Welsh Government measures to help slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and keep Wales safe have been in place since March, and although changes have been made along the way restrictions remain in place.

Since these measures were first announced, our contact centre has been extremely busy with calls from the public with questions about the restrictions and whether different things are permitted.

You can find the answers to most of the questions we’re being asked on the Welsh Government FAQs HERE. These are being updated as things change to bring you the latest up-to-date information.

For general information about Coronavirus in Wales, visit gov.wales/Coronavirus.

Please, help us by keeping our lines free for emergency and non-emergency police matters.

LATEST UPDATES

Following this afternoon’s announcement that government-imposed restrictions will continue in Wales for a further three weeks, police forces in Wales are urging the public to continue following government advice and remain committed to the national effort to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

In a statement on behalf of the four Welsh Chief Constables, North Wales Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: “We appreciate today’s announcement may not be the news many hoped for, but it is vital that we all continue to play our part and adhere to the restrictions set out by Welsh Government. 

“Although challenging for us all, the majority have made real sacrifices over the past six-and-a-half weeks and the consensus from Welsh Government and our colleagues in the health service, is that those efforts have made a real difference and helped slow the spread of the virus.

“While we’re being advised that it is still too soon to lift restrictions, the First Minister did announce some changes to the current guidance, particularly in relation to leaving the home to exercise.

“It is important to stress that no changes will come in to effect until Monday, and as such we would urge our communities to continue following the regulations as they stand now.

“The message remains clear – restrictions remain in place and the public in Wales are still urged to Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.

“Police officers will continue to be out in our communities over this Bank Holiday weekend, and our policing approach has not changed. Enforcement remains a last resort, but in the event of blatant or persistent breaches, action will be seen as necessary and proportionate.

“The public should take comfort in the fact we are now entering a preparatory phase and a return to a sense of normality is in sight.

“This is something we’d all like to see as soon as it is safe to do so, so I implore the public to continue following the guidance to Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives. Failing to do so now could risk undo all the progress we’ve made so far.”

Reassurance is being offered to people at risk of domestic abuse during the Coronavirus isolation period.

Dyfed-Powys Police has seen a decrease in reports of domestic abuse since the government enforced its social distancing measures, however there are concerns that the pandemic might have a serious impact on the lives of women, men and children who experience abuse at home.

Fears over jobs, financial pressure, school closures, working from home and the other sudden changes to our day-to-day lives might increase the likelihood of domestic abuse.

Advice on how to report incidents has been offered by the force, along with contact details for charities and support lines.

Detective Superintendent Anthony Griffiths, Head of Protecting Vulnerable People with Dyfed-Powys Police, said: “We know this is a time of worry for all of us, but this may be heightened for those who have suffered or are suffering domestic abuse in any of its forms.

“If you’re already living with domestic abuse, the restrictions put in place while the government tries to slow the spread of the virus may have left you feeling fearful of being isolated at home with your abuser.

“It may also leave you feeling less able access help and support. You may not be able to see the friends and family who usually support you, and some of the places where you go for help or treatment may be closed or offering a reduced service.

“You may also be concerned that your reporting mechanisms are now limited.

“I want to offer you some reassurance. I want you to know we are here for you and will remain here for you throughout. We have the resources to support you and we will respond to your report swiftly.”

On an average week over the last year, the force would expect approximately 180 domestic incidents recorded. Over the last week ending March 29, 2020, 110 incidents were recorded – this is a reduction of 39%

However, officers are concerned there are people out there who feel they are unable to or unsure how to report incidents safely.

999 should be used to report in an emergency, and a reminder has been issued of the silent solution. A caller can press 55 on their phone if they are not in a safe position to speak, and the operator will be notified to transfer the call to the relevant police force. Staff will then listen to any background noise and make an assessment of the situation in order to respond correctly.

Any reports made during the Coronavirus isolation period are being dealt with as they would be during any other time, Det Supt Griffiths assured. Contact is being maintained with partner organisations, and discussions are ongoing at multi-agency forums.

“If you are concerned and would prefer not to speak to the police, you could use one of the many charities offering support,” he added.

“If you do require our support but are worried that we will leave your abuser isolated with you after an incident, I want to tell you about Domestic Violence Protection Orders. These are orders we can secure through the court within 48 hours.

