Wales

Coronavirus lockdown fines 'not enough of a deterrent'

Police on horseback Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police can issue fines of £60 for breaking rules, which are halved if paid within two weeks

Fines issued to people who break coronavirus lockdown rules need to be greater, Dyfed-Powys's police and crime commissioner has said.

Dafydd Llywelyn said current penalties "aren't enough of a deterrent".

People found to be breaking the rules can be fined £60, although this is reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

On Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said he would be prepared to look at the issue if asked to do so by police forces.

Mr Llywelyn told BBC Radio Cymru: "I'm calling personally for the fines given to people to be bigger because I don't think the current guidelines the police have are a great deterrent."

Despite repeated warnings not to travel over the Easter the weekend, many people had been arriving in the force area, which covers Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Powys, Mr Llywelyn said.

He said the force had issued about 250 penalty notices, but said people "aren't listening".

On Friday evening, the Pembrokeshire Roads Policing Unit, which is part of the Dyfed-Powys force, tweeted to say it had stopped a man who had driven from Manchester to pick up a dog from Ireland, and a car from Cardiff carrying cockle picking equipment.

The Welsh Government said: "The vast majority of people are following the stay-at-home rules and we thank them for their ongoing cooperation and help.

"We have regular discussions with the police. If they say they need more powers, they will get them. If the penalties are not sufficient, we will look at them again."

The Plaid Cymru police and crime commissioner is also concerned about a "loophole" which makes it difficult to take action against second home owners once they have arrived.

The first minister suggested on Friday the Welsh Government could look at taking action in relation to the use of second homes as the pandemic continues.

He also said that should the police request greater powers, "they will get those powers".

"If they think that the penalties are not sufficient we will look at the penalties as well," he said.

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