Police in England to patrol routes in and out of Wales during firebreak lockdown

Police in England will attempt to block non-essential journeys across the Wales-England border while the country is under a two-week firebreak lockdown.

Saturday, 24th October 2020, 9:23 am
Updated Saturday, 24th October 2020, 9:26 am

This follows the announcement on Wednesday by Wales's First Minister Mark Drakeford, that Welsh police forces would carry out extra patrols on main roads to enforce a planned travel ban to prevent people entering Wales from Covid hotspots in the UK.

The 17-day firebreak lockdown began at 6pm on Friday.

Gloucestershire Constabulary confirmed they will patrol routes into the Forest of Dean area and pull over vehicles they suspect of making long journeys.

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Police in England to patrol routes in and out of Wales during firebreak lockdown

The force said drivers who turned out to have driven out of Wales without a valid excuse would be advised to turn around and, if they refused, would then be reported to police in Wales who can issue fines.

It said it would form part of a wider police operation in response to high numbers of people from outside the Forest of Dean area visiting Cannop cycle centre and causing congestion by parking on grass verges near it.

A spokesman for the force said on Friday: “While we cannot issue fines to those travelling from Wales into the county we can inform the host force of those we stop about what has happened so they can take action.

“Officers will be running an operation from tomorrow and over the weekend that will cover routes from Wales into the Forest of Dean and if we stop someone travelling from Wales we will be engaging with them to find out why, explaining the legislation and encouraging them to turn around if we are not satisfied with their explanation.

“If they don’t turn around we will then inform the force that polices the area they have travelled from so that they can issue a fine.

“It is important to stress that the vast majority of people are abiding by the rules but, in line with our policing approach, we will take action where there are flagrant breaches.”