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UK News English police at Welsh border stop 20 drivers on day one of lockdown

00:05  28 october  2020
00:05  28 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

Britain DIVIDED: The Covid rules driving a wedge between communities

  Britain DIVIDED: The Covid rules driving a wedge between communities From a golf course that straddles the border between Wales and England, to towns, villages and even individual properties split across different Covid restriction tiers, Britain is divided,An Essex woman is free to drive hundreds of miles around England, but cannot visit her neighbour on the other as her property is split across two councils with opposing restrictions.

Police stop drivers on Irish border to check if they're permitted to travel as lockdowns are Police officers were in Cardiff city centre this evening as Wales entered a 17- day 'firebreak' lockdown at 6pm. A guard asks a British-registered driver where he's going after the Republic imposed a new

WELSH police are using roadblocks to stop drivers making non-essential journeys during a 17- day fire-break lockdown . It came after a family who travelled for five hours to Police have been posting pictures of officers out in Carmarthenshire and Powys to speak to drivers over non-essential journeys.

a car parked on the side of a road: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

English police stopped 20 drivers in Gloucestershire on the first day of Wales's 'fire break' lockdown - despite not having the power to fine those who break First Minister Mark Drakeford's Covid rules, it has been revealed.

Three of the motorists who were stopped last Friday during a police operation in the Forest of Dean were from Wales and had ignored coronavirus restrictions.

The Gloucestershire police patrol took place during a two-hour slot and focused on vehicles towing caravans, motorhomes and vehicles with bikes amid concerns they were visiting tourist beauty spots around the county.

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Police officers tried to enforce the UK lockdown before their emergency powers came into force by disrupting a barbecue where 20 people had gathered, as police warned it would be almost impossible to stop all social contact. The prime minister has demanded the closure of all but essential shops

POLICE officers have been spotted conducting roadside checks on random drivers in Wales to ensure they are sticking to new coronavirus firebreak rules. Police conduct roadside ‘checkpoints’ to determine whether drivers are following lockdown .

The force said it would stop motorists travelling into England to find out what they were doing - and drivers would be encouraged to turn around and head back to Wales if officers 'are not satisfied with their explanation', a spokesman said.

If they refuse, police will tell forces in Wales so that they can issue fines. People caught breaking the rules in Wales can be fined up to £10,000, with penalties starting at £60.

Can English police fine drivers coming across from Wales during lockdown?

English police forces - from Herefordshire, Shropshire and Gloucestershire - are encouraging any drivers they spot from Wales to turn back if officers 'are not satisfied with their explanation'.

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Police force says ‘checkpoints’ will not be set up at Welsh border , despite reports South Wales Argus01 Sheffield people give their view on the idea of lockdown measures being the same across the UK Police in England to patrol routes out of Wales during firebreak lockdown Nottinghamshire

Derbyshire Police took the extraordinary step of using one of its drones to film dog walkers, ramblers and a group posing for Instagram pictures on a cliff top at sunset Police are being given powers to issue £30 on-the-spot fines to those breaking the lockdown - and court appearances for non-payment.

If they refuse, police will inform forces in Wales so they can issue fines.

People caught breaking the rules in Wales can be fined up to £10,000, with penalties starting at £60.

The ban, which came into force at 6pm on Friday, also makes it an offence to travel to Wales from coronavirus hotspots in the UK.

However, the Police Federation of England and Wales has revealed the ban is 'unenforceable', adding policing which is 'already over-stretched due to the pandemic' would be complicated by the measure.

The lockdown, which began at 6pm on Friday, October 23, includes the half-term holiday and covers two weeks, ending on Monday November 9.

It bars people from leaving their homes except for exercise, buying essential supplies or providing care - under First Minister Mark Drakeford's 'power-mad' orders.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police told MailOnline today: 'Around 20 vehicles were stopped during police activity in the Forest of Dean last Friday and, of those, three motorists who had travelled from Wales were spoken to about Covid restrictions.

