Posted: Mon 27th Apr 2020

North Wales police commissioner questions whether coronavirus fines are a sufficient deterrent and calls for lockdown to be extended

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Monday, Apr 27th, 2020

The North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner has questioned whether the current fines handed to people who breach the coronavirus lockdown rules are enough of a deterrent. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

The comments by Plaid Cymru’s Arfon Jones follow reports that some are beginning to ignore the restrictions by leaving their homes for non-essential purposes. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

This weekend police in North Wales highlighted a case where ten people from London travelled to the region to go walking in Snowdonia. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Fortunately they were intercepted and turned away, but Mr Jones has raised doubt over whether the fixed penalty notices are sufficient. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Speaking on Radio Wales Breakfast this morning, the former police inspector said: “We can debate all day long whether the fines are sufficient. The first time it’s £60, which is reduced to £30 if they pay within a fortnight. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

“If they commit a second offence it doubles to £120, but if you’re going to travel all the way from London then how much of a deterrent is that? ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

“We do try and encourage and educate people. It’s more than just fining them – it’s persuading people to do the right thing and the good news is that although the traffic is increasing, there has been a substantial decrease on previous years.” ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Mr Jones also used his interview to urge both the UK and Welsh Governments to extend the lockdown period beyond the early May Bank Holiday. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

He said he was “very concerned” about the possibility of the restrictions being eased before then and causing a second wave of the virus to spread across the country. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

He said: “Myself and Dafydd Llewelyn (Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner) went out publicly last weekend, pleading with both governments not to relax the lockdown until after the May 8th bank holiday weekend. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

“People will still make the most of a bank holiday and they will come out. I think the lockdown should be extended beyond that otherwise we may get a second wave of coronavirus infections.” ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​



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