THE ORGANISERS of a ‘car meet’ which attracted around 170 vehicles to Merthyr Tydfil have been traced and fined for breaching coronavirus restrictions.
The Cwm Taf Morgannwg Joint Enforcement Team (JET), which is made up of South Wales Police officers and Merthyr Tydfil Council enforcement officers, has been working to take retrospective action following the large gathering outside Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Village on November 29.
Officers were called to the site – one of the locations being used for mass coronavirus testing – at around 6.30pm on the night, and were met with hundreds of car enthusiasts, who were all in breach of Welsh Government regulations.
Evidence was gathered on bodyworn video before the crowds were dispersed.
The JET has since trawled the footage and made numerous enquiries to track down the event organisers, six of whom have now been issued with fixed penalty notices. Further enquiries are also ongoing, with further fines for attendees likely.
Local Policing Inspector Jonathan Duckham, said: “The organisers and attendees of this event showed a blatant disregard for the coronavirus restrictions, and put their love of cars above the need to minimise the risk to themselves and others.
“That the meet was arranged for the very location where mass coronavirus testing is taking place because the local situation is so serious, also beggared belief.
“Individuals were warned on the night that retrospective enforcement action would follow, and we hope that those involved will think carefully before attending any other such events while we remain in the midst of the pandemic.
“The gathering caused a significant amount of concern locally, and I hope that this also reassures our local communities that we do act upon their reports and concerns and we will take enforcement action where the regulations are blatantly or repeatedly breached.”
Merthyr Tydfil Council Leader, Kevin O’Neill added: “We welcome the swift enforcement action taken by our police partners to deal with totally unacceptable behaviour. We will continue to work with South Wales Police and other Community Safety Partners to see what preventative measures we can put in place to prevent such happenings again.
“We do not wish to label or blame all those young people who have a shared interest in motorsport or other pursuits associated with motor vehicles that do not break the law. “Residents in the town ward have suffered with noise nuisance, speeding and ASB for at least the last three years and I am reassured we now have a data base of those who attended the event. I actively support identifying offenders quickly and the rapid and appropriate enforcement action being initiated.”