Huge rise in maximum fine for breaking lockdown rules in Wales to almost £2,000

Picture by Gwent Police @gpoperations / Twitter

The maximum fine for repeated breaches of the coronavirus lockdown rules in Wales will rise from £120 to £1,920, First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today.

The increased fines are being introduced ahead of the bank holiday weekend and they follow a request from the four police forces in Wales and the Police and Crime Commissioners for increased penalties to help deter people from repeatedly breaching the stay-at-home regulations.

Evidence from the four police forces show a small minority of people are breaking the coronavirus regulations, particularly by traveling to well-known beauty spots throughout Wales, even though they have been closed since the end of March.

Announcing the changes to the fines structure, which will come into force on Friday, First Minister, Mark Drakeford said: “I am very grateful to the chief constables and our Police and Crime Commissioners for all the work they have done to keep Wales safe throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“The police have adopted a ‘4Es’ approach to the regulations – they have engaged people, explained what they need to do and encouraged them to comply. But when people haven’t responded, they have used their powers to enforce the regulations.

“Fines are a last resort in the enforcement of the regulations which keep us all safe.

“The evidence from the chief constables and Police and Crime Commissioners shows we need a stronger fines structure to deter that small minority of people who persistently fail to keep to the rules.”

 

‘Stay home’

Evidence from the four police forces and Police and Crime Commissioners shows more than 1,300 fixed penalty notices have been issued since the lockdown restrictions were introduced at the end of March.

The existing fines structure, which imposed a £60 fine for a first offence rising to £120 for a second and subsequent offences, will be replaced by a new structure in which the fines double for every offence – rising from £60 to £120 to £1,920 for the sixth offence.

The First Minister added: “As we approach the bank holiday weekend, we continue to ask people to stay at home to protect themselves and their loved ones from coronavirus. If they are exercising – please stay safe and stay local.

“I want to thank everyone for their continuing support in reducing the spread of coronavirus in Wales – by sticking to the rules, we are all helping to protect each other and our NHS and we are saving lives.

“These changes will send a strong signal to the small minority of people who are blatantly ignoring the rules and undermining the efforts of everybody else who are doing the right thing.”

New regulations to increase the fines will be laid in the Senedd on Thursday and will come into force on Friday.

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Simon GruffyddJohnny GambleEifionJohn EllisRapsgaliwn Recent comment authors
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John Lumley
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John Lumley

Welcomed increases for repeat offenders but one off not a deterent Should have increased first offence to £120 at least.

Will this be widely publicised in the Gutter Press in England?

Owain Glyndwr
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Owain Glyndwr

I am going to email the filth (the sun)

Rapsgaliwn
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Rapsgaliwn

I agree, the initial fine should be far larger. really hurt their pockets, perhaps including the confiscation of their vehicle for a determined period. Most of these people can afford second homes, or have caravans/chalets on a large site, £120 isn’t going to deter them, especially if the fine is halved if they pay within the required timescale.
As for it being publicised, even in the Red Tops … don’t hold your breath!

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

Taking the vehicle, possibly for duration of lockdown is far more effective deterrent/penalty than any scale of fines. Easy to understand – foul once and you are stuck without a vehicle, simple enough for any arrogant pig to understand.

Lesley ranford
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Lesley ranford

Luckily the sun is shining the sky is blue in our English gardens we’ll see covid 19 through we’re not all here to break the rules stop classing the English as selfish fools

Tomos
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Tomos

If you’re here then you are breaking the rules 😂

Jonesy
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Jonesy

We are not, we are classifyin urban townies as selfish fools who want to take over Cornwall, Devon, WaLes, Cumbria ad infinitum and are fed up with unsustainable tourism indusrty which enriches a few but leaves the majority of the community high and dry as well as hollowing out majority of villages in some areas

Rapsgaliwn
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Rapsgaliwn

As you say, the sun is indeed shining, today.
Unfortunately, it is the English, that are ignoring the Coronavirus restrictions that are in place and travelling here regardless, threatening the health/lives of the resident population, even though the original restrictions, imposed by the UK government, have not yet been lifted in Wales. Would you not agree that that is selfish?

