Parents whose children failed to comply with Firebreak rules among those fined by South Wales Police

Parents whose children were involved in antisocial behaviour while also in breach of coronavirus legislation were among those fined in south Wales over the weekend.

As Wales headed in to the second weekend of the national firebreak, calls to South Wales Police spiked at almost 1,500 on Saturday, October 31, with more than 200 of those calls relating to concerns about Covid breaches and Halloween concerns.

Calls reported a range of concerns from youths congregating and engaging in antisocial behaviour, house parties, suspected breaches by licensed premises which should be closed, failure of Covid-positive individuals to self-isolate and gatherings at religious settings.

While officers continued to adopt the UK-wide 4Es policing approach, working hard to engage with our communities to encourage voluntary compliance with Welsh Government legislation, enforcement action was carried out on a number of occasions where necessary and proportionate.

Action taken included:

  • Approximately 30 FPNs issued throughout the weekend. Among those issued with fines were parents of youths throwing eggs and engaging in other ASB in St Mellons, Cardiff, as well as the parents of a number of youths who either hosted or attended a party in Taibach, Port Talbot. Enquiries are ongoing to identify those who fled the premises upon officers’ arrival.
  • 137 warnings or other police interventions.
  • Five anti-social behaviour referrals made.
  • Several joint visits to licensed premises, among them a pub in Neath which was found to be continuing to trade despite the current lockdown. Details of some eight patrons were taken on the night and work is ongoing with licensing partners in order to take necessary action against the license holder.
  • Almost 50 Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) due to be issued to students at a Cardiff halls of residence following reports of a student party.

In addition to engagement and on-the-spot enforcement, post-incident enquiries are ongoing for a number of incidents including protests, licence breaches and house parties, to identify those involved and take further enforcement action where necessary.

Gold Commander Chief Superintendent Andy Valentine said: “As anticipated, this past weekend was another busy one for the force. In addition to existing policing demand – which does not simply go away because we are in the midst of a pandemic – we also faced the continued demand of Covid legislation and the current increased restrictions and the traditional demand of Halloween.

“We’re continuing to find the vast majority of people are complying with the restrictions because it is the right thing to do for themselves, their loved ones and our NHS. As always, I would thank them for that approach as it really does enable us and our emergency service colleagues to focus our resources where they’re most needed.

“I think it is telling that among those fined this weekend were a number of parents who clearly weren’t ensuring their children were also following the rules. If we are to help slow the spread of this virus, each and every one of us must take responsibility and ensure that we – and those dependent upon us – are doing the right thing.

“While we responded to calls about genuine breaches, our officers also attended a number of reports which, while well-intentioned, turned out to not be as reported.

“Responding to those calls takes time and relies upon our officers embracing the full 4Es approach – engaging, explain and encouraging, and enforcing where necessary – to fully understand the situation they’re faced with.

“While it is frustrating for those who are complying when they perceive others not to be, it remains extremely important to us as a force that we are dealing with each report on its merit and we continue to respond in a measured and proportionate manner.

“The public can be reassured, however, that we will continue to enforce where blatant and flagrant breaches occur.”

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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