A huge crowd of partygoers flouting Covid-19 rules by gathering for an outdoor party have been condemned for leaving piles of rubbish behind.
Hundreds were seen dancing, singing and ignoring social distancing rules to gather around the Senedd building in Cardiff Bay on Good Friday.
The scenes were described in footage shared on social media as a ‘massive party’ that looked like an ‘illegal rave’.
Cardiff Council said ‘large groups of people intent on breaking Covid-19 restrictions’ left bins ‘unused’ and threw piles of rubbish behind.
Footage recorded in the aftermath of the gathering showed the streets filled with broken glass bottles, gas canisters, plastic bags and empty beer crates.
Cleaning teams had been out since 4.30am cleaning the mess with one saying ‘you couldn’t see the steps’ of the home of the Welsh Parliament due to the piles of rubbish.
South Wales Police and Cardiff Council were forced to tighten patrols after similar gatherings earlier in the week saw three police officers injured after bottles and missiles were thrown on Tuesday.
Another illegal gathering was held on Wednesday, with Cardiff council leader Huw Thomas calling all involved ‘selfish idiots’.
On Saturday, metal fencing was erected around the Senedd building to discourage crowds from meeting on the building’s steps, while police were given powers to put a dispersal order in place.
BBC Radio Five Live reporter Mark Hutchings said in a tweet that when he passed through the area at 8pm ‘police were keeping a low profile at the side of the Senedd’.
‘Hundreds of people gathered. Calm, if noisy, at the time, though no social distancing. I imagine there’ll been a bit to clear up in the morning,’ he added.
A Cardiff Council spokesman said: ‘Once again our teams have been faced with the huge task of cleaning up a significant amount of rubbish left behind by large groups of people intent on breaking Covid-19 restrictions.
‘Last night, bins were left unused and the ground was littered with rubbish. Council staff have been on site since the early hours of the morning, working hard to clear and clean the area.’
He said the rules are ‘clear’ but were again broken by a ‘significant number of people illegally gathering’.
Wales’ Covid-19 rules allow only six people from two households to meet outdoors.
‘Breaking these rules significantly increases the chances of Covid-19 cases rising in the city. We urge everyone to follow the advice, maintain social distance, and to keep Cardiff safe,’ he added.
Earlier this week First Minister Mark Drakeford described the gatherings as ‘shocking” and ‘entirely unacceptable’ and Cardiff Council installed additional bins to cope with the influx.
‘I have been a strong supporter of the police’s approach in Wales to inform, educate, and persuade and that is absolutely the right thing to do first,’ the first minister said.
‘But where people deliberately and intentionally set out to do things that can cause a risk to other people then both the local authority and the police have further powers that they can use.
‘It is selfish because they are not just putting themselves at risk. These are acts of selfishness.’
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