GWENT Police will be using road checks to help enforce lockdown measures which came into force in Newport and Blaenau Gwent last night.

The two local authorities joined Caerphilly at 6pm on Tuesday in the latest localised restrictions announced by the Welsh Government.

And shortly afterwards, the force began to set up road checks, such as one on the A48 out of Newport and into Cardiff, to make sure people on the roads had good reason to leave the city.

Chief Superintendent Tom Harding spoke to the Argus to explain how Gwent Police would be enforcing the new restrictions.


"We are already doing work in licensed premises, and over the next couple of days we will be introducing road checks," he said.

"We are going to look to move these around the affected areas. We will put officers out and pull over vehicles at random. We did this previously and it was successful.

"I hope 99 per cent of those interactions will be polite and prompt, checking where they are heading and sending them on their way.

"We are not looking to cause mass disruption."

Chief Supt Harding said the force would be looking to educate and engage with people and businesses, only fining people who are deliberately flouting the new restrictions.

"It's different in terms of restrictions so we have a lot of people to engage with. We have to explain to people what they can and can't do and encourage people to follow the restrictions.

"Ultimately, we will enforce when people are deliberately breaking the rules.

"This time around, people know the seriousness of the disease. When we identify people deliberately not following the regulations, we will be issuing fines."

When asked if he was concerned if people would be fed-up of lockdown, and not comply with the new measures, Chief Supt Harding said: "There's a concern there will be a fatigue around lockdown, but this lockdown is far less restrictive.

"This time people can go out to the shops or meet friends outside.

"I understand people will find it difficult, but we want to keep as many freedoms as we can, and the way we do that is by all working together to abide by these restrictions. If we don't we could end up with more onerous restrictions."

Chief Supt Harding said the new measures would not mean dedicating a section of the force to enforcement.

"For us it's not about specifically dedicating resources to this, but how we adapt what we do on a daily basis.

"We've done 40 licensed premises checks in Newport on Tuesday, and that was just with our neighbourhood teams working with the council.

"We will be policing it, but our normal policing services are still available. We want people to call us.

"A big concern last time we were in lockdown was domestic abuse. We don't want people affected by this to feel like they can't call us."