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British Transport Police

Supporters heading to Welsh international urged to ‘make a face covering part of your rugby kit’

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Rugby supporters heading into Cardiff to watch Wales’ autumn internationals are being reminded they must wear a face covering on public transport.

A capacity 74,500 crowd is expected at the Principality Stadium on Saturday for Wales’ opening game of the series against New Zealand – the first sell-out since the 2020 Six Nations.

With many more thousands of people expected into the Welsh capital to watch the match in bars and other venues, Transport for Wales and the British Transport Police are stressing the importance of following the Welsh Government’s Covid regulations.

Leyton Powell, Safety and Sustainability Director at Transport for Wales, commented: “Our crowd management and security staff will be working closely with BTP on match day to remind rugby supporters it is still a legal requirement to wear face coverings on public transport.

“Anyone refusing to wear a face covering without a valid exemption can be refused travel or removed from services.

“We want all passengers to have a safe and enjoyable journey to and from the match and we’ve been in contact with rugby clubs to help pass on the message face coverings should be a vital part of every supporter’s kit this autumn.

“Anyone who forgets to travel with a face covering should speak to TfW staff for assistance.”

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BTP Inspector Richard Powell said: “We’re working closely with our partners throughout the tournament to help the thousands using the railway to travel to and from the events safely.

“We will have an increased presence at key locations, and officers will be reminding passengers of the requirement to wear a face covering on public transport in Wales, unless exempt.

“As with all major events, it’s very important for everyone using the railway to stay alert, be vigilant, and report anything suspicious activity to station staff, a BTP officer, or by texting 61016 with some brief details.”

There are a number of other measures in place to keep passengers safe including hand sanitiser at stations, enhanced cleaning regimes on trains and stations and queuing systems to control the flow of people into stations and onto trains.

TfW will be running a full timetable with additional capacity on our busiest trains and all available carriages will be in service, but social distancing is not going to be possible on match-day services. TfW is urging customers to take this into account when choosing to whether not to travel. 

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Anyone travelling from west or east Wales into Cardiff along the mainline is advised to use larger capacity inter-city services where possible and those travelling shorter distances are encouraged to walk, cycle or use local bus services.

Bill Kelly, Network Rail’s Route Director for Wales & Borders added: “Our teams have been working closely with Transport for Wales as we prepare to welcome thousands of rugby fans and spectators to Cardiff.

“We’d like to remind all passengers that face coverings are a legal requirement when travelling on public transport in Wales.”

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British Transport Police

Man touched himself inappropriately in front of passengers on West Wales train

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Officers investigating an incident of outraging public decency on board a train travelling between Carmarthen and Haverfordwest have released an image of a man they’d like to speak to in connection with the incident.

At around midday on Saturday 14 August, two passengers noticed a man who was sitting a few rows away from them. One of the passengers caught his eye and noticed he was touching himself inappropriately under his trousers. 

The passengers got up to move away from the suspect, who then alighted at Haverfordwest railway station.

British Transport Police Officers believe the man in the CCTV image may have information which could help their investigation.

If you recognise him or have any information, contact British Transport Police by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 281 of 14/08/21. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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British Transport Police

Week of action to reinforce face covering regulations on public transport

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Transport for Wales and the British Transport Police are collaborating on a week of action across the Welsh rail network to remind customers face coverings must still be worn on public transport.

It follows the Welsh Government’s move to alert level zero from Saturday 7 August.

As a result of the change to alert level zero, TfW has updated its guidance to passengers and face coverings will no longer be required to be worn on uncovered station platforms.

But face coverings remain mandatory on public transport in Wales, unless exempt, and in covered areas such as station buildings, cafes, toilets and waiting rooms.

Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change with a responsibility for transport said: “As we slowly start to get our lives back on track, we mustn’t forget that Covid hasn’t gone away. The scientific evidence is clear, wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, such as public transport, reduces the spread of the virus.

“Transport for Wales has kept its services running throughout the pandemic and continue to take steps to keep travellers safe. By continuing to wear face coverings, we can all play our part to keep Wales safe.”

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British Transport Police and Cardiff Central Station (Image: Transport for Wales)

Since the start of 2021, TfW, BTP and partner security agency staff have challenged more than 50,000 people across the Wales and Borders network for not wearing face coverings and refused travel to more than 2,000.

Leyton Powell, Safety and Sustainability Director at TfW, said: Leyton Powell, Safety and Sustainability Director at TfW, said: “As restrictions ease, we want to reassure our customers that their safety remains our priority and that unless exempt, face coverings must still be worn on public transport.

“Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in the number of people not wearing face coverings and we are going to use this opportunity to engage with people and reinforce the message that wearing a face covering helps to protect you and your fellow passengers, some of whom may be anxious about a return to public transport.

“TfW and BTP staff will be interacting with passengers, and we’ll have a number of automated messages at stations and on-board services. We’re also enhancing our messaging on social media and when people buy tickets through our website and app.

“We also have every available carriage in service to provide as much capacity as possible on the network.”

British Transport Police at Swansea Train Station (Image: British Transport Police)

The week of action from Wednesday 11th to Wednesday 18th August will see TfW and BTP staff target key areas where face covering compliance has fallen in recent months. This includes services to Barry Island, the North and West Wales coasts and on lines to the Rhymney Valley, Maesteg and Treherbert.

British Transport Police Chief Inspector Jon Cooze said: “As has been the case throughout the pandemic, our officers will continue with the ‘4Es’ approach of engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce any Coronavirus legal requirements.

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“As our jurisdiction covers three countries our officers police different laws every day, including throughout the pandemic, and are used to dealing with any challenges this presents.”

(Lead image: Transport for Wales)

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British Transport Police

Police appeal for information in Swansea train station sexual assault investigation

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British Transport Police have released CCTV images of a person they would like to speak to in relation to a sexual assault at Swansea Train Station.

At just before 11.30pm on Saturday 3 July, the victim was sat on a bench on the station’s platform when a person approached and sat down next to him.

The person then touched him inappropriately before he got up and walked away.

Officers believe the person in the CCTV images may have information which could help their investigation.

If you recognise them, or have any information, please contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 2100048056.

Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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