PEOPLE out on non-essential journeys have been ordered to go home by police on COVID-19 patrols in Dudley.

Officers from the Dudley Town policing unit told "a number of individuals out on non-essential journeys" to go home while out on patrol in the town centre and around open spaces.

They were out checking the area on the evening of Thursday (January 7).

They tweeted: "Officers were out last night patrolling Dudley Town Centre and all open spaces as part of COVID patrols.

"A number of individuals were out on non essential journeys and were directed to go home! LF #lockdown #protectlives @DudleyInspector."

They did not issue fines.

In Bromsgrove, however police did issue fines when they found a group of 15 people who had met up in a park. See here for details. 

Under lockdown people must stay at home whenever possible, except for when there is a “reasonable excuse”.

These reasons include work, volunteering, food shopping, exercise or medical reasons.

If the police catch someone leaving their home without what is classed as a “reasonable excuse” a fine can be imposed.

These fines are called fixed penalty notices.

The cost of a first offence is £200, which is lowered to £100 if paid within 14 days, and £400 for a second offence.