GWENT Police are out patrolling the streets and ensuring the public complies with the coronavirus lockdown.

On Monday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK would enter into an unprecedented lockdown, with only essential journeys allowed.

Police will have the power to issue fines and those who continue to flout the rules may face criminal prosecution.

Gwent police have used social media to show that they are helping the government enforce the lockdown, with only those deemed 'key workers' allowed to make journeys.

Yesterday afternoon, the Newport division of Gwent Police were patrolling the Friars Walk area.

South Wales Argus:

(Newport officers ensure the public is adhering to lockdown rules. Picture: Gwent Police.)

They posted: “Reinforcing the importance of complying with new Covid-19 measures, following the PM’s announcement that everyone must now stay at home, except in exceptional circumstance, to protect our NHS and save lives.”

South Wales Argus:

(Officers patrol an empty Friars Walk. Picture: Gwent Police.)

Gwent is the worst affected area in Wales with 248 cases of confirmed coronavirus.

And this morning, police seized a vehicle after it was stopped for flouting social distancing rules.

South Wales Argus:

(The vehicle was seized. Picture: Gwent Police.)

They posted: “Only make essential journeys. PM advice given for a reason, to save lives.

“Vehicle seized as exemption for UK road tax invalid.

“Vehicle seized and all occupants sent on way with social distancing put in place.”

Another vehicle was also seized after police stopped the driver to check if they were making an essential journey. 

Gwent Police Newport Officers tweeted: "Vehicle observed Bolt Street, Newport.

"Multiple occupants with no valid purpose of  journey. Driver identified as not insured. Vehicle seized.

"Please observe and abide by Government restrictions on movement.

"Please stay indoors unless absolutely necessary."

South Wales Argus:

(The vehicle was seized for having no insurance after police checked the purpose of the driver's journey. Picture: Gwent Police.)

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Gwent Police’s Rural Crime Team were also checking on closed sites and car parks in rural areas late last night.

South Wales Argus:

(Police went to 'closed' sites to check people were complying with lockdown rules. Picture: Gwent Police.)

The check-ups included Tredegar House – which has a caravan site – and Coed Gwent Wentwood.

Caravan sites are allowed to remain open as long as people “live in these as interim abodes” whilst their primary residence is unavailable and they may continue to do.

They posted: “We are out on patrol tonight. Starting by checking on many closed sites and car parks in rural areas, ensuring that people are following the Covid-19 instructions.”

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It comes as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent Jeff Cuthbert said the “people of Gwent do not need to be told by the police what they have to do” but that the police will deal with “reckless individuals”.

“Both the Prime Minister and the First Minister have made it absolutely clear that if the steps that they’ve outlined are not followed comprehensively then we face a grim situation that will overwhelm the NHS and lead to tragic and unnecessary deaths.

“Then, we will only have ourselves to blame."