Got a good reason? Day trippers dispersed as police warn warm weather lockdown breakers

Police today urged people to follow lockdown restrictions after scores of fines were issued and groups removed from beauty spots.

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West Mercia’s Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) said there was “no doubt” the recent sunny spells and the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown had “weakened the resolve” of some people.

It comes after Covid fines were issued by police over the weekend and officers went to the Quarry in Shrewsbury to disperse large gatherings of people having picnics in the sun.

PCC John Campion issued a plea for residents to follow the guidance and warned everyone must play their part to see the end of lockdown.

“There’s no doubt the good weather and the roadmap being set out has weakened the resolve of some in the community whose resolve was perhaps weakened to start with,” he said. “We’re seeing more people not necessarily following the restrictions as they should be.”

Two Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) and a £200 Covid fine were issued at the Quarry on Saturday after a group of youths gathered.

Dozens of people were again removed from the Quarry on Sunday as a large police presence descended on the area.

At least three police cars and a van attended the park and officers were seen driving through the centre of site, patrolling the entrances and advising visitors to leave the area.

The Quarry in Shrewsbury was busy in the sunny weekend weather

West Mercia Police Inspector Saf Ali confirmed a further PSPO and Covid fines were issued to the same group on Sunday, as well as a dispersal order.

Officers were also active in other areas of the town and elsewhere in Shropshire, with concerns over people travelling to beauty spots such as the Shropshire Hills to exercise instead of staying local.

Meanwhile, police said they had seen an increase in people travelling into and across North Wales.

Over the weekend, officers issued numerous fixed penalty tickets and spoke to people about visiting beauty spots.

Chief Inspector Jon Aspinall said: “We understand the attraction to the area, especially considering the weather.

“However, we must ensure that we all adhere to the current travel restrictions.

“Wales remains under alert level lockdown for good reason, to protect the vulnerable and to protect our NHS.

“Officers have been specifically designated to patrol across North Wales and will be out again to enforce the regulations where appropriate. I would urge anyone considering travel in contravention to these restrictions not to do so.”

Mr Campion said: “The police’s role is to support the community and keep us safe. They will absolutely be continuing to do that and support the community through this journey.

“The police have the powers to enforce so people need to be following the rules.”

He added: “We can’t give in now. We’ve come so far and sacrificed so much.

“We need to hold our resolve a little longer.”

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