the New Year's Eve, the streets are much emptier. Around 22:30, some are rushing home from work, but they all have documents of proof.

A couple have taken their dog out near their residence past curfew. Police do not disturb them. A driver has been looking for a parking space until late, but he also has all documents in order.

The courtyard on Salnas Street where a huge party with fireworks broke out on New Year's Eve is now empty and quiet. Only a lone smoker by the door who disappears inside when police approach.

The closer to midnight, the more specific explanations people try to find to justify their presence on the street. One says he forgot his key and couldn't get home. Another claims to have lost his hat.

The police don't really believe these explanations. If on the first nights violators could still slip by with a warning, now the forgetful hat-and-key-seekers face hefty fines.

"It is much quieter now, but there are individual cases of people moving, saying they know nothing or some excuse. Penalties are now applied more and more, so that those violators who do not comply with the rules may have the chance to reflect," said Aigars Kalējs, Rīga Municipal Police officer.

In total over the weekend police in Latvia have stopped more than 12 500 people on the streets. The vast majority of moves were justified, a preventive warning was issued in 2,500 cases, and in around 1000 cases penalties were imposed, including the maximum fine of €2,000.

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