"The order, if granted, can have a number of provisions including preventing the abuser from returning to the property for 28 days. This should give you the necessary respite and allow you time to put longer term plans in place. You might be reading lots about backlogs with the courts but DVPOs are handled differently and are still available to us.

“I hope this information has provided you with reassurance that we are here for you and will remain here for you throughout.”

For more advice, scroll down to our specialist advice and support info.

‘Pembrokeshire is currently closed to visitors’ is the message from Dyfed-Powys Police as officers work to prevent the spread of Coronavirus within the county.

Despite the Prime Minister placing the UK under lockdown on Tuesday (March 24), some people continue to flout the rules and are still treating the area as a holiday destination.

Sergeant Hamish Nichols said patrols conducted over the last two days had resulted in more than 200 reminders to the public about what currently counts as ‘essential travel’.

“Yesterday we turned away numerous caravans and camper vans whose owners were travelling to Pembrokeshire to self-isolate,” said Sgt Nichols.

“We have also spoken to two campsite owners who have been open for business, and have issued stern advice to them and to all holidaymakers.

“While the majority of local people have taken the government guidelines seriously too many people seem to think the rules do not apply to them.

“The message is clear – this is a public health emergency, not a holiday, and anyone who ignores the current restrictions not only puts people’s lives in danger but also risks further action being taken against them.”

Patrols of beaches, coastal areas, and other public spaces will continue this weekend, with officers also conducting increased stop checks on roads across the force area.

Where members of the public refuse to listen to advice, officers will be able to issue penalty notices of £60, which if paid within 14 days reduce to £30.

Individuals who do not pay a fixed penalty notice could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose further fines.

If an individual continues to refuse to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and the police may arrest them.

“Enforcement is a last resort, and officers will always apply their common sense and discretion to every situation,” said Sgt Nichols.

 “But the powers are now available and we will use them if we have to.”

Chief Inspector Louise Harries added: “Our staff are working tirelessly in already difficult times and I ask that people adhere to the simple rules set.

"This will enable us to put our resources towards supporting all agencies in response to this crisis and continuing to protect our communities and victims." 

For more information on the measure and the answers to most questions, visit gov.wales/Coronavirus or gov.uk/Coronavirus

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.

Why?

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.

Chief Constable Mark Collins said “The pace at which the situation has unfolded over the last week has been unprecedented, and this is a situation that the majority of us could never have anticipated.

“I understand that our communities are being asked to live in a way which they are likely never to have experienced before, and I hope the majority are complying with the Prime Minister’s instruction to limit movement and time out of the house.

“We take pride as a service in the relationship we have with our communities and I’m confident that people will follow these stringent but very necessary measures that the Government have put in place. For those who will not follow the measures, we will utilise the existing powers we have, as well as any additional powers as they become available to us.

“I am extremely proud of the work that has gone into the planning around this operation and the commitment shown by my staff.

“We have a history of very positive relationships with our colleagues across health, local authorities and other blue light services across the Dyfed-Powys area, and with our counterparts in the three Welsh forces - we are all working together to support each other through this time.

“I ask our communities for their support too, and with that, I’m confident that together we can get through this. Now is the time for us all to pull together.”

The Government has announced further measures to help slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK. These measures are: 

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes

  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces

  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

You can find more detail about each of these measures, including what 'limited purposes' means when it comes to leaving your home on the UK Government's website - CLICK HERE.

FAQs

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.
  • Exercise, this should be done locally, and can be either alone or with another member of your household.
  • 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, if you cannot work from home.

These measures must be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded

Full details on these new measures can be found at gov.wales/Coronavirus

The current guidelines are that you should only travel if it is essential. 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 if at all possible, and to avoid going outside during busy periods.

Travelling when it's not essential has the potential to have an impact on already busy emergency services if something goes wrong. Also consider that there are now far fewer people around to raise the alarm if the worst should happen while you're travelling or in a remote spot for exercise.

Running or cycling as part of a group is not permitted unless you live in the same household, and neither is meeting up with friends for non-contact sports such as golf or skateboarding.

Full details on these new measures can be found at gov.wales/Coronavirus with specific exercise guidance HERE.

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.

Full details on these new measures can be found at gov.wales/Coronavirus.

According to current guidelines, children under 18 can be moved between two households when parents live separately.

Full details on these new measures can be found at gov.wales/Coronavirus.