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Revolt brewing against lockdown rules: Focus group reveals voters are despairing of Boris Johnson's coronavirus policies and are prepared to break the rules to visit The Daily Mail listened in to one of the focus groups, typical of several that have been conducted recently, and it echoed the MPs' views.

LOCALS have questioned police over how much taxpayers money was being used to patrol the Welsh border . It comes after the Welsh government decided to take a different approach to easing lockdown which means that laws in England and Wales are currently different.


Video: The excuses people have given police for breaking lockdown rules in Wales (Wales Online)

'We must stress that we are not conducting proactive operations to assist other force areas in enforcing Covid-19 legislation.

'This operation related to issues in the Forest of Dean, in particular, rural crime, burglary and increased numbers of tourists visiting beauty spots.

'A particular area of concern for local residents has been increased numbers of cyclists to the Cannop area, causing congestion and making social distancing more difficult.

'Part of our operational activity therefore included a two-hour period on Friday where vehicles towing caravans, motorhomes and vehicles with bikes were pulled over to be spoken to regarding Covid restrictions, including travel restrictions if applicable.

'Where our officers encounter someone who lives in an area that has travel restrictions and doesn't have a reasonable cause, they will engage with that person, explain the legislation and encourage them to return home.

Welsh ministers vow to continue trolley police restrictions

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‘Reasonable excuses’ also include moving house, buying luxuries and essential repairs.

'At that point, if necessary, we will consider reporting information back to the relevant force area.

Despite differing rules in England under the three-tiered system, police forces in the other border counties of Herefordshire and Shropshire have also promised to set up their own stops to question drivers leaving the Principality.

Depsite the restrictions, drivers have been seen since Friday crossing the border on the A494 at Queensferry and on the A5445 between Chester and Wrexham.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Constabulary said: '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.'

Police on curfew patrol as Spain fights nightlife infections

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First Minister Mark Drakeford has threatened to use number plate recognition cameras to fine English drivers crossing into his country.

His call was echoed by Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has threatened to roll-out a similar travel ban across Scotland to stop people travelling from virus hotspots in England.

But the Police Federation of England and Wales has revealed the ban is 'unenforceable', adding policing which is 'already over-stretched due to the pandemic' would be complicated by the measure.

Welsh 'fire break' lockdown rules - and how infections have changed

Supermarkets can sell only 'essential items'

Pubs and restaurants closed

Only leave the house to shop for food, medicine or take exercise

Household mixing banned indoors and outdoors

Most secondary school children will stay at home

Work from home wherever possible

Wear face masks indoors and on public transport

How have infections in Wales changed?

Wales has pulled the trigger on a 17-day 'firebreak' lockdown after average daily infections more than tripled in a month.

The rolling seven-day average, considered the most accurate measure of outbreaks because it takes into account day-to-day fluctuations, was 238 on September 23.

It currently stands at 894, analysis of Public Health Wales figures reveal.

The weekly rate of infections per 100,000 in Wales has also jumped by nearly a quarter in a week.

It currently stands at 199.2, having risen from 160.6 last Friday.

The rate of 199.2 per 100,000 is considerably higher than Scotland's 161.2 but still below England's 213.6.

Northern Ireland - which has the smallest population in the UK, at 1.8million - has the highest rate of the home nations, at 378.6.

To get a sense of how fast Wales' crisis has been growing, it was recording just 3.7 cases per 100,000 a week in August, the lowest in the UK.

The nation's 761 new cases today takes the number of confirmed cases to 40,253.

A quarter of these were recorded in the last fortnight.

Since September 11 there have been 10,625 cases - though the true figure is thought to be much higher because so many people are asymptomatic or do not get tested.

Read more

Countdown to Lockdown .
Britons today are stocking up clothes and homeware, getting ready for their last night out and squeezing in a final gym session as the UK nosedives into a second lockdown. Today will be the 'last hurrah' for millions of Brits who, from midnight, will find their freedoms curtailed as they are told to remain indoors under draconian measures for the next four weeks. The shutters will come down on pubs, restaurants and non-essential stores by the end of the day, signalling the start of yet more swingeing restrictions.

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