Covid lockdown Wales: Police handcuff and ARREST man walking with wife

A man was arrested in front of his wife and teenage son for not giving his personal details after they were stopped by police while on a walk 22 miles from their home. 

The man, named Radek Kotlarek, was on a walk with his wife and son at Talacre Beach in north Wales.

They were on the verge of heading home after picking up some ice cream when they were approached by police near their car. 

The officers asked them what they were doing at the beach and Radek said he explained how his family had decided to take a walk together for their mental wellbeing after the death of family members in Poland they had been unable to visit. 

Police then demanded Radek’s name and personal details, which he refused to give, before handcuffing him for breaching coronavirus regulations. 

Radek claims he was then taken to the station, interrogated, bullied and forced to undergo a strip search after officers threatened to cut his clothes with scissors. 

Reacting to the claims, North Wales police Chief Superintendent Nigel Harrison said his officers behaved ‘calmly’ and said Radek breached Covid regulations. 

However, Radek said he wasn’t charged or fined despite spending three hours in police custody. 

The force was slammed on social media as the footage spread.   

Police then demanded Radek's name and personal details, which he refused to give, before handcuffing him for breaching coronavirus regulations

Police then demanded Radek's name and personal details, which he refused to give, before handcuffing him for breaching coronavirus regulations

Police then demanded Radek's name and personal details, which he refused to give, before handcuffing him for breaching coronavirus regulations

Police then demanded Radek's name and personal details, which he refused to give, before handcuffing him for breaching coronavirus regulations

Police demanded Radek’s name and personal details, which he refused to give, before handcuffing him for breaching coronavirus regulations

Reacting to the claims, North Wales police Chief Superintendent Nigel Harrison said his officers behaved 'calmly' and said Radek breached Covid regulations

Reacting to the claims, North Wales police Chief Superintendent Nigel Harrison said his officers behaved 'calmly' and said Radek breached Covid regulations

Reacting to the claims, North Wales police Chief Superintendent Nigel Harrison said his officers behaved ‘calmly’ and said Radek breached Covid regulations

Welsh Assembly member Neil McEvoy blasted police over the arrest and told MailOnline: ‘How on earth can a regular couple be treated in such a way? 

‘The Kotlarek’s have been dealing with family tragedy in Poland, yet are unable to travel to be with family. They went to a quiet beach to maintain a sense of sanity. 

‘The police acted unlawfully and breached the human rights of an everyday couple out with their son. 

‘Mr Kotlarek did not resist arrest, yet was cuffed. That was an assault. He was then unlawfully imprisoned, because refusing to give one’s details under coronavirus legislation is not an offence. The latest legal rulings have been clear on that. 

‘To threaten Radek with scissors to cut off his clothes, if he did not strip naked at the station was a huge indignity. It constituted abuse and was a breach of his human rights. 

‘This kind of thing only used to happen under totalitarian regimes. It is happening in Wales now, with opposition politicians like me also be targeted by police. 

‘The officers involved should be suspended pending investigation. This has to stop. If the Chief Constable does not act decisively, he should be sacked.’

His fury was matched on social media.

Actor Laurence Fox wrote: ‘Without consent, it’s not policing. Incidents like this critically erode trust in the police, who must be free to investigate real crime. What are we becoming? Our freedom is not innate. We have to protect it.’

One person wrote: ‘I sincerely hope both these officers are thrown out of the police force immediately. Appalling behaviour which shames all police officers.’

Radek claims he was then taken to the station, interrogated, bullied and forced to undergo a strip search after officers threatened to cut his clothes with scissors

Radek claims he was then taken to the station, interrogated, bullied and forced to undergo a strip search after officers threatened to cut his clothes with scissors

Radek claims he was then taken to the station, interrogated, bullied and forced to undergo a strip search after officers threatened to cut his clothes with scissors

Radek said he wasn't charged or fined despite spending three hours in police custody

Radek said he wasn't charged or fined despite spending three hours in police custody

Radek said he wasn’t charged or fined despite spending three hours in police custody

A second said: ‘Dreadful behaviour by those officers @NWPolice, led by one pointing her finger at and threatening to arrest upset people. 

‘Not dangerous people, but distressed ones. She revved up situation to get cuffs out. Relationship between police and law-abiding people once again damaged.’

While a third added: ‘Basically “behave like a good boy or I’ll arrest you”. Doesn’t matter if you’re committing a crime or not these days, the cops simply don’t take well to not being obeyed.’  

