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Police: ‘Safest force status will not make us complacent’

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has vowed not to become complacent to new and emerging crime types, despite being ranked the safest place to live in England and Wales when it comes to victim-based offences.

The force has the lowest number of victim-based crimes, which includes sexual offences, robbery, murder and burglary, according to Home Office data released this week.

Statistics show that for the year ending September 2018 there were 43.1 victim-based crimes per 1,000 people living in the force area. West Yorkshire was ranked at the other end of the scale with 104.9 victims of crime per 1,000 people.

Despite this, the force has vowed not to take its status as the safest area to live for granted, acknowledging that supporting victims of crime is its priority over rankings, and accepting that its officers and staff will face emerging challenges over the coming years.

Deputy Chief Constable Richard Lewis said: “I am pleased to see that the latest figures show that Dyfed-Powys is the safest places to live in the UK when victim-based crimes are taken into consideration.

“However, this is no consolation to a victim whose life might have been severely impacted by a crime. For them, what is most important is being able to access the right level of support as they go through the criminal justice system and endeavour to get their life back on track.

“This is why we will continue to put victims at the heart of everything we do, investigating incidents thoroughly but sensitively, and using specially trained officers to ensure we always give the best possible service.”

DCC Lewis added that the force cannot stand still as the landscape of crime changes, and that senior officers must ensure colleagues are continually learning and adapting the ways in which they disrupt criminality

“Issues such as cybercrime, modern slavery and county lines drugs networks are just a handful of examples of the types of crimes that 15 years ago would have been unthinkable,” he said. “In a short period of time, these have become serious issues for not only Dyfed-Powys but across the UK.

“We do, of course, have plans in place to tackle these issues. For instance, a significant investment has been made in the force’s Digital Communications and Cybercrime Unit, and there are several operations ongoing to disrupt and prevent county lines – but it would be naïve of us to sit back and think that we don’t need to continue to adapt.

“We must do all we can to stay ahead of those taking advantage of or trying to profit from the most vulnerable in our communities.

“While I am proud and pleased to see that we have come out on top of this Home Office data, I am acutely aware that we have serious emerging issues to tackle, alongside strengthening our neighbourhood teams which form the backbone of policing.”

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Rescuers attend to injured construction workers in New Dock Street

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A MULTI AGENCY rescue operation is underway in Llanelli involving all three emergency services after an incident at a construction site.

Workers have been at the New Dock Street site, working for around three years, The Herald understands.

The Herald has been told that a piece of plant malfunctioned causing the emergency, which happened earlier this evening (Mar 19).

Four fire engines and three ambulances are at the scene, our reporter said.

A specialist line rescue team is involved in the recovery operation.

An eye-witness told the press that three workers have been affected.

The source said: “Concrete had just been mixed and had been poured into a skip which was then lifted using a machine. The concrete was being lowered into the hole, it’s probably about 20ft and then the machine toppled over.”

He added: “Two men climbed out of the hole on their own and as a precaution the third man was told to stay down there. The workers were told to leave the site as a precaution.”

At least one person has been seen being taken away in an ambulance.

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Llanelli: Met Bar incident investigated

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AN INCIDENT which resulted in a 51-year old man having to go hospital is being investigated by Dyfed-Powys Police.

The man has been discharged from Glangwili Hospital but police are looking in to how the incident happened and how the man fell down some steps.

The incident happened outside the Met Bar in Llanelli on Saturday night (Mar 16).

A spokeswoman for Dyfed-Powys Police told the Herald: “At approximately 10.55pm on Saturday March 16, officers responded to reports of an injured man outside The Met Bar, Station Road, Llanelli, after he’d fallen down some steps at the location.

“Ambulance was at scene, and the 51 year old man was conveyed to Glangwili Hospital with what was thought to have been a serious head injury. He was then later discharged from hospital, and the head injury was no longer believed to be serious.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact police by calling 101 and quoting DPP/3011/16/03/2019/02/C. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908

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Reports damning for City Deal management

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THE PUBLICATION of two reports on Friday, March 15, has shone a light into corners of the Swansea Bay City Deal.

The first report released, prepared on behalf of the UK and Welsh governments, written by Actica Consulting, suggests a combination of concerns over funding and of the “much-publicised concerns on the wellness village (Delta Lakes, Llanelli, the single largest project) could cause a loss of confidence within the region”

In the meantime and, The Herald understands, over the anguished objections of the Regional

Office/Carmarthenshire County Council, the second report – an internal review – was circulated to county councillors in Pembrokeshire this morning.

The second report makes for grim reading.

The report lays bare the amount of distrust between the City Deal partners, particularly between Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire councils on the one side, and Carmarthenshire County Council on the other.

Each report highlights deficiencies in the management of the Deal, which Carmarthenshire County Council and its controversial CEO Mark James are meant to lead.

Familiar to those who have kept a close watch on the activities of Carmarthenshire County Council are complaints of a lack of transparency and openness in the way the City Deal has been managed to date.

Particular criticism is made of two key aspects of the project: that under Mr James’ leadership the Deal has failed to consider the City Deal as a truly regional opportunity and focussed on building individual, local projects of limited regional value; the second major criticism is the failure of leadership given to the project and an abject lack of clear financial processes and accountability.

In spite of an attempt to spin the ‘success’ of two elements of the deal, Swansea Waterfront and Yr Egin, it is worth noting that Yr Egin was only tacked on to the City Deal when already underway because UWTSD revealed it couldn’t afford to complete the project on its own as it had promised.

Cllr Rob James, the Leader of the Labour Group on Carmarthenshire County Council told The Herald late on Friday afternoon: “I am pleased that this review has highlighted many of the concerns that we have raised on governance.

“Frankly, the report validated our actions to date.

“Trust has broken down between partners and public confidence in one of the projects, in particular, has taken a big hit.

“There are clear lessons that need to be learnt and this report highlights several of them. I now hope that the administration in Carmarthenshire consider the review in full and ensure that radical changes on governance are delivered immediately.”

Cllr Rob Stewart, Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Deal Joint Committee, said: “This review was carried out alongside the UK and Welsh Government’s independent review of the City Deal programme and sought to assure that it will deliver full economic benefits for the region.

“The findings and recommendations of the internal review will be formally considered by the SBCD Joint Committee at the next meeting.

“Looking to ensure governance is as robust as possible reflects that we’re still in the very early stages of a 15-year programme, but we’re ready to support any recommendations that would benefit the region’s economic prosperity in future by speeding up the City Deal’s delivery.”

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