The commander leading South Wales Police’s response to coronavirus has praised the majority of the public who heeded pleas to stay home and save lives over the Easter bank holiday period.
Despite the glorious weather, the region’s parks, beaches and popular tourist spots remained largely deserted.
But, he says, a minority continued to flout the rules, and the force received calls from members of the public concerned about others’ "irresponsible and selfish" actions.
Among the incidents dealt with by officers over Easter were:
Four men from Cardiff who travelled to Langland Bay, Swansea, to go fishing. Having admitted to officers that they understood the restrictions but “wanted to get out after being stuck in all week”, they were issued with fixed penalty notices. One of the four, a 38-year-old, was arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant and has been remanded in custody.
Two men and two women from Cardiff who travelled to Rhondda to climb a mountain, before getting lost and calling for police assistance. All four were rescued before being issued with a fixed penalty.
A woman from Cardiff who was fined after her 13-year-old son repeatedly breached the restrictions.
A shoplifter in Cardiff who falsely claimed to have tested positive for coronavirus to try and avoid being arrested.
A man who drove from Port Talbot to Mumbles to enjoy the coastline. When stopped, he told officers “it was a nice day”, before being instructed to return home. Despite the warning, he proceeded to drive to another beach car park, where he was subsequently arrested and later issued with a fixed penalty.
Our officers responded to more than 1,200 COVID-related calls on Saturday alone
Assistant Chief Constable, Andy Valentine, said: "The restrictions are crucial to protecting the NHS and saving lives and I would like to thank people across South Wales for following the Government’s advice and implore them to continuing to adhere the restrictions.
Sadly, a small minority chose not to do so over the Easter period and in doing so selfishly put others at risk.
Whilst South Wales Police remains committed to encouraging people to voluntarily comply with the restrictions, we were left with no option but to enforce the legislation in a number of cases.
We are grateful to those who have contacted us over the weekend to raise concerns about possible breaches of the COVID-19 legislation. We will continue to respond to concerns in a proportionate and measured way, but I would appeal directly to those who believe that the regulations don’t apply to them to think long and hard about the consequences of their actions. The restrictions exist to save lives – the lives of their families, loved ones and members of their communities."