VALE of Glamorgan Council officers will team up with South Wales Police this weekend in Penarth following reports of groups gathering near businesses.

Council officers will join the police to carry out inspections at the esplanade after residents and traders complained too many people were breaching Covid rules there.

Under current Level Four restrictions people should not leave their house to socialise or travel by car for exercise, but there have been reports of groups gathering near businesses and people traveling by car to visit the esplanade. 

Signage reminding people of the safety precautions they need to take will be placed on the esplanade and Cardiff Bay barrage, with similar messages shared on social media.

Mobile closed-circuit television will also be in operation to identify infringements alongside a greater police and council officer presence.

They will help enforce the Public Space Protection Order that makes Penarth esplanade a no alcohol zone, ensure cars are parked correctly and that people haven’t travelled from outside the locality.

Checks will be made to ensure businesses are operating within the terms of their licenses and are compliant with Covid legislation, while traders will also be asked to use signs to reinforce safety guidance.

Cllr Neil Moore, Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: “We are aware of reports indicating that some of the Level 4 restrictions in place across the country are not being observed at Penarth Esplanade.

“This is an extremely serious issue. As everyone should know by now, these measures are in place to keep people safe and help drive down the Covid-19 infection rate, which remains alarmingly high.

“I know the vast majority of Vale residents have followed Welsh Government guidance from the start. However, there remains a minority that are not so considerate and it is these irresponsible individuals we are targeting.

“This group should be under no illusions. Where people refuse to follow the rules, our officers and the Police will not hesitate to take enforcement action.”

Cardiff and Vale Chief Inspector Tony Williams added: “Alert Level 4 restrictions have been in place since before Christmas and the legislation is clear. The public should only be leaving home for a limited number of reasons, and while exercise is permitted and encouraged, travelling to do so is not deemed reasonable.

“Our officers will continue to be patrolling in our communities, working closely with our partners at the council and engaging with the public to remind them of their responsibilities under the legislation.

“While the vast majority of people are complying with the rules and are doing their bit to help slow the spread of the virus, there continues to be a small minority who do not believe the rules apply to them. To those people, our message is clear: we will enforce flagrant breaches of the rules.”