Police in Wales step up patrols to stop motorists crossing border

Welsh police turn away hundreds of English people at the border as they step up crackdown on ‘non-essential’ journeys

  • Welsh border patrols stepped up as car parks at Snowdon and Cadair Idris close 
  • Police have warned motorists: ‘Do not leave or enter Wales without good reason’
  • It comes after crowds flocked to the Brecon Beacons from as far as Cheltenham 

Police in Wales have stepped up border patrols to crackdown on non-essential journeys after hundreds of English visitors were turned away from the Brecon Beacons during a Tier 4 lockdown this week.

Motorists from both nations have been warned not to ‘leave or enter Wales without good reason,’ as the country continues under Alert Level 4 restrictions – the equivalent of Tier 4 in England.  

Under the measures, travelling is only permitted with a reasonable excuse such as caring responsibilities or work. 

Despite the restrictions, Dyfed-Powys Police turned away more than 300 vehicles from the busy Pen y Fan, the highest peak in south Wales, on Tuesday – with crowds continuing to try and visit the beauty spot.

Gwent Police yesterday shared a picture of a patrol car stationed at the Second Severn Crossing, also known as the Prince of Wales Bridge. 

Gwent Police has patrol cars on the Prince of Wales Bridge, as it warned motorists: ‘Do not leave or enter Wales without good reason. Abide with the rules’

Police have stepped up patrols across Wales to ensure motorists are only travelling for essential reasons, after hundreds of vehicles arrived at Pen Y Fan to see the Brecon Beacons this week 

The force warned people: ‘Do not leave or enter Wales without good reason. Abide with the rules.’ 

Car parks at Snowdon and Cadair Idris have also been closed to visitors, with Welsh Government rules stating that exercise must start and end from your home where possible.

Crowds of people were also seen at beaches like Barry and Penarth earlier this week.

This month Wales was plunged into Alert Level 4 restrictions which means travelling is only permitted with a reasonable excuse 

Hundreds of visitors continue to arrive to Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons this week, despite multiple warnings from police

Around 300 vehicles travelled to the Brecon Beacons on Tuesday, with some driving from as far as Hertfordshire and Gloucestershire

The scenes come after a minibus of mixed households travelled to the area from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and Dyfed-Powys Police had to stop one man who had driven from Hertfordshire to walk up Pen y Fan this week.  

Inspector Andrew Williams, from Dyfed-Powys Police’s specialist operations (RPU) team, said: ‘We are carrying out high-visibility patrols at Storey Arms and engaging with people to remind them of their responsibilities to adhere to Welsh Government lockdown restrictions.

‘There were a couple of hundred vehicles in the area on Tuesday.

‘Officers spoke to one man who had driven from Hertfordshire to walk up Pen y Fan, while a minibus of people from mixed households had travelled from Cheltenham.

‘Fixed penalty notices have and will be issued to those blatant breaches where engagement fails, but the vast majority of people are listening to advice and when they are turning up and seeing RPU vehicles at the site, they are turning around and going home – which is the objective of our high visibility patrols.’

A patrol car drives through the Brecon Beacons in search of visitors defying the strict Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions in place

An officer from Dyfed-Powys Police speaks to visitors arriving to the beauty spot in Wales after hundreds turned up earlier this week

A member of the force speaks with drivers arriving to the national park as the force urge people to stay away from the area

An officer talks to members of the public during checks on Penarth Seafront, south Wales

Wales has been in a nationwide Level 4 lockdown since 20 December, with restrictions also tightened for Christmas Day.

The rules state that people must not visit other households, or meet other people they do not live with. 

Travelling is only allowed for essential purposes, such as for work and for caring responsibilities. International travel is also not allowed.  

People are still allowed out of their homes to exercise, for unlimited times and periods each day, and exercise should start and finish at your home.

The increased police presence comes as mountain rescuers blasted Covidiots in the Lake District after receiving 70 per cent more callouts this month, compared to last December. 

In total the 12 different teams of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association (LDSMRA) responded to 31 calls for help this month.

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