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.

Full details on these new measures can be found at gov.wales/Coronavirus.

While Government guidance is that people shouldn’t travel unnecessarily, and as part of the new measures should stay at home except for the specific reasons, we have no powers to ask people to leave holiday homes or second homes.

Our officers are carrying out checks in different areas, including on roads into our force area, and where people are stopped coming into our area temporarily in camper vans or with caravans then may be directed to return home by officers or other action taken.

Full details on these new measures can be found at gov.wales/Coronavirus.

The Government guidance is that people can travel to and from work if they cannot work from home. This includes the building and construction trade. Anyone who is continuing to work should practice social distancing and minimise contact with others as much as possible.

Full details on these new measures can be found at gov.wales/Coronavirus.

To try and prevent the spread of Coronavirus, the Government advise that you avoid contact with people from other households if at all possible, and if you must come into contact with others you should maintain social distancing and remain two meters apart. During this time, you should look at alternative travel arrangements if at all possible.

Full details on these new measures can be found at gov.wales/Coronavirus.

The Government have extended the expiry dates for MOTs on vehicles due on or after 30 March 2020 by six months. You should make sure that your vehicle remains safe and roadworthy during this time. You can find more information on MOTs and Coronavirus HERE.

The closure of businesses as part of these measures is the responsibility of local authorities. You should visit their website for more information on how to get in touch about this.

Full details on these new measures can be found at gov.wales/Coronavirus.

It's not possible to record your journey with us or for us to provide you with anything to present if stopped. If you are stopped, rest assured our officers will discuss your journey with you and you'll be able to explain that you're travelling to or from work or for another essential reason to them. To make things easier, please also carry any work ID you have with you.

Full details on these new measures can be found at gov.wales/Coronavirus.

Yes – but only if there are no other options. If the move can be postponed then please wait, but if it can’t then travel for this purpose would be a reasonable excuse in Wales.

Some Universities are limiting the number of people turning up at any one time, please contact your University for this information.

Moving should be done with the minimum amount of people possible, and observing social distancing.

For more information about the regulations, visit gov.wales/Coronavirus and gov.wales/coronavirus-regulations-guidance

You can find much more information and the answers to most questions about the #StayHomeSaveLives measures in the updated FAQs at gov.wales/Coronavirus.

Please take the time to visit these sites to find your answer, and help keep our call handlers free to help people who need us for emergency and non-emergency policing matters.

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.

We are currently experiencing a high call demand to both our 999 and 101 numbers.

A lot of reports we receive are not actually police matters, so before you pick up the phone we'd urge you to visit bit.ly/DPPMakeTheRightCall to see if yours is. We're also receiving a high number of calls asking questions about the new #StayHomeSaveLives measures. Most of the answers can be found easily at gov.wales/Coronavirus.

If you do need to get in touch, and it's not an emergency you can report to us online at bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, by email to contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101. 

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.

Members of the public should not call police to report cases of COVID-19 coronavirus. If you think you have the virus you should use the NHS Symptom Checker HERE or call the NHS on 111.


A British Sign Language video version is available at bit.ly/BSLvideo

Advice and support for people living with domestic abuse

We are concerned that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) may have a serious impact on the lives of women, children and men who are experiencing domestic abuse.

Fears over jobs, financial pressure, school closures, working from home and the other current changes to our day to day lives may increase the likelihood of domestic abuse incidents.

If you’re already living with domestic abuse, the restrictions put in place while the government tries to slow the spread of the virus may have left you feeling fearful of being isolated at home with your abuser.

It may also leave you feeling less able access help and support. You may not be able to see the friends and family who usually support you, and some of the places where you go for help or treatment may be closed or offering a reduced service.

If you or someone else is in immediate danger please call 999 and ask for the police.

If you would like advice or support for you or someone else please call the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10800.

Try to keep a mobile phone with you at all times if possible. The police are a key service when in immediate danger.

Do not be afraid to call 999 in an emergency.

Familiarise yourself with The Silent Solution system. This is a system for victims of domestic abuse who might be afraid of further danger if they are overheard when calling 999 in an emergency.

When somebody calls 999, an operator will ask which emergency service is required. If the caller is unable to speak, the call will be forwarded to an operating system.

Listen to the questions, respond by coughing or tapping if you can, and when asked press 55 on your keypad. The operator will transfer the call to the relevant police force as an emergency.

