Rhondda Cynon Taf local lockdown: South Wales Police statement
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Following an announcement by Welsh Government today, Rhondda Cynon Taf will be subject to additional Coronavirus restrictions from 6pm on Thursday, September 16.
South Wales Police will continue to support Welsh Government and local partners to implement the restrictions, adopting the same 4Es approach used since the beginning of the pandemic.
Our officers will be visible in our communities, working with the public to engage, explain and encourage compliance. Enforcement action will be taken where necessary and proportionate.
Chief Superintendent Andy Valentine, who is leading South Wales Police’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, said: “The restrictions announced today are necessary and proportionate to address the rise in Coronavirus rate in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area.
“It is vitally important that we all play our part by adhering to these new and existing measures. Nobody wants to see a return to the full lockdown we experienced back in the spring, and cooperation and compliance now will help control and prevent further spread of the virus.
“Our officers have worked hard throughout the pandemic to help the public understand what is expected of us all and to encourage voluntary compliance with the rules. That approach will continue, and the public can expect to see an increased presence in the area where additional measures have been introduced.
“My plea is for everyone to make themselves aware of what they can and can’t do for the time being, and to play their part by following the rules, so that that may continue. It is for the benefit of themselves, their loved ones, and the wider community.
“As well as working with the public, we will continue to work closely with health and local authority partners.
“While enforcement remains a last resort, those who think that the legislation does not apply to them or their business premises should be under no illusion that we and our partners will take action in order to keep our communities safe.”
South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael added: “There has been a very worrying rise in Coronavirus cases in Rhondda Cynon Taf and I fully support the local authority and Welsh Government in taking the additional measures which are being introduced.
“This action is necessary to slow the spread of the virus in our communities and we need the people of Rhondda Cynon Taf to show the same community solidarity as we saw during the height of lockdown.
“My plea is for the public to follow the new measures and show respect and consideration to everyone in the community.
“As has been the case throughout this public health emergency, South Wales Police officers will play their part in encouraging people to play their part by following the rules but the central issue is for all of us to take individual and collective responsibility.
“This is a public health emergency but preventing the spread of Coronavirus is a responsibility that is shared by everybody and local authority staff and police officers have worked well together across South Wales through very difficult and challenging times.
“But I want to stress that the responsibility lies with every single one of us – young people, older people, parents, community leaders, those with leadership roles in sport as well as local authorities, businesses and those who work in the hospitality industry.
“If we don’t all support our NHS colleagues by taking personal responsibility we will all pay a price – and while it is a minority who flout the rules we all need to play a part in explaining to them that it really does matter.
“Our officers have shown how that can be done with the “4 Es” approach – they have engaged people, they’ve explained the rules, they’ve encouraged people to follow them and if necessary that have enforced the law. But enforcement shouldn’t be necessary – personal responsibility is absolutely essential and the local lockdown which has been put in place in the Rhondda is a clear example of what will happen everywhere if cases continue to rise.
“It is extremely worrying to see irresponsible and misleading messages on social media by people who think that Covid-19 is not a real threat. It is a real threat. People have died – and more people will die unless we stick to the clear rules and hark to the messages set out by Welsh Government.
“I support the calls made by community leaders and the health authority in Rhondda Cynon Taf for people to act now before the situation gets even worse and further restrictions have to be put in place – and that really applies to all of us, everywhere. Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and the threat remains real. We all must follow the rules or we will see more cases, more people becoming seriously ill and a rise in deaths. It really is a matter of life and death.”
For further information, please read Welsh Government’s RCT Lockdown FAQs