Posted: Sun 10th Jan 2021

Wepre Park visitors flouting Covid-19 rules force council to close car park

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jan 10th, 2021

Police officers in North Wales have expressed their frustration after spending Saturday dealing with “selfish” Covid-19 rule breakers. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The “stay at home” rules in place across Wales have been well publicised over the last couple of weeks with the country at Alert Level Four. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Welsh Government guidance is for essential travel only, exercise should start and finish from your home and generally, this should not involve people driving to a location away from home. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Despite this, police have been dealing with people driving to Wepre Park, Waun-y-llyn Country Park and Moel Famau, It’s understood many of those have come from outside the area. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

There have been reports that Wepre Park car park has been full over the past two weekends despite restrictions clearly stating that only those “specific health or mobility issues” can drive to a location to take exercise. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

North Wales Police has now asked Flintshire council to close Wepre park car park after officers handed out a number of fines for Covid-19 breaches on Saturday. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The car park will remain closed while current level four restrictions remain in place, deputy leader of Flintshire council Carolyn Thomas told ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

She said: “On Saturday we have had significant numbers turning up by car and we kept North Wales Police updated through the day. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Police attended the site and fined a significant amount of people, they have requested that we close the car park tomorrow (Sunday). ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We will undertake this request from first thing and we will continue to monitor the road along Wepre Land and keep the Police updated.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Waun y Llyn car park will also be closed from tomorrow as it is also drawing significant numbers of people from outside the area.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Yesterday members of the Rural Crime Team said they had again encountered people blatantly ignoring road closure signs, driving on treacherous roads and breaching Covid rules at Moel Famau. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

They said: “Another day wasted dealing with COVID rule breakers. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“So frustrating that we have to deal with these people who simply don’t care whilst the vast majority of us do the right thing and stay at home ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We are seeing people from England and various areas of Wales…so selfish.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


The issue of Covid ruler breakers was brought into sharp focus last week when officers got stuck in the snow after coming to the aid of a man who skidded off the road whilst visiting Moel Famau from Ellesmere Port. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Chief Constable at North Wales Police Carl Foulkes said on Saturday: “Covid regulations in Wales are really clear, stay at home and exercise from home, this is to protect our NHS and save people’s lives.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“My officers have had to enforce the law repeatedly today because a small minority will not do the right thing.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In an update on Sunday, Superintendent Nick Evans said: “Wales is under Alert Level 4 restrictions and infections are dangerously high.”
“Our teams will therefore continue to target those who are blatantly breaching the rules, placing others at risk and putting further demand on our over-stretched NHS.”
“Level 4 restrictions state that exercise should start and finish from home and that nobody should be travelling unless essential.”
“The restrictions are in place to prevent the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.”
“They apply to every single one of us and it’s disappointing to think that some do not believe the restrictions apply to them.”
“The restrictions are all about nudging back the infection rate, so rule breaking, however small, could cost the life of yours or someone else’s loved one.”
Further details around the Level 4 restrictions can be found via the Welsh Government website

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