Posted: Tue 28th Apr 2020

North Wales police commissioner questions whether coronavirus fines are a sufficient deterrent and calls for lockdown to be extended

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Apr 28th, 2020

The North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner has questioned whether the current fines handed to people who breach the coronavirus lockdown rules are enough of a deterrent.

The comments by Plaid Cymru’s Arfon Jones follow reports that some are beginning to ignore the restrictions by leaving their homes for non-essential purposes.

This weekend police in North Wales highlighted a case where ten people from London travelled to the region to go walking in Snowdonia.

Fortunately they were intercepted and turned away, but Mr Jones has raised doubt over whether the fixed penalty notices are sufficient.

Speaking on Radio Wales Breakfast on Monday morning, the former police inspector said: “We can debate all day long whether the fines are sufficient. The first time it’s £60, which is reduced to £30 if they pay within a fortnight.

“If they commit a second offence it doubles to £120, but if you’re going to travel all the way from London then how much of a deterrent is that?

“We do try and encourage and educate people. It’s more than just fining them – it’s persuading people to do the right thing and the good news is that although the traffic is increasing, there has been a substantial decrease on previous years.”

Mr Jones also used his interview to urge both the UK and Welsh Governments to extend the lockdown period beyond the early May Bank Holiday.

He said he was “very concerned” about the possibility of the restrictions being eased before then and causing a second wave of the virus to spread across the country.

He said: “Myself and Dafydd Llewelyn (Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner) went out publicly last weekend, pleading with both governments not to relax the lockdown until after the May 8th bank holiday weekend.

“People will still make the most of a bank holiday and they will come out. I think the lockdown should be extended beyond that otherwise we may get a second wave of coronavirus infections.”

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