Police found 1,500 breaches of Covid rules on New Year

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The State Police have identified more than 1,500 violations of the emergency restrictions on New Year's Eve and have also imposed substantial fines, Latvian Radio reported January 1.

Nearly 2,000 police officers, border guards and national guardsmen monitored the curfew on New Year's Eve. In many cases of rule-breaking, a warning was issued but more than 1,000 administrative proceedings have also been initiated. Penalties of €300, €500, €1,000 and even €2,000 were also imposed, state police spokeswoman Simona Grāvīte said.

Throughout the night, law enforcement officers identified many gatherings, particularly among young people.

The reasons for failure to comply with the restrictions were different: some claimed to have not known about them, others expressed their opinion that they were not subject to restrictions. Many also tried to break the ban on pyrotechnic use in public places.

"It was noted that some of the residents had attempted to shoot fireworks before 22 o'clock, or had done so in the area of private houses where it was permitted. But individuals have also done it in the backyards of apartment buildings, while also looking for solutions to do it unnoticed, such as quickly running out of the house, setting up fireworks and running back."

"In one case, police identified a person shooting fireworks out of a moving car in Riga. In the context of this case, an administrative infringement process has been initiated," Grāvīte said.

Quite frequently during the night the police encountered aggressive persons who tried to argue and even physically attack officers. In these cases, administrative and criminal proceedings have been initiated, said Grāvīte.

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