Christmas revellers turned away from Swansea city centre by police
TWO bus-loads of partygoers have been turned away from Swansea city centre because the passengers were drunk.
Police are warning Christmas revellers arriving in the city in the coming weeks that they can expect to be put back on their coaches or minibuses and sent packing if they have had too much to drink.
Buses, limousines and vans bringing revellers into town from across South West Wales use a designated drop-off point on The Strand, where officers operate a "meet and greet" service.
The police welcome the new arrivals, give directions to pubs and clubs and warn them to behave — but if they are already too full of festive cheer they are put back on the bus and sent home.
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Two coach-loads of would-be revellers have already been turned away, and police say they will continue to take similar action to try to curb drunkenness in the city centre.
Acting Chief Inspector Steve Jones said: "The drop-off point will play an important role in Operation Advent, which will see Safer Swansea partners working together to make the city centre a safer place over the Christmas period.
"It provides us with the perfect opportunity to meet and greet visitors and warn them of the consequences of bad behaviour in the form of arrest, fixed penalty notices and being banned from night-time venues.
"If we feel they have already drunk too much alcohol and could later cause trouble in the city centre, they will be sent home.
"We are also continuing to work with residents to alleviate their concerns about the site."
The drop-off point has been trialled over the past few months, and more than 1,000 vehicles have so far used it.
As well as trying to reduce alcohol- related disorder by preventing drunk people from entering the city centre, the facility is also designed to cut the dangers of vehicles stopping Quay Parade, Caer Street and Castle Street to let passengers out.
The drop off point was introduced as part of the Healthy Nightlife initiative, which brings together the police, council, health services and businesses in an attempt make the city centre a safer and healthier place to visit at night.
Reena Owen, Swansea Council's director of environment and the chairwoman of Healthy Nightlife, said the scheme would operate throughout the festive season.
She said: "The pick-up and drop-off point is working very well and was an important part of our plan to make Swansea city centre a safer place at night for its customers. It will continue to be run over the Christmas period as part of our annual partnership activity to make the city centre a safer place to celebrate the festivities."