69 of the 88 drivers stopped by South Wales Police yesterday had to be warned that they were travelling unnecessarily under Wales’ Covid-19 restrictions, the force have said.
Under Welsh Government Alert Level 4 in Wales, the public are expected to stay at home and not travel without a reasonable excuse.
“In the past week alone, we’ve carried out 840 stops – including 88 yesterday which resulted in 69 warnings and four fixed penalties being issued for breaches of the travel regulations,” South Wales Police said.
“These checks ascertain the reason for travel and are being carried out to support the national effort to help slow the spread of the virus and assist in enforcing the restrictions.
“We will continue to adopt the national four Es approach – engaging with the public, explaining the restrictions and encouraging voluntary compliance. However, those believed to be in blatant breach of the rules can expect to be subject to enforcement action. The powers will continued to be used in the coming days.”
It comes as police in mid-Wales say they pulled over three 4×4 vehicles which had travelled to south Wales from the West Midlands on the same day.
Officers from Dyfed Powys Police stopped the three 4x4s in Brecon on Tuesday night. The occupants had spent the day off-roading in mid-Wales and were on their way back when officers spoke to them, they said.
Four people were subsequently reported for breaching the coronavirus regulations currently in place in Wales which prohibit non-essential travel.
The Powys Roads Policing team tweeted: “Three vehicles stopped in Brecon this evening from the West Midlands area. All were 4×4 vehicles that had been off roading in mid Wales today. Four persons reported for breaching Covid-19 regulations.”
Yesterday Emergency Services and National Park Authorities had to warn tourists away from Wales’ mountains – as police revealed that some had travelled from as far as London.
Dyfed Powys Police said there were a couple of hundred vehicles in the Brecon Beacons area today. Snowdonia National Park Authority also posted pictures of full car parks, saying that no one should travel to the area.
Both Wales and the South-East of England are under both countries’ strictest restrictions, with the rules saying no one should travel unless absolutely necessary.
Inspector Andrew Williams, from Dyfed-Powys Police’s specialist operations (RPU) team, said: “Officers have spoken to one man who had driven from Hertfordshire to walk up Pen y Fan, while a minibus of people from mixed households had travelled from Cheltenham.
“Fixed penalty notices have and will be issued to those blatant breaches where engagement fails, but the vast majority of people are listening to advice and when they are turning up and seeing RPU vehicles at the site, they are turning around and going home – which is the objective of our high visibility patrols.”