HAMPSHIRE police have slapped residents with more than 250 coronavirus fines since the start of the pandemic.

Between March 27 and September 21 they dished out a total of 253 fines to rule-breakers.

Figures published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed which forces were more likely to hand out penalties.

Their statistics show that Hampshire police are in fact one of the forces least likely to hand out fines for lockdown breaches.

The number of fines given works out at just 0.1274 per 1,000 population

Meanwhile, the three forces in England and Wales that issued the highest number of fixed penalty notices per 1,000 population were Dyfed Powys with 3.34, followed by Cumbria with 1.46, and North Yorkshire with 1.4.

The three forces at the bottom of the table were Staffordshire police with 0.038, Kent Police with 0.07 and Warwickshire with 0.11.

Human rights lawyer Kirsty Brimelow told the Independent, which first carried out the analysis using different population figures to the PA news agency: “Your treatment by the police should not be dependent upon your postcode.

“It is likely that the arbitrary results reflect the leadership given to the particular police force.

“We’ve seen many examples of police chiefs signalling tough action, which went beyond their powers.”

According to analysis by PA using 2018 police force area population totals published by the ONS, fine rates in some parts of England with additional restrictions in place remained below average.

Greater Manchester (0.163, 31st), West Midlands (0.13, 37th) and Northumbria (0.19, 29th) were all in the lower half of the rankings, while Durham (0.28, 21st) and West Yorkshire (18th, 0.33) were near the middle.

However, Lancashire (0.55) and Cleveland (0.52) came in seventh and eighth place respectively.

In Wales, which has its own lockdown rules, North Wales was in fifth place with 0.68, South Wales in 25th with 0.23 and Gwent in 27th with 0.22.