Scenes of hostility as police confront crowds of hundreds at mass rally in Cardiff
A mass rally took over three Cardiff car parks on Sunday evening, with scenes turning hostile according to police.
About 200 people in around 100 cars gathered at the parking lot of the Tesco supermarket in Culverhouse Cross, before moving on to the Halfords and The Range parking lots on Newport Road, where vehicles were driven “in an antisocial manner”.
South Wales Police said officers were “facing hostility” after being called to the mass rally on Newport Road around 10 p.m., although the crowds had dispersed and vehicles had left the parking at 11 pm.
Footage from the scene showed hundreds of people gathered around vehicles parked in the Tesco parking lot, groups forming nearby.
Police are now examining CCTV and body-worn camera footage to identify those responsible for any criminal offenses or violations of COVID regulations at the rally.
Officers will also work with businesses to prevent access to parking lots when stores are closed.
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Tesco, Halfords and The Range had all closed at 5 p.m. Sunday night.
Mass gatherings are still illegal under coronavirus rules, but this incident is only the latest of its kind to occur in South Wales in recent weeks.
Last month, a similar incident saw large numbers of cars and people gathering in a parking lot outside the Showcase Theaters in Nantgarw on a Sunday evening.
On Good Friday, April 2, hundreds of people gathered on the steps of the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, with crowds drinking and partying late into the night with minimal social distancing, prompting authorities to put in place a dispersal order under section 35.
On the same day, video footage was shared online showing “hundreds” of people gathered in the SA1 area of Swansea, with groups of young people seen drinking, group dancing and kissing.
A South Wales Police statement on Sunday’s incident read: ‘At 9.50pm last night, South Wales Police responded to a report of a mass rally on Newport Road.
“About 100 vehicles and 200 people gathered in the Halfords and The Range parking lots. Vehicles were driven in an antisocial manner and officers faced hostility.
“We are examining CCTV and body-worn cameras to identify those responsible for any criminal offenses or COVID violations.
“Agents will also work with businesses to ensure that measures are in place to prevent access to parking lots when retail units are closed.”