John Ellis
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John Ellis

I agree, the fine for a first offence remains too small. And given that the fine to be paid is halved if paid promptly, some might just classify it as a small extra cost well worth paying for their day out. Channel 4 News last night showed footage of Southend-on-Sea beach filmed earlier yesterday – absolutely packed out, people shoulder-to-shoulder, no ‘social distancing’ because there was literally no room for it to happen! I know instances of infection i.n some parts of Wales seem to be diminishing, but here in the Betsi Cadwaladr UHB area where we live they’re still… Read more »

Rapsgaliwn
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Rapsgaliwn

I Live on the Llyn, as you say the main concern here is the constant flow of trippers and second home owners, who continue to pour down here to “Get away from it all” back home. They don’t care either for the local population or the fact that they could be bringing the virus with them, especially if they are asymptomatic. In this area, as you will know, we haven’t, as yet reached the peak of this pandemic and our health board is overstretched as it is. One thing that I did note though, was the number of cases, which,… Read more »

Jonathan Gammond
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Jonathan Gammond

It would be great to know how many people have been stopped once, twice, thrice etc. It seems incredible that anyone could be daft enough or arrogant enough to be stopped six times and found to be breaking the regulations. However there are many scenarios such as living in the Forest of Dean and shopping for a vulnerable relative in Chepstow, Tintern or Llandogo which would require repeated border crossings but I presume that is not a regulation breach.

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

What you describe there is a case of plain common sense and a long distance from tourism travel. Local Gwent Plod would have the good sense to see that and support it, as would other forces up the border.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

A similar issue arises not too far from me, in the far north-east: Saltney is in Wales while Lache is in England, the boundary at one point running along the middle of a suburban road. And, nearby, the village of Higher Kinnerton is in Wales, but Lower Kinnerton a little way to the east is in England.

Andyy
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Andyy

It absolutely amazes me that when ever there is a headline about almost anything, how quickly the words ‘English’ or ‘England’ are thrown about. Can you not see the difference between political class and nationality, do you really think the working class folk of England have had it better than the rest of the UK, coming from an industrial and mining family from the North I can assure you we haven’t. Get over yourselves, Glyn Dwr is no more, and personally I never met Edward Longshanks either!

Wrexhamian
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Wrexhamian

What has any of what you said got to do with the problem of people breaking the covid-19 regulations during Wales’ lockdown? And it’s Glyndwr.

Eifion
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Eifion

Ydach chi ‘n siwr Andyy ?Glyndwr no more Myn Duw mi a wn y daw ynte Dafydd

Johnny Gamble
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Johnny Gamble

Andy we aren’t taring all English people with the same brush, there are English people living in Cymru who are just as disgusted about the breaking of the lock down rules.
However the truth be told that the people doing this aren’t coming in from Belgium, Austria or Azerbaijan

Llion Hughes
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Llion Hughes

It makes no sense, the initial fine still stays the same. To deter people from breaking the rules the fine should be meaningful £60.00 won’t stop many

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

Drakeford’s reluctance to jack the fine up to a really effective level can be explained by his desire not to establish a ‘hostile environment’ that would frighten tourists off from coming to this country once the virus threat is contained. He clearly wishes to see saturation tourism return here as soon as possible, in the mistaken belief that this is the only possible basis for an economy in rural and coastal Wales. He wishes to save Welsh lives, and that is commendable, but the deleterious effects of tourism on those areas in terms of language, culture and prosperity are probably… Read more »

Nigel Bull
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Nigel Bull

The distancing, travel and congregating rules will have some basis in fact, based on exisiting evidence from related research. The questions are……what research, is it universally accepted, how is it extrapolated(as none was conducted on transmission rates on a pier during a south westerly force 4 wind for example) and at what rate of infection in the population? The rate of testing is abysmal, even by English NHS levels(which is some achievement!), the precise research is not made available or conflicting evidence and reasons why it is discarded. Then finally how the evidence is turned onto policy that is “best… Read more »

Lyn Roberts
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Lyn Roberts

Does this include second home owners who have clearly breached the lockdown rules by driving at night to get to their second homes? And are staying put? You could make a lot of money out of some of them who are actually commuting back and forth.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Appears not. The police clearly have the powers to stop vehicles in transit and issue a fine if necessary; but if, by luck or guile, second home owners succeed in arriving at their destination which in every other respect they’re lawfully occupying, the police apparently have no lawful authority to instruct them to return to their first home. And the Welsh government seems unwilling to bite the bullet on the issue.

Mary Roll
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Mary Roll

Good, none too soon.

Simon Gruffydd
Guest

After reading the article and the comments I’m a little bit confused. Are these fines only for English people who drive to a beauty spot in Wales? Or does it apply to us Welsh who drive or walk or cycle to a beauty spot? Or what about a spot that isn’t designated as beautiful? By the way, the coronavirus pandemic has been on its way out for weeks now. Sweden’s no-lockdown example has definitively proven that not only was lockdown unnecessary, but that locking down a country causes far more premature deaths than it prevents.