Groups of up to 100 teenagers have been moved on, and large amounts of alcohol seized, as police respond to concerns over antisocial behaviour near the coastal path in Burry Port.
Dyfed-Powys Police officers are using powers under the Antisocial Behaviour Act to disperse groups of youngsters meeting to drink alcohol in woodland and sand dunes off the path, many of whom had travelled to the area to meet up.
Plans had been put in place ahead of the Easter holidays as part of a joint operation with Carmarthenshire Council to deal with anticipated gatherings following the easing of travel restrictions – and in particular to target groups of young people meeting in Burry Port.
A Section 34 Order remains in place covering Burry Port and the coastal path from Pembrey Harbour to Pwll, and allows officers to move people out of the area and prevent them from returning for up to 48 hours.
Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “A number of calls have been received from residents in Burry Port who are concerned about the behaviour of large groups of young people in the town.
“Proactive action has been taken, with plans put in place to deal with such issues last weekend and into the bank holiday.
“Historically, gatherings of this kind in the area has resulted in antisocial behaviour and criminal damage, so we are putting additional resources in place to allow officers to respond swiftly and prevent matters from escalating.”
Llanelli Neighbourhood Policing Team, supported by response officers, are carrying out high visibility patrols along the coastal path, covering areas known to be popular with youngsters, and work is being carried out with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s arson reduction team.
On Saturday night, around 50 teenagers spotted heading towards woodland were dispersed and advised to go home. Around 100 bottles of alcohol were seized from the youngsters, who were aged between 13 and 16.
On Tuesday night (30 March) officers were called to the harbour, where large groups had again gathered. Around 100 teenagers were sent home from the area between the harbour and the Shoreline caravan park, with large amounts of litter and alcohol bottles left behind, and damage caused by fires in the sand dunes.
Licensing checks are being carried out at shops in the area to remind them of the laws around selling alcohol.
Sgt Davies said: “We will continue to patrol the area and will not hesitate to disperse groups, sending the message that we will not tolerate antisocial behaviour of this kind.
“We would like to appeal directly to parents to be aware of where their children are, and what they are doing. This behaviour is distressing for people living in Burry Port, and we are urging you to be accountable for your children’s actions.
“We understand that the past few months have been difficult, and that children want to see their friends, but please do your best to ensure they are adhering to regulations that are in place for all our safety.”
Officers from Llanelli and Ammanford Neighbourhood Policing Teams carried out additional high visibility patrols in key tourist areas to ensure regulations were being adhered to despite the increased number of visitors as travel restrictions eased.
Visits were made with Carmarthenshire Council officers to 50 caravan and self-catering establishments across the county to ensure compliance with the new restrictions and offer advice to those who needed it.
For the latest restrictions on travel and socialising, visit www.gov.wales/coronavirus