A group of MPs have called for a review into Covid-19 fines handed out at the height of lockdown calling them 'muddled, discriminatory and unfair'.

Almost 2,000 fines were issued by police in West Mercia for breaches of Covid-19 laws over Christmas and the start of this year, figures show.

But, the approach by police has been called into question by MPs who, in calling for a review, have described the fines as "muddled, discriminatory and unfair".

In a report, the Joint Committee on Human Rights said the Coronavirus Act had been misunderstood and wrongly applied by police.

Harriet Harman, JCHR chair, said: “The police have had a difficult job in policing the pandemic.

"However, since January there have been greater numbers of FPNs as police move more quickly to enforcement action."

Coronavirus rules have changed at least 65 times since March 2020, providing 'obvious challenges for police', according to the report.

The report also said: "It is astonishing that the Coronavirus Act is still being misunderstood and wrongly applied by police to such an extent that every single criminal charge brought under the Act has been brought incorrectly."

Of the fines in West Mercia from March 27 last year to April 18 this year there were 343 for failing to wear a face covering when required, and nine for breaching international travel rules.

There were also 18 for breaking business regulations and two for holding a gathering of more than 30 people.

Chief Inspector Jessica Loxley-Clark of West Mercia Police said: “West Mercia Police, together with other forces across the country, has and continues to follow the four Es approach to policing the coronavirus regulations of Engage, Explain, Encourage and where necessary Enforce.

“The number of fines processed have been going down in recent weeks, which is to be expected as restrictions are lifted following the full lockdown just after Christmas."

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the majority of people who have abided by the regulations and to ask that they continue to do so as we move along the roadmap out of lockdown.

“However, where there is a blatant breach, such as a large indoor gathering, we will not hesitate in moving straight to enforcement.”