From children’s birthday parties and student get-togethers to a knees-up in a shed that had been converted into a back garden bar, a minority of people have been flouting the coronavirus rules.
The rules may have varied since we first went into lockdown in March last year, but pretty consistent throughout has been the need to maintain a social distance where possible, and not to mix in large groups indoors or outdoors.
Also pretty consistent have been the reports of people doing exactly the opposite, sometimes in quite blatant contravention of the regulations set out to keep us all safe from the virus and to protect the NHS as it battles to save lives.
Here are some of the parties and gatherings police have broken-up in recent months.
The rules you have to adhere to over coronavirus:
- Four people were fined after police were called to a gathering at a house in Aberavon. South Wales Police said they received a report that “multiple” people were inside the property. In a statement the force said: “Port Talbot PCSOs have attended a report of multiple persons inside a house in the Aberavon area. Persons have been spoken to and four fixed penalty notices issued for Covid breaches. Protect the NHS. Stay Home, Save Lives.”
Eight people from a number of different households were fined after police in Swansea broke-up a party being held in a shed / garden bar.
Nine revellers were fined after police found a party in full swing in a house in Mountain Ash.
- Two separate house parties in the Ely and Cathays area of Cardiff saw 28 fixed penalty notices issued to attenders. The leader of Cardiff Council urged people not to be a “selfish idiot”, warning that those who flouted the rules would be caught.
- Twelve people who attended a house party in Roath in Cardiff, were fined.
- Three people were issued with fixed penalty notices for attending a child’s birthday party in the Penlan area of Swansea.
- Gwent Police broke up parties at houses in Pontypool, Newport, and Rhymney – behaviour which has been described by the force as “dangerous, selfish, and totally unacceptable”. Officers released bodycam footage of one of the incidents.
- Nine fines were issued to people from a number of different households who gathered at a house for a gender reveal party in Townhill, Swansea. The force said: “Officers have issued nine fixed penalty notices this afternoon in Townhill after they got called to a gender reveal party with various households attending. This is not only unacceptable but irresponsible.”
- Three key workers were fined for breaching coronavirus regulations after they were caught celebrating a birthday at a residential property in Trethomas in Caerphilly. Gwent Police also arrested one person after he became abusive towards officers when they arrived to break it up following a call from a member of the public.
- Eight people were fined after police swooped on a house party in Uplands, Swansea, during the early hours of the morning.
- Police issued 31 fixed penalty notices after having to break up five house parties in various locations in Cardiff in the first week of December alone.
- Eight members of staff at The Twelve Knights pub in Margam were fined after police stopped a party on the premises. A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said the matter had also been referred to the local council for further review by licensing officers. A Brains Brewery spokesman said: “We can confirm that we are aware of an incident that occurred on Thursday, December 17, at The Twelve Knights pub in Margam. The incident involved some Twelve Knights team members and not external customers. A full internal investigation into the matter is now underway.”
- A reveller was arrested after police were called to a house party in the early hours of the morning in Glanmor Road, Uplands, Swansea. A 22-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly, and “multiple” people were seen to run off from the property as officers arrived.
- Five people were handed fixed penalty notices for breaching coronavirus regulations after police were called to a party at a house in Langland, Gower.
Police broke up a rave near Pontprennau in Cardiff, reporting two dozen people for breaching coronavirus regulations and seizing a tent, speakers, generators, a lighting rig and other equipment. South Wales Police chief superintendent Andy Valentine said: “Unlicensed music events present a very serious risk to public health as well as generating anti-social behaviour that can blight local communities. It is extremely disappointing that members of the public were willing to put themselves and the wider community at risk during Alert Level 4 restrictions.” He added that enquiries were ongoing to identify other people who were at the rave – many of whom were seen to run off into woodlands as officers arrived – as well as the identity of the organiser who faces prosecution or a £10,000 fine.
- Police broke up a party at an Airbnb holiday rental property in the Denbighshire hamlet of Efenechtyd. North Wales Police said “15-plus” people from “outside Wales” were sent home, and reported for Covid breaches. Airbnb said it had a “zero tolerance” for such behaviour, and had suspended the listing from the website.
- Police broke up a student party at a university halls of residence in Cardiff, and issued 52 fines. South Wales Police Cardiff and Vale superintendent Jason Rees said: “It is unfortunate that our officers were left with little option but to fine those who showed a flagrant disregard for the coronavirus regulations – and more importantly their own health and that of their peers and the wider community – by either hosting or attending this party. We remain committed to policing by consent and we have done all we can to ensure enforcement is a last resort.”
Swansea University suspended 15 students following fancy-dress Halloween parties on its Singleton campus. The university registrar and chief operating officer, Andrew Rhodes, said: “While the vast majority of Swansea students are following Government guidelines and social distancing measures, there are, regrettably, those in the minority who still need to be reminded that we are in the midst of a national fire-break lockdown, and a public health emergency. It is very disappointing that some students have behaved in this anti-social manner and I apologise to the community for any difficulty this has caused. I hope that this disciplinary action will send a strong message to our student community of the need to adhere to Covid regulations at all times, and the consequences of not doing so.”
Police seized crates of beer and bottles of cider, alcopops and vodka from a group of around 30 youngsters – all aged 15 or 16 – who were having an all-night party on Abersoch beach.