Wales, United Kingdom

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Police chief: Arresting people 'a last resort'

North Wales Police Chief Constable Carl Foulkes
North Wales Police

North Wales Police Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said the force had the power to arrest people not adhering to new rules restricting all but essential travel but said doing so is "a last resort".

"We want people to do the right thing and change their lifestyle approach, change what they are doing," he told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast.

He said patrol officers turned around "small numbers" of people coming into North Wales to go camping and fishing on Friday.

Mr Foulkes said patrols would continue on Saturday to avoid a repeat of the influx of visitors seen in Snowdonia and elsewhere last weekend.

"Snowdonia, joking apart, was busier than the M25," he said.

"This isn't about use of police powers, this is about protecting our NHS and getting our country through the biggest crisis in living memory."

Police officer puts note on a car
Dyfed-Powys Police
Police in Pembrokeshire have told motorists not to visit the area and stay home

Elsewhere, Dyfed-Powys Police Police said more than 200 motorists have had to be reminded over the last two days not to treat Pembrokeshire as a holiday destination.

And South Wales Police said officers will be patrolling parks, beaches and forestry to ensure people are not breaching restrictions

'Crime down as people stay indoors'

Crime seems to be down in north Wales while people are staying indoors, the region's chief constable Carl Foulkes has said.

But he stressed that it doesn’t mean the force is any less busy.

“The amount of calls we're currently getting to the control room is the same as we’d normally expect, but it’s for different things" Mr Foulkes said.

“Many of the crimes that we’d be routinely dealing with at this time of year are down, but to balance that, we’re now more worried about things like domestic abuse and online fraud.

"The challenge for us is staying vigilant in this new climate."

Mr Foulkes said the force had enough officers to continue protecting the area, adding that many had cancelled their leave or had volunteered to do extra shifts.

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