A dispersal order giving police additional powers to deal with those acting in an antisocial manner has been put in place for the Oval Basin in Cardiff Bay.
Despite the vast majority of visitors to the location acting responsibly, abiding by the law and Covid-19 restrictions, on Friday night (July 31) officers dealt with a small number of disputes and incidents of violence, and were also required to police large crowds at taxi ranks.
Two people – a 27-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man – were arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker after two officers were injured during separate incidents in the area. Both currently remain in custody.
Detective Inspector Jeff Burton said: “A number of Coronavirus restrictions remain in place, and it is important that people take personal responsibility and follow them, for their own safety and that of others.
“The vast majority of people did just that, but the selfish actions of a minority left us with no choice but to impose the Section 35 dispersal notice for the area. Violence, disorder and antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated.
“Those planning to visit Mermaid Quay this evening should be mindful that the dispersal order remains in place, and anyone intent on causing trouble or behaving in a way that law-abiding people will find offensive, should stay away or expect to be dealt with by our officers.”
Section 35 dispersal orders under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, aim to ensure the safety of the public, and reduce the risk of any anti-social behaviour or disorder within this area.
The order gives a uniformed police officer the power to exclude a person from an area for a period of up to 48 hours by the issuing of a written notice.
The power is preventative and allows an officer to deal quickly with someone’s behaviour before it escalates. It is in addition to the current Covid-19 legislation.
DI Burton added: “We want people visiting areas such as Cardiff Bay to feel safe in doing so, so we will be maintaining a visible presence there throughout the weekend. We will be working with licensees in the area and officer will also be using powers to confiscate alcohol where necessary.
“We are starting to see more people visiting our towns and cities as venues gradually begin to reopen, and it is great to see people able to enjoy themselves again. But I would urge people to do so safely and responsibly and, as well as abiding by the law, remembering to abide by Welsh Government social distancing measures which are designed for the benefit and safety of us all.”