Police say people breaching Covid restrictions in Wales ‘increasingly likely’ to be punished
Those breaching Covid Level 4 restrictions are increasingly likely to face fines as police continue to see many flouting the law by ignoring the legislation.
That is the message from North Wales Police after officers dealt with a substantial amount of people for breaching restrictions on non-essential travel over the weekend.
Patrols continued in popular hot spot areas across the region and people who were out ‘visiting’ and who had travelled by vehicle to places such as Snowdonia, Moel Fammau, Llangollen, Brenig, Wepre Park, Llandudno and Abergwyngregyn were stopped and reported for breaching Covid regulations.
Under the level four restrictions in place in Wales exercise should “start and finish from your home and you should exercise alone or with a member of your household or support bubble.”
In specific relation to exercise, the regulations say that no long journeys should be undertaken unless absolutely necessary.
Although officers will continue to apply the 4 E’s approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging – only then enforcing, the force will instruct officers to issue fines more quickly to anyone committing obvious, wilful and serious breaches.
Many of those were residents of north Wales – however officers also stopped groups from the Cheshire area who intended on climbing up Tryfan in the dark and with inappropriate clothing.
A woman from Staffordshire was also stopped in Prestatyn where she was ‘visiting the beach.’
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Harrison said: “We all know the law by now and know exactly what is the right thing to do. It is on every single news channel, radio bulletins and in the newspapers. There’s no escaping the fact that people have been told to stay home.
“It is not acceptable to pick and choose the law you follow and the laws you don’t. This is not a dress rehearsal and people will live and die on the actions we all choose.
“The restrictions to prevent the spread of Coronavirus are there to protect us all. Every single one of us – and it is vital that everyone takes personal responsibility by staying home unless they have a valid reason not to be there.
“Now is not the time to head up into the mountains or to enjoy scenic drives in the countryside. Exercise should start and finish from home – unless you have specific mobility issues where you can drive a short distance. Nobody should be travelling unless absolutely essential.
“As Police Officers our first duty is to preserve life. The critical situation our NHS colleagues are facing and the way the new virus variant moves through communities, means we can no longer spend our time explaining or encouraging people to follow rules where they are wilfully and dangerously breaching.
“If people continue to break the rules, putting themselves, their families and their communities at greater risk, our officers are ready to act robustly.
“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 continues regardless of the pandemic with officers responding to hundreds of emergency calls, searching for missing people, responding to calls in relation to violence in the home, dealing with drink and drug drivers and responding to road traffic collisions.
“Policing will continue to do our bit, but everyone else needs to do theirs. Unless it is for a valid reason please stay home.”
Yesterday Wrexham.com reported that North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Arfon Jones said that a new get tough approach is essential to crack down on Covid rule-breakers who are putting lives at risk.
He made the comments after “selfish” people flouted the regulations and flocked to beauty spots across the region.
Mr Jones said: “Unfortunately, there are far too many selfish people who are flouting the guidelines and they are turbo-charging the spread of this deadly virus.
“Their actions are totally irresponsible and life-threatening. If they have no regard for their own health, they should think of their loved ones.
“It is now time to forget the mantra of Engage, Encourage and Educate and focus on Enforcement so we can clamp down on the Covid rule breakers and prevent this reckless behaviour.
“The stay home and stay safe message is all more important because the new mutant strain of Covid-19 is even more infectious.”
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