Mum fined £30 by police for lockdown trip to beauty spot claims she was ‘ambushed’
The woman, who asked not to be named, was stopped with her two children (Image: Daily Post Wales)
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A distraught mum said she was made to feel like a criminal after being 'ambushed' by police and slapped with a £30 fine while out for a walk at a Welsh beauty spot.
The woman, who asked not to be named, was stopped as she led her two children down from the picturesque Aber Falls in north Wales after a family outing on Saturday afternoon.
She said that other families were seen hiding from the police but they didn't think they had done anything wrong by travelling for the walk.
It comes as a Number 10 source insisted Boris Johnson 'didn't break any rules' by driving seven miles to ride his bike amid other high profile cases.
The unnamed woman had travelled to the beauty stop in Abergwyngregyn from her home in Colwyn Bay after reading the Welsh Government’s Covid advice to exercise locally, the Daily Post reports.
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Walkers set off along a path towards Aber Falls at Coedydd Aber national nature reserve in Abergwyngregyn
(Image: Daily Post Wales)
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She said: "As we came down the path, we saw the police in the car park – and we saw a family hiding from them.
“I just carried on because I really didn’t think we had done anything wrong. When speaking to the police officer, I wasn’t able to ask questions or explain my position. I was just given a fine.
“The police should be here to protect and serve the public. As the exercise rules as so unclear, and seem to be changing every day, they should be advising us on what we can and cannot do.
“I’ve always taught my children to respect the police but after this my boy is now scared of them.”
The woman said she had checked the rules before travelling and believed she was complying and thought 'it was a case of common sense, to exercise locally, to avoid anywhere crowded and to social distance at all times.'
She said the woman police officer asked where she was from and said she would be arrested if she didn't provide the details.
She added: “I was shocked and upset. She made me feel like a criminal and my little boy was in tears.
“Ambushing a family out having a walk, and issuing a fine with no warning, is a disgrace.”
Families were reportedly hiding in a car park
(Image: Daily Post Wales)
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The mum said she understands and supports the need for tight restrictions to control the current coronavirus spike.
Like others, she was 'appalled' by scenes of overcrowding on Snowdon and other sites last summer.
But car park gates at Aber Falls were open and, had the site been crowded, she said she would have turned back.
The mum said the rules are a 'grey area' and that it is too easy for law-abiding people to get caught out.
Having re-read the rules, she said she now understands people are not allowed to drive to a place for exercise but she insisted the police response was too punitive.
The regulations allow for fixed penalty notices to be issued for breaches with fines of up to £10,000.
The mum has been told to expect to receive her fixed penalty notice in the post.
On Sunday North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones urged the police and other agencies to take an even tougher approach against 'selfish' people flouting the regulations and putting lives at risk.
It comes amid other high profile cases of apparent lockdown breaches in various parts of the UK.
Yesterday, a Number 10 source insisted Boris Johnson 'didn't break any rules' by driving seven miles to ride his bike.
The Prime Minister, whose Downing Street home has a large, private garden and is surrounded by royal parks, was seen cycling in the Olympic Park in Stratford on Sunday.
Police have also apologised to two women who were fined £200 after travelling to a reservoir for a walk a few miles from their homes.
Best friends Jessica Allen and Eliza Moore were flanked by officers as they drove into the entrance of Foremark Reservoir in South Derbyshire last week.
The force withdrew the fines and apologised 'for any concern caused.'