Chief Superintendent Harrison said in a statement: ‘The person was spoken to at Talacre beach as officers reasonably suspected he had committed an offence, which in this case was a breach in Coronavirus regulations.

‘The man, who is from the seaside town of Rhos on Sea some 22 miles away, was arrested because his details could not be ascertained at the time in order to be reported for the suspected breach.

‘The officers behaved in a calm and reasonable way as I would have expected. As is always the case, if the individual wishes to query or complain about the way they were treated then of course we will review the full circumstances.’    

Earlier, a woman was filmed being confronted by four police officers as she told them she was only two miles away from her house and waiting to buy a coffee. 

Merseyside Police turned away more than 100 cars from Formby Beach and handed out 20 fines, while at Dovestone Reservoir near Oldham visitors were hit with penalty notices for parking on the pavement. 

Video shot in London on Saturday showed a woman shouting at police that ‘it’s not a crime to stand in the street’. The woman claimed she was put in handcuffs after being confronted by four officers. 

Footage shows the woman telling officers that she lived ‘two miles away’ in Battersea, south west London, and had joined a friend and their 13-year-old son for a walk. 

It comes as plunging infection figures, the success of the vaccine rollout and lockdown weariness among Britons have left police struggling to enforce the Covid restrictions.

Daily infections have almost halved in a week to the lowest levels since September, today’s figures show as Britain’s Covid outbreak continues to shrink rapidly.

Deaths have also plunged by 42 per cent, according to the Government’s own data that will pile more pressure on Boris Johnson to consider easing draconian lockdown restrictions sooner. 

Merseyside Police turned away more than 100 cars from Formby Beach and handed out 20 fines, while at Dovestone Reservoir near Oldham visitors were hit with penalty notices for parking on the pavement. 

Video shot in London on Saturday showed a woman shouting at police that 'it's not a crime to stand in the street'

Video shot in London on Saturday showed a woman shouting at police that 'it's not a crime to stand in the street'

The woman claimed she was put in handcuffs after being confronted by four officers

The woman claimed she was put in handcuffs after being confronted by four officers

Video shot in London on Saturday showed a woman shouting at police that ‘it’s not a crime to stand in the street’. The woman claimed she was put in handcuffs after being confronted by four officers

Merseyside Police turned away more than 100 cars from Formby Beach on Sunday and handed out 20 fines

Merseyside Police turned away more than 100 cars from Formby Beach on Sunday and handed out 20 fines

Merseyside Police turned away more than 100 cars from Formby Beach on Sunday and handed out 20 fines 

A sign at Formby Beach saying the car park was full after hundreds of visitors flocked there on Saturday

A sign at Formby Beach saying the car park was full after hundreds of visitors flocked there on Saturday

A sign at Formby Beach saying the car park was full after hundreds of visitors flocked there on Saturday 

Hundreds of cars were turned away from Formby Beach in Merseyside on Sunday (pictured are vehicles crowding on a road near the spot)

Hundreds of cars were turned away from Formby Beach in Merseyside on Sunday (pictured are vehicles crowding on a road near the spot)

Hundreds of cars were turned away from Formby Beach in Merseyside on Sunday (pictured are vehicles crowding on a road near the spot) 

The woman shouted: ‘It’s not a crime to stand in a street – I’m social distancing – when I go in the shop, I had a mask. We’ve come from two miles away – two miles away.’

One of the officers responds: ‘We’ve explained it to you – it’s not legal to come from Battersea.’

The friend then turned to passers-by and said: ‘Everyone, if you don’t live in the area, you’re not allowed to be here. It’s against the law. I come from Battersea, two miles away, and they’re saying I can’t be here. This is the state of the law, and this country.’ 

Meanwhile, Merseyside Police Superintendent Graeme Robson said the ‘good weather’ had seen a dramatic rise in visitors to Formby beach, with some coming from as far afield as Leeds, Manchester and Stockport. 

‘It is quite frankly astounding,’ he said.

Lockdown revellers turn ancient ice cave into a party hotspot  

An ancient Ice Age cave has been put at risk after being turned into a BBQ and party hotspot during lockdown.

Ash Hole Cavern has been home to Roman artefacts, prehistoric animal bones, and unique geological formations.

But now, the cave in Brixham, Devon, is being used by people flouting lockdown rules to meet up with friends.

Archaeologist Darren Murray is campaigning for cave owner Torbay Council to erect gates at the area to protect the site.

He said: ‘It is historical important and it needs protecting so that when archaeologists do get in there, no more damage has been done.’ 

