Posted: Tue 28th Apr 2020

Coronavirus breach tip offs account for one in three police calls in North Wales

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Apr 28th, 2020

Tip offs about people flouting coronavirus lockdown rules account for one in three phone calls received by North Wales Police during the current pandemic, it’s been revealed. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

According to the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner, concerned members of the public in the region have been keeping an eye out for those breaching the restrictions against non-essential travel. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Arfon Jones also disclosed that the typical offences officers are dealing with have changed as shoplifting and burglaries decrease. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

But he said the level of demand North Wales Police was encountering had remained the same. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Speaking on Radio Wales Breakfast yesterday, he said: “It’s fair to say about a third of the calls we get are concerned with breaches of coronavirus regulations. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

“The demand on policing has changed as obviously the traditional crimes like burglary and shoplifting have gone down because the opportunities are reduced with shops being closed and people being home. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

“Overall, the demand hasn’t reduced on the police, it’s just changed and we’re dealing with far more complaints from neighbours that people are breaching non-essential travel.” ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

A large amount of frustration has been voiced during the COVID-19 crisis about people visiting second homes in the region. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Last week, the Welsh Government said it would impose stricter clampdowns on such activity, but was later accused of “rowing back” on the promise. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Mr Jones admitted that whilst police have the power to stop those in the process of travelling to holiday homes, the solutions available to them once they arrive there are minimal. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

He said: “Tensions are still high around second homes, but once someone arrives at their second home, we’re very restricted in what we can do. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

“We’ve got to turn people round before they get there really. Travelling to a second home is not essential travel, so people that do it are actually breaching the regulations. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

“If they are detected or caught, we will turn them around and they may possibly be fined.” ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

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