Dyfed-Powys act to limit travel during lockdown
Dyfed-Powys Police have announced they will be conducting high visibility patrols across the force area as part of national action in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The force is determined to dramatically reduce the amount of people still travelling and meeting socially despite the government lockdown.
Patrols of public spaces and tourist hot-spots will take place, along with stop-checks of drivers, to make sure that only those who need to travel are doing so.
Roads Policing Units will work with Neighbourhood Policing Teams and colleagues in British Transport Police to ensure everyone gets the message.
“We appreciate that the situation over the last week has changed rapidly but it is vital people understand what we are doing and why,” said Roads Policing Inspector Andy Williams.
“Our main priority remains the same – keeping everyone safe. But we are calling on people across the force to help us do that.
“More people on the roads means a greater likelihood of vehicles breaking down or being involved in an accident, which puts extra strain on the emergency services.
“But these extra interactions also increase the chances of the virus spreading and putting more people’s lives in danger.”
Currently, only essential travel is permitted across the UK.
This covers shopping for basic necessities such as food, daily exercise, travelling to and from work if you are an essential worker, and if you have a genuine medical need to go outside.
These measures apply to everyone, with separate advice available for individuals or households who are self isolating and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded.
“We need everyone to take the current government lockdown seriously if we are to protect the vulnerable and look after those key workers who are keeping the country going,” added Insp Williams.
“We would also like to thank those who are already leading by example and making sure they stay home and save lives.”
Chief Inspector Jon Cooze, of British Transport Police, said: “We are pleased to be supporting our partners at Dyfed-Powys Police with Operation Dovecote which is there to protect the community and our NHS.
“Officers are conducting high-visibility patrols at stations, supporting railway staff and reminding the public of the urgent need to follow the government advice – only those making essential journeys should be travelling.
“You can expect to be asked if your journey is essential and, if not, we’ll be urging you to stay at home.
“We strongly encourage the rest of the public to do the right thing and help us save lives by staying at home and slowing the spread of the virus.
“If you experience any problems on the railway, text us on 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40, and we’ll be there.”
What are you doing?
From today (Thursday, March 26) officers will begin high visibility patrols across the Dyfed-Powys Force area (that’s Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Powys) as part of national action in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. This will include roads, public spaces, and various tourist attractions such as beaches. We will be speaking to people and conducting stop-checks, making sure they are only travelling if absolutely necessary.
We want to keep everyone safe, in line with the government’s response to Coronavirus/Covid-19. If we can dramatically cut the number of people using the roads we can help ‘flatten the curve’ of infection. If people stay indoors (or in their own back garden) they won’t come into contact with people outside their household, and cannot spread the virus.
Who does this affect?
Families, friends, couples, grandparents, motorcyclists, campers, holidaymakers… pretty much everyone. Ideally the only people we would like to see driving are those with a legitimate reason for doing so, such as ‘key workers’ and those who are buying food or picking up medication. We will be working hard to ensure stop checks do not needlessly disrupt doctors, nurses, carers, shop workers or anyone else who has a legitimate reason to be travelling at the moment.
What will happen to people who break these rules?
Sadly, despite this being headline news across the world, some people are still behaving in ways that could put themselves and others in danger.
If people continue to go against the government’s safety advice then the police will take further action in line with the powers available to them.
How can I help?
Firstly: stay at home unless absolutely necessary. Secondly: share this information with your children, parents, friends, co-workers and anyone else who needs to know. We want to spread the message – and not the virus - to as many people as possible across the force area and beyond.
Can I go outside at all during the lockdown?
Yes, but only if it’s for one of the following four reasons:
· Shopping for basic necessities such as food. People should use delivery services where they can.
· One form of exercise a day (this includes walking your dog, but please stay as far away from other people and their pets as possible).
· If you have a genuine medical need or are caring for a vulnerable person (e.g picking up medicine for an elderly neighbour)
· Travelling to and from work, only if absolutely necessary.
These measures must be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are self isolating and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded.
Am I allowed to drive somewhere to get my exercise?
The current guidelines mean only essential travel is permitted. This means a day down the beach is not appropriate right now, no matter how sunny it is. We would urge people to make the most of nearby areas instead, and to avoid going outside during busy periods. Running or cycling as part of a group is not permitted, and neither is meeting up with friends for non-contact sports such as golf, tennis or skateboarding.
Can I take my car or motorbike out and meet up with friends?
No, not for the next few weeks at least. The government has stopped all public gatherings of more than two people, with only these exceptions:
* Where the gathering is of a group of people who live together - this means that a parent can, for example, take their children to the shops if there is no option to leave them at home.
* Where the gathering is essential for work purposes - but workers should try to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.
All social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies, have also been stopped for the meantime. This excludes funerals, which can be attended by immediate family.
My partner and I share custody of our children. We are all practising social distancing and no-one has symptoms. Am I allowed to take them to see him?
According to current guidelines, children under 18 can be moved between two households when parents live separately.
We’ve loaded up the camper van and are already on our way. Should we carry on to our destination now or travel home?
You should return home immediately. This is non-essential travel and is currently prohibited. Should anyone fall ill you will need to self-isolate, and this should be done at your home.
Can I still contact the police?
Yes. The safety and welfare of local communities remains our top priority.
Members of the public should continue to call 999 in an emergency where a crime is in progress or there is a threat to life.
However we are currently experiencing a high call demand to both our 999 and 101 numbers, some of which do not relate to police matters.
To check which organisation is best placed to help you, visit: http://bit.ly/DPPMakeTheRightCall.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.
We would advise members of the public to avoid visiting Public Enquiry Offices unless it is essential. If you need to make an appointment, please do so via the website or by calling 101.
What do I do if I think I have the virus?
Members of the public should not call police to report cases of COVID-19 coronavirus. If you think you have the virus you should visit https://bit.ly/symptomswalesdpp or call the NHS on 111.
A British Sign Language video version is available at http://bit.ly/BSLvideo