Cardiff Bay police warning after 'unsavoury scenes'

People congregating at Cardiff Bay Image copyright Matthew Horwood
Image caption Police have additional powers to disperse people congregating in Cardiff Bay

"Alcohol-fuelled unsavoury scenes" is why police have extra powers to deal with people behaving anti-socially in Cardiff Bay in the next few days.

"Several disturbances" were reported at Mermaid Quay on Saturday evening on the first weekend of the lockdown restrictions being eased in Wales.

Police arrested a "small number of people" for being drunk and disorderly.

Now officers have added restrictions on groups congregating at the Oval Basin outside the Wales Millennium Centre.

South Wales Police have insisted they will keep a "visible presence" around Cardiff Bay and the dispersal notice will give officers the power to exclude a person from an area for a period of up to 48 hours.

"There were some unsavoury scenes in Cardiff Bay yesterday which required officers to step in and make arrests," said Ch Insp Michelle Conquer.

Image copyright Matthew Horwood
Image caption Large groups of people visited Cardiff Bay on the first weekend of Wales' stay local travel advice ended
Image copyright Matthew Horwood
Image caption People sat in Oval Basin in Cardiff Bay in the Saturday evening sunshine

"Much of it was alcohol fuelled, so we are working with licensees and taking additional policing measures to ensure there is no repeat.

"Alongside the orders we will be maintaining a visible presence and our officers will proactively deal with any issues that may arise."

It is the second time a dispersal order has been made around Cardiff Bay in the last month after a large gathering in June.

Image copyright Matthew Horwood
Image caption Police say there were several disturbances in Cardiff Bay on Saturday evening

What is a dispersal order?

  • It can be used for a maximum of 48 hours to prevent crime or disorder or to stop people being harassed, alarmed or distressed
  • It must have regards for normal rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
  • People can be asked to leave a locality or specific part within it and not to return for the period of the order
  • There are various restrictions around access to homes and places of work, which are set out under section 35 of the Anti-Social Crime and Policing Act 2014

"It's important that Cardiff Bay remains a place for everybody to enjoy without the threat of feeling intimidated or worried about the actions of others," added Ms Conquer.

"Such behaviour won't be tolerated."

The force says the "preventative power" can "allow an officer to deal quickly with someone's behaviour before it escalates" and said officers will "be using powers to confiscate alcohol".

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