National helplines, email, text and live chat support services, and local specialist services, are currently open for business as usual, although their delivery is likely to have to adapt over the coming weeks.

Some local support services in the community may be temporarily suspended or providing services in a different way during the COVID-19 pandemic. This may mean that some survivors will feel particularly isolated.

If previously accessing counselling that has now been suspended; some counselling services can continue to provide helpline support.

For example, Supportline provides a confidential telephone helpline and email counselling service. Particularly to those at risk of abuse or are isolated: www.supportline.org.uk

Women’s Aid is continuing to provide the following services:

The Survivors’ Forum is an online resource for survivors of domestic abuse. The Survivors’ forum can be accessed 24/7. This is a place where survivors can support each other and share their experiences.

Women’s Aid Live Chat is currently available Monday to Friday 10- 12pm. This could be a safer way to access some support; particularly if an abuser might also be in the property so it would be unsafe to make a telephone call.

Women’s Aid Email Service is still operating and can also provide support.

Looking after children can be particularly difficult challenging when isolating. Family lives have support available including online forums: https://www.familylives.org.uk/

At the moment leaving might feel particularly difficult and you might be worried about having to leave your home in an emergency. If possible pack an emergency bag for you and your children and keep it somewhere safe. Try to include essential things such as medication, identification, money or cards. Essential clothing for you and your children.

Due to self- isolation staying with family and friends might not be an option. If you need to access refuge accommodation you can do this via the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800. The Local Authority also has a responsibility to give you information about your housing rights however this service may be reduced at this time. Shelter provide free confidential housing information, support and legal advice on all housing and homelessness issues. They also have a helpline: 08000 495 495 https://sheltercymru.org.uk/

DVPN: A Domestic Violence Protection Order can remove a perpetrator from the residence and from making contact with the survivor for up to 28 days. An Occupation Order is an injunction which removes an abusers’ rights to reside in the family home.

If a survivor has concerns around the family court, it will be useful to take a look at the CAFCASS website for guidance. They are regularly updating their information: https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/2020/03/18/coronavirus-covid-19-update-on-cafcass-preparedness/

If you’re a child or young person and domestic abuse is happening in your

home or relationship, then call Childline on 0800 1111.

If you are concerned about your financial situation, you could contact Turn2us.

They help people to access the money available to them through welfare benefits and grants. Their website has an income-related benefits checker enabling you to check that you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to: www.turn2us.org.uk

Many survivors experience economic abuse within the context of intimate partner violence. Surviving Economic Abuse can provide information and resources: https://survivingeconomicabuse.org/

Deaf Hope provides practical and emotional support to deaf women experiencing domestic abuse: www.signhealth.org.uk

Emergency SMS provides a text message service for deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired people in the UK to send SMS messages to the UK 999 service where it will be passed to the Police: www.emergencysms.org.uk

  • Women’s Aid who hold a web chat between 10am and noon (Monday to Friday); the 24 hour 
  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247
  • Live Fear Free Helpline: 0808 8010 800 Email: info@livefearfreehelpline.wales (All Wales Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Helpline)
  • National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300
  • Men’s Advice Line
    0808 801 0327
    mensadviceline.org.uk
  • National LBGT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428
  • Rape Crisis (England and Wales)
    0808 802 9999
    rapecrisis.org.uk
  • The Mix, free information and support for under 25s in the UK – 0808 808 4994

Neath: 01639 633580

Powys: 01874 625146

Ammanford: 01269 597474 

Bridgend: 01656 766139

 

 

  • Hafan Cymru: Carmarthen (01267) 225555 Brecon (01874) 620030 Haverfordwest (01437) 768671

 

 

 

Llanelli 01554 752 422

 

  • West Wales Domestic Abuse Service (WWDAS): Aberystwyth helpline 01970 625585 or Cardigan helpline 01239 615385.

24Hour Helpline: 01970 625 585 or 01239 615385

The response to Coronavirus in Wales is being led by Public Health Wales. You can find the latest information and self-isolation advice on their website at phw.nhs.wales/Coronavirus. You can also find information from the Welsh Government at gov.wales/Coronavirus.

We've put together a list of organisations to follow to help you get all the accurate and up to date information you need on Coronavirus on Twitter HERE(You don't need a Twitter account to view this information).