Posted: Sun 24th May 2020

Flint Coastguard Rescue Team facing verbal abuse while on COVID-19 patrols

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, May 24th, 2020

Officers from Flint Coastguard Rescue Team say they will not tolerate verbal abuse from members of the public while carrying out COVID-19 patrols across the region. 

The team of volunteers have been undertaking high visibility patrols between Queensferry and Talacre Beach assisting police with the monitoring of public gatherings and offering advice on lockdown measures.

Those measures have been eased slightly in England and people living there are now permitted to drive anywhere to take exercise, as long as they don’t cross the border into Wales and Scotland.

In Wales the stay at home message remains in place and Welsh Government guidance on exercise, as part of regulation 8 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) states: “travelling by vehicle to exercise should be avoided unless there is a good reason for doing so.”

The Coastguard team said it has encountered a number of people who have made the trip over the border from England into North Wales. 

The majority of people officers have approached to clarify COVID-19 guidance have been receptive to advice however, members of the team have been subject to verbal abuse on several occasions.

A team spokesperson said: “North Wales Police have requested Volunteer Coastguard Rescue Teams to assist with the monitoring of public gatherings and advising dispersal and report instances to the Police. 

We will not tolerate any verbal abuse whilst undertaking these taskings, you will be reported and dealt with by Police.”

For the second day running officers have witnessed a number of issues and incidents relating to the lockdown rules which have been reported to police. 

Most involve people driving to coastal locations to take exercise which is still not permitted under the emergency restrictions.

Cars have also been spotted blocking emergency access gateways which are used by Coastguard and RNLI Lifeboat crews in emergencies.

Coastguard spokesman Jay Richard said: “Roads and car parks are coned off for your safety, please do not park in between or move cones, or obstruct emergency access gateways. 

North Wales Police are taking action accordingly and issuing fines when necessary.

We understand current COVID-19 guidance can be confusing and frustrating, Wales is still in lock down and closed to visitors travelling over the border from England as we have encountered today.”

“We would like to thank members of the public who have approached us and asked us to clarify COVID-19 guidance and listened to our advice.”

“Our message still remains the same, If you get into trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard and we will come to your aid. 

But coronavirus hasn’t gone away and we all need to follow the rules. Remember your choices might put people, including yourself and frontline responders, at risk. Take extra care in these extraordinary times.”

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