Council asks public to report Covid-19 rule-breakers
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
Senior council figures have asked the public to be their “eyes and ears” as enforcement against businesses breaching the coronavirus regulations steps up.
Wrexham Council has been carrying out checks to ensure companies are complying with rules to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Supermarkets have been a particular area of focus after the Welsh Government tightened restrictions, making it illegal for stores not to have things like social distancing signs in place.
The local authority also issued fines of £1,000 to two businesses in the town centre last week for what it described as “a blatant disregard for the law”.
It came after a barbers shop and beauticians were both found to be open and serving customers during the current lockdown.
Council leader Mark Pritchard said residents had been supportive of the authority’s efforts and urged them to continue reporting breaches.
‘Eyes and ears’
He said: “I think it’s important really that the people of Wrexham are our eyes and ears.
“They have been in touch with us and are telling us these businesses, individuals or companies are not complying.
“The people of Wrexham won’t put up with it as they’ve sacrificed so much during this difficult time and then some individuals and companies flout the regulations.
“It’s the people of Wrexham who are hitting back and that’s why we’re having the prosecutions.”
Public protection officers and police officers in Wrexham have said they will not hesitate to issue fines to people who fail to follow the rules.
Business owners who stay open when required to close face a £1,000 fine on the first occasion they’re caught, rising to £10,000 for subsequent incidents.
Cllr Hugh Jones, lead member for public protection, said: “In terms of the Welsh Government policy of strengthening regulations around supermarkets and retail premises, our public protection team has this week been stepping up visits to premises to ensure that there is compliance.
“By and large, the majority of them thankfully are complying.
“We’ve had a number of incidents where members of the public have given us the heads up, where there have been one or two issues.
“We’ve spoken to the relevant businesses and they’ve taken the appropriate action necessary.”