Bridgend County Borough Council is warning that action will be taken against anyone found to be committing criminal acts such as vandalism, fly-tipping, arson and more during the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

It follows several minor incidents around school sites which are under investigation, a rise in the amount of fly-tipped waste that the authority is clearing, grass fires in the Llynfi Valley and the seizure of several off-road vehicles by South Wales Police.

Cllr Dhanisha Patel, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations, said: “Our CCTV system is still in operation across the county borough, and as well as supporting the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and South Wales Police, it is helping to detect and deter criminal acts from taking place.

“Members of the public are playing an important role in reporting suspicious activity, and helping ensure that those responsible can be held accountable.

“It is especially irresponsible to be setting fires during the pandemic as anything which affects air quality is going to have a serious impact on people who are suffering from the virus, and who may be having trouble breathing.

“South Wales Police are seizing off-road vehicles from people who are taking advantage of the lockdown to venture out against Government advice, and security measures are in place at local schools to help detect and identify anyone who trespasses or commits criminal damage on school grounds.

“There is also no need to fly-tip as our investigations have confirmed that the majority of such waste could either have been put out for recycling, or collected as part of our bulk waste service which is continuing to run despite the pandemic.

“I would ask anyone who notices suspicious or criminal behaviour to report it immediately by calling the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. The pandemic is far from over, and we are all in this together – we need local communities to band together and support one another now more than ever.”

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