Which coronavirus (COVID-19) offences are local authorities in England authorised to prosecute?

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Produced in partnership with Philip Rule
Published on LexisPSL on 10/12/2020

The following Corporate Crime Q&A produced in partnership with Philip Rule provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Which coronavirus (COVID-19) offences are local authorities in England authorised to prosecute?
  • Designation letter
  • Separate regime for the Third Regulations
  • Provisions of the LA Enforcement Powers Regulations

This question is answered in relation to the law applying in England, given the separate regimes for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The answer only relates to the powers of local authorities to prosecute, not to the separate matter of who may issue Fixed Penalty Notices, or take other enforcement measures (save for those within the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No 3) Regulations 2020 (the Third Regulations), SI 2020/750 and the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Local Authority Enforcement Powers and Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 (the LA Enforcement Powers Regulations), SI 2020/1375, considered below).

The principal regulations providing for offences relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions contain, or have contained, identical provisions that ‘proceedings for an offence under these Regulations may be brought by the Crown Prosecution Service and any person designated by the Secretary of State’—currently, this is the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations (the All Tiers Regulations), SI 2020/1374, reg 13. As far as prosecutions under the previous regulations are concerned, a corresponding provision is contained in each of the tier-level and earlier national regulations issued over the course of 2020, save for the Third Regulations addressed below.

By the All Tiers Regulations, SI 2020/1374, Sch 5 Pt 2, para 5, designations made or treated as made by the Secretary of State in exercise of the designation powers in certain previous

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