Claims that holiday home owners are travelling overnight to avoid police patrols
Holiday home owners have been travelling to north Wales at night to avoid being detected by police, a North Wales MP has claimed.
Despite the urging of local authorities and government for all non-urgent travel to be restricted, concerns have been raised that some tourists have been flouting the partial lockdown aimed towards slowing down the spread of covid-19.
On Anglesey, this has led to calls for the military to be deployed to assist police in clamping down on unnecessary travel to the island.
But on the other side of the Menai Strait, concerns have been raised that communities in parts of south Gwynedd have also experienced an influx of visitors to their second homes.
Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts alleged that some had been known to have “shared tips” to try and dodge the police patrols that have been put in place, including travelling in overnight.
“Police are doing the best they can with the resources available to them and are asking local people for any reports of these travelling to such accomodation to contact them via email or webchat,” she said.
“But we also have people with holiday homes sharing advice with each other to travel at night to avoid the police, and even those who don’t care if they’re fined – they’ve set out and want to arrive.
“To those thinking of doing this, the rules are there for a reason. There are no exceptions in a pandemic.
“In south Gwynedd we don’t have the sufficient medical resources to cope with extra people and in regards to the shops, we don’t have the supplies to be able to cope.
“I call on Welsh Government to act and define self catering businesses as workplaces which would then give police the powers to close them down.”
Superintendent Richie Green, of North Wales Police, added that teams would continue to patrol the region and border areas to establish the purpose of people’s journeys.
“Teams are out and about and our officers will continue to engage with people, establish their individual circumstances and will continue to explain the risks and warn of the consequences of failing to comply with the guidance,” he said.
“We continue to ask people to consider whether their journey is essential. We all have a shared responsibility to protect the NHS, please use your common sense and help us together to save lives.”
Acknowledging that asking people not to visit the region was “unbelievable”, the chair of the North Wales Tourism Forum stressed the need to comply with regulations.
“We are living in a period of national emergency,” said Michael Bewick.
“I’m sure that I can speak on behalf of the whole sector when I thank people for staying away, for staying at their main home and by saying that we look forward to welcoming you back to North Wales – in the future.”
By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter
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