Police have launched a new crackdown as Gower beaches and SA1 have continued to be a focus for large groups of teenagers and adults taking advantage of an easing in lockdown rules.
Such an order can be brought in under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and aims to “ensure the safety of the public, and reduce the risk of any anti-social behaviour or disorder” within a specific area.
It gives police officers the power to exclude someone from the area for up to 48 hours by issuing a written notice.
Police have also introduced another order covering the SA1 area, following reports of large groups congregating and drinking, along with suspected drug taking.
The initial beach order comes after police were called to a reported assault in Langland Bay on Monday evening and found “around 100 youths congregating in the area.”
A 21-year-old man was discovered uninjured and returned home by officers after refusing to back up the allegation that an assault had taken place.
A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said on Tuesday, June 16: “We were called to reports of an assault in Langland Bay at about 7.05pm yesterday evening [June 15].
“Upon attendance there were around 100 youths congregating in the area. An injured 21-year-old man was located but no allegation of assault was made – he was returned to his home address.
“Extra patrols will be taking place in the Langland Bay area and we would like to remind people that Covid-19 legislation remains in place and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Concerned local residents have also been sharing a video online of another group of youths at Rotherslade Bay last weekend. The teens can be seen gathering in large numbers and drinking on the beach.
The video also shows some of the group smashing bottles on the concrete steps leading to the beach before putting their hoods over their faces and gesturing at the person recording them.
The Section 35 order is being used by police in Swansea in addition to Covid-19 legislation.
In Wales, people from two different households can arrange to meet in parks and gardens.
However, people in Wales are being asked to stay local, which has been advised as five miles from your home.
It seems there was an improvement overnight after the Section 35 order was put in place, with South Wales Police sharing a marked reduction in anti-social behaviour in Swansea Marina and Mumbles via Twitter on Wednesday.
Last week a video showing heaps of litter left at Langland Bay was shared online. Bottles, cans and other rubbish littered the beach, with many blaming the crowds of teens and young adults who were gathering there.
At the time, Nigel Calcutt, owner of Langland’s Surfside Cafe, said: “The majority of the mess isn’t really left during the day time, but during the evenings.
“It’s people who spend the evening there, and then leave when it’s dark.
“There are some local people who come down every day and clear it away, but they shouldn’t really have to.”
However, In SA1 on Tuesday, a video posted to social media showed a large amount of bottles and cans strewn on the floor near to businesses that have recently opened for takeaway drinks.
The owner of Gin Ne Sais Quoi, one of the bars in Kings Road, where a number of people had gathered, said the businesses were working together to clean the mess, which was described as “disgusting” and “shameful” by residents.
This video shows the mess left behind by people who had gathered in the SA1 area:
A statement from South Wales Police said: “Following increased reports of anti-social behaviour police in Swansea have today put in place a third Section 35 Dispersal Order. These orders give the police additional powers to deal with people acting in an anti-social manner.
“The latest order will cover the SA1 area and follows reports of large groups congregating and drinking and suspected drug taking. It will be subject of regular review. Section 35 Dispersal Orders are already in place for Langland and Caswell Bays and the Swansea Marina and dunes area.”
Superintendent Cath Larkman said: “We have had numerous complaints from residents throughout these areas that people are not only congregating but also taking part in anti-social or criminal activities.
“This is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Our residents and communities deserve to enjoy the places they live and not feel worried about going out or being a victim of anti-social behaviour.
“Anyone enjoying these areas and not causing any issues and adhering to the current Covid-19 legislation can of course continue to do so, the S35 Order is for those not only causing concerns for residents but also putting themselves or others at risk.
“Alongside the orders we will be increasing patrols, utilising both uniformed and plain clothes officers, and taking a proactive approach in dealing with any apparent issues.
“Our communities have been really supportive and cooperative and we will be doing all we can to support them. We have all been adjusting through these unprecedented times and we would urge people to think about their impact of their behaviour on the community and residents.”