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Police enforce Section 35 order to prevent another Covid-rule breaking party on steps of Senedd

03 Apr 2021 3 minutes Read
A crowd in front of the Senedd yesterday. Picture by Cai Glover

Police have enforced a Section 35 order on Cardiff Bay to prevent another Covid-rule breaking party on steps of Senedd.

A crowd of hundreds gathered last night, breaking Covid rules on gatherings and leaving large amounts of rubbish their wake.

South Wales Police said the order would allow them to exclude people from the area and they advised groups of six or more people not to gather there.

“As restrictions have eased, the need for personal responsibility is critical and it is extremely disappointing that a small minority are willing to put themselves, and others, in harm’s way,” Superintendent Marc Attwell said.

“Cardiff Bay in particular has attracted large crowds over the past few days. The behaviour seen over the past three days has placed additional pressure on not only the police but the local authority as well, and meant that officers have been diverted from other parts of the force. The practicalities of policing such large gatherings is incredibly difficult and we still have emergency calls to attend.

“A Section 35 dispersal order is now in place in Cardiff Bay, which gives officers and PCSOs the power to exclude a person from the area. We are asking people in groups of six or more who are thinking of attending or organising a gathering at the Senedd over this Bank Holiday weekend not to do so.”

Police said that last night they arrested a 20 year-old man for a public order offence, a 22 year-old woman arrested for being drunk and disorderly and for possession of a Class A substance and a 35 year-old man who was also arrested for possession of a Class A substance.

“Our officers will be out and about around Cardiff Bay throughout the Bank Holiday weekend,” Marc Attwell said.

“We’d urge people to be sensible and not to breach the rules – we don’t want anyone to be given a fine or be arrested for public order offences.

“As many restrictions are no longer in force, personal responsibility is critical if we are to prevent a third wave of infections. We all have a responsibility to make sensible choices when we are out and about, maintaining social distancing and not putting ourselves and others at unnecessary risk.”

‘Trust’

The Welsh Conservatives called for a “rethink” on outdoor hospitality after yesterday’s scenes.

Under Labour’s current plan, outdoor hospitality will not reopen in Wales until April 26, but the Welsh Conservatives believe this should be brought forward.

Commenting, Welsh Conservatives’ shadow economy spokesperson, Russell George said: “Labour ministers must have a rethink on outdoor hospitality.

“The huge gatherings we are seeing across Wales brings a number of challenges not just in the fight against coronavirus, from littering to anti-social behaviour.

“It’s going to be a very long month if we have decent weather and ministers need to view outdoor licenced premises with their various facilities and experience as part of the solution, not the problem.

“We’ve made great progress on case rates and the vaccination programme, and it would be a shame to see this work undone with gatherings which can’t be managed safely and effectively.

“Wales’ licensed premises have vast experience managing customers and have invested significant sums of money into making their facilities covid-secure.

“Let’s trust business and let’s ensure we continue on the path of reopening Wales in a safe and manageable manner.”

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