Posted: Tue 12th Jan 2021

Police say ‘no apology’ will be offered to people caught breaking Covid rules in firm rebuttal of local press story

North Wales news and information

Police have said that “no apology” will be offered to people caught breaking coronavirus rules in North Wales.

It follows Reach-owned North Wales Live publishing an article yesterday in which a “shocked mum” complained she was made to feel like a criminal after being “ambushed” by police and given a fine.

Having travelled from Colwyn Bay, the story alleges that she was stopped by an “unsympathetic WPC” (an outdated term used to refer to female police constables) as she led her two children down from Aber Falls, Abergwyngregyn, after a family walk on Saturday afternoon.

The unnamed mother also stated that “when speaking to the police officer, I wasn’t able to ask questions or explain my position. I was just given a fine.”

North Wales Police has responded to the article by reinforcing the message that people should start and finish their exercise from home, rather than drive to beauty spots in the region.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Harrison said: “In relation to the story around us issuing fines to people near Aber Falls who had travelled there to exercise from Colwyn Bay (a round trip of 30 miles), to be really clear, I have asked officers and staff to target those that who do not comply with the regulations.

“It is not acceptable to pick and choose the law you follow and the laws you don’t. Now is not the time to head up into the mountains or to enjoy scenic drives in the countryside.

“You must start and finish your exercise from the place where you live with very limited exceptions.

“Everyone knows there are regulations, so I offer no apology to anyone who is fined for not complying, and putting our community at risk. Nobody should be travelling unless absolutely essential.

“We will continue to enforce the regulations with absolute commitment at this time of very high infection rates. I am grateful for the hard work of my colleagues in the current environment, and also for the support of vast majority of the public.”

He concluded: “It is up to us all to do the right thing. People should not think of ways of circumventing the law and the police should not be needed to reinforce common sense.

“Policing will continue to do our bit, but everyone else needs to do theirs. Unless it is lawful to leave the place where you are living, please stay at home.”

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