North Wales Police are investigating claims that second home owners are sending their suitcases of clothes via courier so that they aren’t caught travelling unnecessarily.
The Rural Crime Team said that people may be doing so because they do not want to be caught with luggage in the car if police stop them, a move they branded as “selfish and cunning”.
“Unbelievably we are investigating reports that people are sending their suitcases via courier with their clothes to holiday homes in Wales,” the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team said.
“So if they get stopped en route they are not found with them.”
Patrols have set up on all the major tourist routes into North Wales this wekend to ensure people are complying with Government guidance that has banned any non-essential travel during the coronavirus outbreak.
A North Wales Police spokeswoman said: “Our tourist attractions, mountains, beaches, pubs, restaurants, caravan, holiday parks and campsites are all closed
“We continue to urge people not to travel to North Wales and that in effect, the region is closed to visitors.
“Help us to save lives and protect our NHS.”
Police vehicles have been seen on the two bridges linking Anglesey and Gwynedd and on other major routes into the region.
However, the Chief constable of North Wales Police, Carl Foulkes, urged people not to overreact to what they perceived as second home owners moving to their area, warning that they may be there for a good reason.
He said second and holiday homes were being used for legitimate purposes by key workers.
“I know of some, where workers from utility companies are staying, for example,” he said.
“It’s important that people don’t try to take the law into their own hands.
“We have extra officers on patrol this weekend to ensure the rules are respected. Call us if you know of anyone breaking them, and we’ll look into it.”
‘Hands are tied’
Yesterday Dyfed Powys Police set up a check point on the A40 at Canaston Bridge and stopped every vehicle entering heading west towards Haverfordwest.
It came after David Simpson, leader of Pembrokeshire Council, said he wants visitors to stay away during the lockdown.
“It’s a problem especially felt in Anglesey, the Ceredigion coast and here,” he told the Western Mail.
“We’ve seen lots of people coming down and going to their holiday homes. We can’t stop them once they are in their holiday homes, so it’s got to be the police stopping them on the roads.”
Meanwhile, a Gwynedd Councillor warned that people would “turn vigilante” against those visiting second homes in Wales during the coronavirus lockdown unless something was done.
Gareth Williams, who represents Botwnnog in Gwynedd, told the BBC that feelings were running “very high”.
“I’ve got to say the police are working very hard, but their hands are tied… if they can stop them on the road when they’re on the way to the Llyn Peninsula then they’ve got the power to turn them round and send them home,” he said.
“But unfortunately the problem we’ve got is once they’ve reached their second homes the police can’t send them away.”