Police threaten to fine families £200 if children break 'rule of six'

Police threaten to fine families £200 if children break 'rule of six'

October 22, 2020

School tells parents police will FINE them £200 if their children break ‘rule of six’ while waiting to be picked up from school

  • Pupils from St Anne’s Catholic School, Southampton, were waiting yesterday
  • They congregated at a nearby park following the school’s early 2.25pm finish
  • Group were approached by PCSO officers who said they were ‘slow to disperse’ 
  • Officers warned their parents could be slapped with £200 fines ‘in the future’

Police officers have threatened to fine the families of school children who broke the rule of six while waiting to be picked up after school. 

Pupils from St Anne’s Catholic School, Southampton, were waiting for their parents at a nearby park following the school’s early 2.25pm finish on Wednesday.

The group were approached by police community support officers who said they were ‘slow to disperse’ and warned their parents could be slapped with £200 fines ‘in the future’.

Initially, headteacher James Rouse told parents the fines were already imposed – sparking panic. 

But, he later clarified that the penalties were threats and the message the school received from the PCSOs ‘was a warning that they would rather than a statement that they had’.

Earlier this month, the Prime Minister’s deputy spokesman said the ‘rule of six’ – banning groups of more than six from gathering indoors and out – does involve children. 

Police officers have threatened to fine the families of pupils at Anne’s Catholic School, Southampton (file image, pictured) who broke the rule of six while waiting to be picked up after school

They also said parents would face fines of up to £200 for exceeding this number when taking children out – including when trick-or-treating this Halloween.

The spokesperson said: ‘The Rule of Six is clear, it includes children. We are asking people not to meet in groups of six or more.’

They added: ‘It is correct parents will be fined if children meet in groups of more than six children.’ 

St Anne’s Catholic School’s headteacher Mr Rouse said the ‘message remains’ that everyone must abide by the rules and ‘this extends to young people as well as adults’.

He said today: ‘The PCSOs were warning us that they would impose fines in future if students were failing to follow the rule of six.

‘We understood the message to mean that they were fining students that they had asked to disperse yesterday.’

He added: ‘They wanted us to simply remind parents and students of the rule of six and that there was always the risk of fines for people congregating in a group larger than that. 

‘There was some initial misunderstanding and communication by the school that fines had been given, whereas it was quickly understood that, in fact, they had not. We corrected that with parents this morning.’

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