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‘Now more than ever people should be taking heed of the advice, so that infection rates can continue to drop, and we can meet the criteria necessary for easing lockdown in the upcoming weeks and months.’

On the Isle of Wight, six volunteers were hit with £100 fines by police for helping to touch up the clubhouse of local team Ventnor FC. 

George Creighton, 28, said his friends were all abiding by social distancing guidelines, and added: ‘If you walk your dog up Ventnor Football Club and think it’s okay to report people that are volunteering their free time to paint the football club to the police.’ 

Well-wishers have already donated to cover the cost of the fines. 

In Ferryhill, County Durham, officers raided a house party to find that revellers had travelled from as far as Blackpool – 120 miles away – to be there.

And at Dovestone Reservoir in Oldham, drivers were hit by parking fines on Sunday afternoon after several cars were seen parking on the pavement near to the popular beauty spot.

Under current government guidance, people are only allowed to leave their homes for a limited number of reasons.

People can go out to exercise, which can be with up to one other person from outside their household or bubble.

The exercise should ideally be limited to once per day, and guidance is that people should try to do this locally.

The Met said about the Battersea video: ‘We are aware of a video circulating on social media which captures part of officers’ interaction with members of the public. ‘Enquiries are ongoing to establish the events and outcome.’While the Government’s roadmap contains positive news, the Met’s message is clear – now is not the time for complacency. 

A parking warden handing out a fine to a car parked on the pavement by Dovestone Reservoir in Oldham

A parking warden handing out a fine to a car parked on the pavement by Dovestone Reservoir in Oldham

A parking warden handing out a fine to a car parked on the pavement by Dovestone Reservoir in Oldham

cores of cars lined the road up to Dovestone Reservoir, in Oldham, yesterday afternoon

cores of cars lined the road up to Dovestone Reservoir, in Oldham, yesterday afternoon

cores of cars lined the road up to Dovestone Reservoir, in Oldham, yesterday afternoon

A car that was hit with a parking fine on Sunday as hundreds of people flocked to Dovestone reservoir

A car that was hit with a parking fine on Sunday as hundreds of people flocked to Dovestone reservoir

A car that was hit with a parking fine on Sunday as hundreds of people flocked to Dovestone reservoir 

Large crowds on Crosby Beach in Merseyside on Sunday amid a spell of pleasant spring weather

Large crowds on Crosby Beach in Merseyside on Sunday amid a spell of pleasant spring weather

Large crowds on Crosby Beach in Merseyside on Sunday amid a spell of pleasant spring weather 

It comes as a ‘clueless’ couple who put to sea in a rubber boat and nearly swept away were given a strict telling off by the coastguards after being rescued. 

The husband and wife, who are in their 50s, launched the eight-foot-long inflatable, without wearing life jackets, thinking the freezing water looked quite calm.

But they were soon blown out to sea off Seaton, Devon, by a north easterly breeze, prompting a local fisherman to raise the alarm.

Coastguards from Beer rushed to the beach and searched for the couple using binoculars, but were unable to locate them until another fisherman also called 999 to say he had seen them struggling in the sea, two miles further along the coast.

The rescue operation rapidly relocated and found the exhausted couple on the beach.

After getting into trouble they had desperately paddled to get around a headland and out of the wind, and were about to call 999 before they managed to paddle back towards the beach.

A couple set out to sea in a rubber boat in Seaton, Devon, and had to be rescued by the Coastguard

A couple set out to sea in a rubber boat in Seaton, Devon, and had to be rescued by the Coastguard

A couple set out to sea in a rubber boat in Seaton, Devon, and had to be rescued by the Coastguard  

The couple were  blown out to sea off Seaton, Devon, by a north easterly breeze, prompting a local fisherman to raise the alarm (file picture, Seaton)

The couple were  blown out to sea off Seaton, Devon, by a north easterly breeze, prompting a local fisherman to raise the alarm (file picture, Seaton)

The couple were  blown out to sea off Seaton, Devon, by a north easterly breeze, prompting a local fisherman to raise the alarm (file picture, Seaton)

They were given a ticking off by coastguards about safety and, with their dinghy deflated, sent away on foot.

A spokesman for Beer coastguard has now said the couple had a lucky escape.

Terry Hoare said: ‘They thought it was a nice day and the sea looked calm so fancied a leisurely paddle.

‘They were spotted as they launched by a local fisherman who could see straight away what was going to happen.

‘They are very lucky he did see them and call us because it meant we were aware of it early on.’ 

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