While the vast majority of residents in Berkshire have followed lockdown restrictions over the past year, many have defied them and been handed fines.

But MPs and peers are calling for a review of fines issued during the pandemic because they think they're “muddled, discriminatory and unfair”.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) said the system “criminalises the poor over the better-off” and no Covid-19 fine should result in a criminal record.

READ MORE: The Berkshire streets with the most recorded car crimes

Committee chairman Harriet Harman said: “Swift action to make restrictions effective is essential in the face of this terrible virus.

“But the Government needs to ensure that rules are clear, enforcement is fair and that mistakes in the system can be rectified.

“None of that is the case in respect of Covid-19 fixed penalty notices.”

So we've taken a look at some of the fines handed out to residents in Berkshire last month.

ALSO READ: Latest Covid case figures in Berkshire - three areas on the rise

Failing to self isolate on return from non-exempt country

A Newbury man was fined £1,200 after failing to self isolate upon returning from a non-expempt country.

Artur Kunkiel, 35, of Warwick Drive in Newbury, admitted failing to follow guidelines of 14 days isolation after returning from Poland on October 27, 2020.

At a court hearing on April 16, 2021, he was fined £1,200. Kenkiel was also ordered to pay £120 victim surcharge and £90 court costs.

Royal Borough Observer:

Being outside without a reasonable excuse 

Coste Flaviu, 29, of Donnington Road, Reading, was ordered to pay a £60 fine for being outside his house without having a 'reasonable excuse'. 

Under strict lockdown measures, residents were only allowed to go outside for essential reasons, such as for food or medical reasons or they cannot work from home.

Flaviu pleaded guilty at Reading Magistrates' Court on Friday, March 19. He was ordered to pay the £60 fine and a £34 victim surcharge.

Travelling 123 miles to Devon

Royal Borough Observer:

Andrew Swales, of Crookham Common Road in Thatcham, was brought before the courts for travelling to Devon despite lockdown restrictions in place at the time.

The 36 year old was caught out in Sampford Peverell, Tiverton - 123-miles from his home - on May 8, 2020, without reasonable excuse.

Swales pleaded guilty at a hearing in November 2020 and was ordered to pay £100 fine, £34 victim surcharge and £90 court costs.

Indoor gathering of more than two people

One man from Slough was ordered to pay a £1,760 fine for meeting up with two or more people indoors in Perrycroft, Windsor, on November 9, 2020.

Anthony Gardener, 42, of London Road in Datchet, was hit with the fine and also ordered to pay £176 victim surcharge and £90 court costs at a court hearing on March 26.

Being outside without a reasonable excuse

Another person, this time fined hundreds of pounds, convicted of ignoring lockdown restrictions was Richard McDonald.

The 32 year old, of Scholars Close in Caversham, admitted leaving or being outside without a reasonable excuse in Rembrandt Way on January 25, 2021. 

He was fined £200, and must also pay a £4 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

Failed to wear a face mask while using public transport

Royal Borough Observer:

A fine of hundreds of pounds was dished out to Drilon Xhebexhia, of Buckingham Gardens in Slough, for not complying with covid regulations.

The 26 year old was convicted at a hearing on April 1, 2021, of failing to wear a face covering when using Trasnport for London services on November 30, 2020.

He was fined £660, and must also pay £66 victim surcharge and £225 court costs.

Other breaches

Thames Valley Police issued three fines to people for failing to self-isolate after arriving from a country on the quarantine list in October last year.

Data published by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) showed three fines were recorded by Thames Valley Police between March 27 and September 21 for people failing to self-isolate for two weeks after returning from abroad.

And in May 2020, figures showed more than 600 fines were handed to people in the Thames Valley for flouting Covid-19 lockdown laws.

At the time, police forces were given powers to hand out a £60 penalty, reduced to £30 if paid within two weeks, for breaches of the lockdown rules.

Data published by the NPCC showed 649 fixed penalty notices were recorded by Thames Valley Police between March 27 and April 27 last year.

In January, the BFP reported that almost 1,000 fines were handed out by police for breaches of Covid-19 laws in Thames Valley since they came into force.

NPCC data showed a total of 965 FPNs were issued by Thames Valley Police between March 27 and December 20.