North Wales police commissioner criticises First Minister for not increasing coronavirus lockdown fines
The North Wales police and crime commissioner has criticised the First Minister for not increasing fines for those found breaking coronavirus lockdown rules.
Arfon Jones also called on Mark Drakeford to award police with powers to evict those not staying in primary residences.
Currently, fines in Wales begin at £60 and go up to £120 for repeat offenders. These fines can be reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.
However, fines in England now begin at £100, reduced to £50 if paid promptly, and can go up to £3,200 for repeat offenders.
Following representations made by chief constables to the Welsh Government asking for parity of fines with England, PCCs for all four forces will now be writing again, despite ministers in Cardiff stating they were not planning to change the fine system.
Mr Jones said: “We’ve long called for fines as a deterrent for people travelling into Wales and within Wales, but Mark Drakeford has declined to change the fines.
“The movement of people from more densely populated areas with higher infection rates to more rural communities is create un-needed tensions.
“It feels like communities in North Wales are being left behind and let down, and at a crucial time at that.
“The local population is understandably anxious about the prospect of rising infection rates, which is already predicted by the health board due to a later peak than in the more densely populated south of Wales. Our priority is to protect these communities.”
The Welsh Government has been asked to comment. A spokesperson is quoted on BBC Wales as saying: “We are not planning to change the fine system in Wales at the moment but we are keeping the matter under consideration.”
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