A department store in Middlesbrough fined £17,000 for breaching lockdown rules

TJ Hughes department store in Middlesbrough fined £17,000 for breaching lockdown rules covid coronavirus
The department store in question is TJ Hughes, according to multiple news reports.
// Middlesbrough Council slaps town centre department store with £17,000 in fines for breaching lockdown rules
// The council did not name the department store, but it’s believed to be TJ Hughes in Captain Cook Square
// Four town centre phone retailers in Middlesbrough have also received fines

A department store in Middlesbrough has closed after it was issued with £17,000 in fines for breaching England’s lockdown rules on non-essential retailers.

Middlesbrough Council did not name the town centre store which was issued with several fixed penalty notices and a prohibition notice for failing to close as required under Covid-19 regulations.

However, according to multiple news reports, the store in question is reportedly TJ Hughes in Captain Cook Square.


On Facebook, TJ Hughes’ Middlesbrough store announced that it had “voluntarily” decided to close “until further decisions are made”.

According to Middlesbrough Council, some of the retailer’s other stores elsewhere in the country could also face enforcement action.

Four town centre phone retailers in Middlesbrough have also received £1000 fixed penalty notices after they were observed selling directly from their premises.

Middlesbrough’s head of public protection Judith Hedgley said: “We have found a number of shops trading which are not essential retailers.

“In some cases they have tried to get around the restrictions by selling or claiming to sell a small amount of food, medicines or items that are actually essential.

“Some shops have even started to sell such items like face coverings then claiming they are essential on this basis.

“The laws are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“Middlesbrough’s infection rate is among the highest in the country.

“We must all follow the restrictions to stop the spread.”

Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston said: “Our town needs as short a period of lockdown as possible. The longer restrictions are in place the more damage they will cause.

“This is about protecting public health and also people’s livelihoods and futures.

“To everyone who is doing the right thing – thank you. To anyone ignoring the rules, please think about the impact your actions have on Middlesbrough.

“Council officers won’t hesitate to take enforcement action.”

Under current restrictions in England only essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, hardware stores and off-licences should be open, together with other permitted retail such as garden centres.

Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores and shops selling electronic goods and mobile phones, should be closed other than for click-and-collect.

with PA Wires

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  1. So they get fined while Marks and Spencer stores with Food Halls continue to trade as usual even though they could seal off the rest of the stores.
    One rule for some and another for others. I reported the Marks and Spencer store at Holmbush in Shoreham to the Sussex police – they told me they were allowed to open because of the food hall. I also reported this to my local MP Tim Laughton only to be advised “I am afraid this is one of the unfairnesses of the current complete lockdown and one reason why I voted against it.|”
    My advice to all the small retailers – start selling food!

  2. Telecommunications is an essential in lockdown. And since many phones and other telecoms devices are sold on “finance” of some sort, some element of customer “KYC”/loss prevention checks will be needed (and are not straightforward to do remotely, at least not for all customers). Also some amount of diagnosis/repair is needed and may not be practical to do remotely.


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