MORE than 100 people have been fined for breaching social distancing rules in Hampshire, according to latest figures.

Data released by the National Police Chief’s Council on Wednesday show that 103 people across the county have been fined for being in breach.

These numbers cover the two-and-a-half weeks between Friday, March 27, and Monday, April 13.

The county’s tally is higher than neighbouring Wiltshire (69 fines) but much lower than Sussex (169), Surrey (205) and Thames Valley (219).

And when population is factored into the equation, the rate of fines issued in Hampshire is even lower.

The county averaged 0.52 fines per 10,000 people, whereas that figure was 0.91 for Thames Valley, 0.96 for both Wiltshire and Sussex, and 1.72 for Surrey.

Nationally there have been more than 3,000 fines issued, with police in Lancashire handing out the most – 380 in total.

Breakdowns beyond county level have not yet been disclosed.

Hampshire Constabulary’s assistant chief constable, Scott Chilton, says the overall response to the government’s social distancing rules has been “fantastic” across the county so far.

He said: "Since the government restrictions were put in place, our officers have been engaging with members of the public as part of their patrols.

“They have been explaining what is needed from the public and encouraging everyone to keep to the guidelines as this is the best way to protect the NHS and save lives.

“Overall the response from the public has been fantastic and we would like to thank people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight for working with us during these uncertain times.

"As shown in the data released today, there have been some instances across our districts where officers have needed to take action against those refusing to comply. It is crucial that we continue to do this.

“For some, we are aware that being at home presents a heightened risk of domestic abuse. I would again like to remind those who are suffering that we are here for them and that they shouldn’t hesitate to call us.”