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Dyfed Powys Police supporting awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation

Tamsin Mathias

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is supporting the National Awareness Day for Child Sexual Exploitation on Saturday (Mar 18), which is led by the charity National Working Group (NWG).

The aim of the day is to highlight the issues surrounding child sexual exploitation, to encourage everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children.

Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Ifan Charles, Protecting Vulnerable People Department, Dyfed Powys Police, said: “It is vitally important that we gain greater knowledge and understanding of Child Sexual Exploitation in order to effectively target activity at local, regional and national level. Police officers are being actively trained to recognise the early signs that can identify children at risk. We all have a role to play in ensuring that children have a safe environment to grow up in.

In the week leading up to the day, front line staff will be visiting local groups and organisations to raise awareness.

DCI Ifan Charles added: “We recognise the importance of investing in identifying and tackling CSE and have invested additional resources into this complex area of safeguarding. We continue to work with our statutory partners and voluntary groups and recognise that the support of the public is absolutely vital to achieving better outcomes.”

School Community Police Officers across the force area will be delivering targeted age appropriate CSE sessions in schools as part of the wider All Wales School Liaison Core Programme.

Bethan James, the Dyfed-Powys Police School Liaison Coordinator, said: “It is vital that we raise awareness of CSE with our children and the staff working in our schools. Designated School Officers have been trained to deliver these sessions. They have the current, up to date knowledge and understanding in order to inform, prevent and protect our future generations.”

At the beginning of March, Dyfed-Powys Police launched a specialist team to help tackle the threat of Child Sexual Exploitation. The Police On-Line Investigation Team (POLIT), made up of Detectives, Digital Media Investigators, Forensic Examiners and analytical staff, will target offenders, in particular those operating online, who share and distribute indecent images of children.

Temporary Detective Sergeant, Mathew Davies, said: “Our team of specialist staff and officers will target those who exploit children, carrying out warrants across the whole Dyfed-Powys force area. The work of POLIT will help to speed up the investigation of offences and bring more offenders to justice. We are also working with the ‘Stop It Now’ project to provide support for family members of offenders, who have been affected by their illegal behaviour.”

Social Media will be used on the day to further raise awareness of CSE. You can look out for the hashtags on Twitter: #CSE #CSEDay16 #HelpingHands.

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Appeal for information about burglaries

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a number of burglaries that occurred during the afternoon and evening of Sunday, October 8, in the Llanelli and Five Roads areas.

Sometime between 1pm and 8:30pm there was a burglary to a cottage on the main road through Five Roads; the intruder searched the property but no items were stolen. Sometime between 5:15pm and 7:30pm a similar incident happened at Trinity Road, Llanelli.

An attempted burglary to a property at Heol Hen, Five Roads, happened between 8:50pm and 9:30pm on the same evening. It appears someone has attempted entry by forcing the window with a tool.

Police are treating the three incidents as linked.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dyfed-Powys Police by calling 101, or speaking to a local officer by visiting Llanelli Police Station. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number: 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Storm Ophelia warnings issued

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WINDS of up to 80mph are expected to batter Carmarthenshire and cause ‘significant impact’ as Storm Ophelia hits later today (Oct 16).

The Met Office has warned that there could be a danger to life due to flying debris in the high wind.

There could also be disruption to travel as roads could be flooded and fallen trees could cause obstruction.

The Cleddau Bridge may also close high-sided or all vehicles.

Those living by the coast have been told to stay away from the water to avoid risk of being blown or swept into the sea.

1,200 soldiers are on standby across the UK to respond to any significant incidents caused by the storm.

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Police support Hate Crime Awareness Week

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE will show its support and commitment to the National Hate Crime Awareness Week by raising awareness within communities as to what a hate crime or incident is.

Additionally, they will be encouraging members of the public to ‘Make Hate History’ and to report hate crime as ‘reporting works’.

Chief inspector Rhiannon Ivens said Hate crimes and incidents have a significant impact on victims and can cause serious distress, confusion and fear. By their very nature they are hostile and prejudice, targeting a person or people merely due to their disability, religion or belief, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation or transgender identity. We have to unite to stop this – together.

“By reporting these crimes and incidents when they occur, our residents and communities are joining us in the fight against crime, supporting us to investigate, identify offenders and bring them to justice and to stop this from happening to someone else.

“I want to encourage anyone who is a victim of hate crime to report it to us at Dyfed-Powys Police so we can investigate and offer as much support as possible. We also need to know where it is happening so we can understand the extent of hate crime in the area and be better equipped to diffuse community tension before it can escalate.

“We all share the responsibility to stop hate crime. Challenging perceptions and attitudes and encouraging others to ‘think for themselves’ is something we must all do consistently to drive out Hate and positively influence our environment.

“Whether you are a victim or a witness to hate crime, adult or child, please report it to us, we want to hear from you and stop this – together.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said  “Hate crime can destroy lives, instil fear and can break down the fabric of our communities and neighbourhoods. Hate crime affects all communities and if not tackled can lead to the isolation and victimisation of individuals and vulnerable groups along with the polarisation of communities.

“I would like to see everyone challenging the underlying attitudes and behaviours in society that lead to hate crime being committed.”

During the week, officers will be out and about in the community and speaking to the public to raise awareness of hate crime.

Victims are encouraged not to suffer in silence but to report hate crime by speaking to Neighbourhood Policing teams or via the 101 non-emergency number or 999 during an emergency.

Victims can also report electronically on the True Vision reporting system – www.report-it.org.uk

Shot of the back of a police officer’s jacket with the word police written across the back

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