Welsh Police bosses call for increase in fines and second home evictions

Picture by Paul Townley. Public Domain Mark 1.0.

Two police and crime commissioners have criticised First Minister Mark Drakeford for not increasing fines for those found breaking lockdown rules.

North Wales Commissioner Arfon Jones and Dyfed-Powys Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn also called on the First Minister to award police with powers to evict those not staying in primary residences.

Currently, fines in Wales begin at £60 and go up to £120 for repeat offenders. These fines can be reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

However, fines in England now begin at £100, reduced to £50 if paid promptly, and can go up to £3,200 for repeat offenders.

“We’ve long called for fines as a deterrent for people travelling into Wales and within Wales, but Mark Drakeford has declined to change the fines,” Plaid Cymru Police and Crime Commissioner for north Wales Arfon Jones said.

“The movement of people from more densely populated areas with higher infection rates to more rural communities is creating un-needed tensions.

“It feels like communities in North Wales are being left behind and let down, and at a crucial time at that. The local population is understandably anxious about the prospect of rising infection rates, which is already predicted by the health board due to a later peak than in the more densely populated south of Wales. Our priority is to protect these communities.”

 

‘Stricter’

Plaid Cymru Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys Dafydd Llywelyn said that higher fines were now needed following the relaxation of the lockdown rules in England.

“Our experiences on the ground over the last week following changes and easing of travel restrictions in England, clearly demonstrate that we have to be more vigilant and stricter with fines,” he said.

“We need greater powers to act as a deterrent or to enforce that people do not use second homes.

“Lockdown measures here are stricter but with lower fines. The penalty in Wales doesn’t fit the crime and isn’t working – we had one repeat offender in Llanelli who offended five times and yet the maximum fine will be £120.

“It feels as though the first minister has given us a spoon to cut down a tree.”

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RhosdduKerry DaviesO.RWrexhamianMacsen Recent comment authors
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John Ellis
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John Ellis

I was no enthusiast for the wheeze of politically partisan ‘police and crime commissioners’ when the idea of establishing them was first aired, because it looked like a step towards US-style politicization of policing.

But in this instance i’d say that the two commissioners are fulfilling a useful function, and that they’re right about both the issues which they’re raising with government. Mr Drakeford and relevants ministers should pay heed.

Ceri
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Ceri

I felt exactly the same way re the commissioners, but they seem to be stepping up to the plate. If their advice is unheeded, however, why would these rolls exist?

pete
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pete

Boris Johnson should off explained in more detail the do and don’t, what he didn’t tell people was wales, Scotland, and Ireland has separate rules and that you would face hefty fines. The First minister rants on about us in wales what we should be doing to protect the NHS and then he’s pussyfooting around with low-cost fines, It’s summer and the weather is great so that means every tom dick and harry and his dog will be crossing over to wales. Fines need to increase and sink the message home to deter these people. So Mr. Drakeford if you… Read more »

John Ellis
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John Ellis

You’re spot on on each and all counts, unfortunately.

Simon Gruffydd
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Only the media and governments are “creating un-needed tensions”, not people moving around freely. Hence “The local population is understandably anxious about the prospect of rising infection rates”.

The chance of dying from Covid-19, when rounded to the nearest percentage, is 0%. Had we never been unnecessarily alarmed by this virus, we would have carried on as normal and never noticed any difference, just like every other flu season.

There is now an excess in deaths as a result of the lockup. “Stay at home. End lives” would be a more honest slogan.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

My guess is that you’re on the young side. Given that I’ll be 75 later this summer, and the virus appears to have a penchant for old fellers, you’ll appreciate that I have a somewhat different perspective.

Death’s inevitable – the only way to avoid it is not to be born in the first place. But for choice I’d rather like to evade expiring by asphyxiation as the preliminary to wholesale organ failure.

Ceri
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Ceri

It may be a dreaded case of ‘a few grains of truth-osis’. Rounded to the nearest % of the population, it is indeed 0…but 0 is a placeholder for nothing, not a number in and of itself, so very misleading on that front. But that doesn’t even account for the ‘chance’ of dying from the disease. If you have it, you are in a vulnerable group, you have an alarmingly high chance of dying from it. Excess deaths in Wales (and pretty much everywhere else) are way up. How are these people dying if not from Covid? As for ‘stay… Read more »

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

No, he’s an old codger but his head’s gone a.w.o.l ! He hates his fellow citizens with a passion so in his vision of a free Wales you’d have loads of space with him enjoying it in splendid solitude. He condones wholesale breach of any lockdown or social distancing so that the virus spreads and kills 100’s of thousands of citizens. Probably holed up at home inciting disorder so that when it’s all over he can come out of his den and help himself to anything worth taking. People like you and me and loads of others are there for… Read more »

j humphrys
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j humphrys

Damn right. A perisian woman was describing the lack of control when she had it. I thought
the worst was when she said it attacked her mind. I’m glad she got to tell us.

Ann Owen
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Ann Owen

Simon Gruffydd – so about 0% of chance of dying from covid-19 you think??! Unless you’re the one that dies of course. and then it’s 100%!! Do you feel lucky…?

John Evans
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John Evans

so no-one would have noticed the unexplained increase in the national death rate? I don’t think so. How is your biology? and your understanding of statistics? If this is as you suggest just like every other flu season then why not volunteer to help out on a covid 19 infected ward with no ppe.

Jonesy
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Jonesy

My friend’s son went sking in Feb to France, two lads became infected on trip, infected him, in turn he infected his wife, mam and dad ad infinitum… no Covid does not travel…

John Evans
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John Evans

fine ’em high and throw ’em out

Macsen
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Macsen

If Wales wasn’t a nation with its own language, Labour FM and Senedd would be all for fines, but they think it’s too “Welsh nash”, so letting people who can afford 2 houses off the hook is more “progressive” than trying to defend NHS in rural areas where wages are low. It’s called British nationalism.

O.R
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O.R

Yes and it’s called subservience and ‘knowing our place’. Just when Drakeford looked like he was growing a backbone he’s back-peddled and gone limp again

Wrexhamian
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Wrexhamian

Without Welsh Government authorisation to instruct those currently in their holiday homes to leave, the ban on travel into Wales becomes less effective. The damage may already have been done by those who managed to evade police vigilance before, but Wales cannot afford to take the risk of letting them stay. I feel sorry for those in overcrowded parts of England, but the sad fact is that it’s somebody else’s problem, and Wales has enough coronavirus of its own to deal with. It is therefore imperative that Mark Drakeford sanctions the right of the Welsh police to make sure these… Read more »

Kerry Davies
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Kerry Davies

Two PCC’s ask for higher fines without explaining which laws they want amended. That seems strange but what is really odd is that they also want the power to evict people from their own homes and don’t explain how to legally do that while protecting the rights of other home owners from eviction. I am possibly even more against second home owners and irresponsible drivers than others, I am vulnerable and my partner severely so, but we need to be a little careful we don’t crack a nut with a 10 pound sledge. I certainly don’t want to hand a… Read more »

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

They’re asking specifically for it to apply to holiday home owners for the duration of the pandemic.