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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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Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach

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THE CONSERVATIVE Party is investigating the attendance of senior Senedd members and staff at a Christmas party held during December’s lockdown.

Lockdown restrictions prohibit mixing with people outside your own household.

The Welsh restrictions barring such gatherings follow the basic outline of those imposed by the Conservative UK Government in December.

Those attending the drinks party included Paul Smith, the Conservative Chief of Staff at the Senedd, Darren Millar, the Party’s Chief Whip and campaign coordinator, and Preseli Pembrokeshire MS and Conservative Senedd Group Leader Paul Davies.

The Herald understands that a Labour Senedd Member who attended the Party has been suspended by the Labour Senedd Group pending its own investigation.

The Conservatives’ embarrassment at talking the talk but not walking the walk is intensified by Darren Millar’s presence at the shindig.

In May, Mr Millar led calls for Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething to be sacked for eating a bag of chips in a park with one of his own children.

If the Conservative Party follows the logic of their previously stated positions, Mr Millar’s and Mr Davies’ futures look bleak indeed.

With a Senedd election only months away, the revelations have thrown the Conservatives into disarray.

If they do nothing, the Conservatives will – at the very least – face claims they are hypocrites.

If the Conservative Party acts decisively, it faces massive internal problems.

The Conservatives responded to our request for a response to our story.

Those involved stressed they did not host a Christmas Party.

The incident happened on December 8, when the above met in the members’ tea room to discuss legislation for possible inclusion in the Welsh Conservative manifesto with a Labour backbencher.

During the evening they did drink a glass or two of wine.

They stress that at no point were there more than four people in the room at any one time and that they maintained social distancing.

A joint statement from Paul Davies, Darren Millar, and Paul Smith said: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions.

“While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”

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Family tribute to Carole Patricia Fowler

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Carole was a teacher for 30 years at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Llanelli. She loved children and they loved her. 

As one of her past colleagues said: “I know she made such a difference to every child she taught.” She was very popular with staff and well respected and loved by parents. She was dedicated and conscientious, always 100% for the children. She led the music there and was always popular with her guitar accompaniments for services and concerts. 

Likewise, she was a valued member of the choir at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Gendros, Swansea, where she would often accompany hymns with her guitar and gave guitar lessons to the children in the church’s Saturday Music Club. She was also a keen member of Côr Persain, Ammanford. 

She was talented, loved and in demand. A convicted and devout Catholic all her life, through good and bad.

Carole was an avid and very gifted crocheter and was always crocheting or knitting something for someone. She had been spending her time recently, during the Covid crisis, crocheting NHS teddies in scrubs and rainbows, with many given to practising nurses. Carole had recently started learning to make bobbin lace. She was also capable of some very decent sewing, too. 

She was also learning Welsh, doing ‘pilates’ and was considering taking up yoga lessons as well.

She was a busy lady! As one of her work colleagues said of her: “She was wise, strong, beautiful, generous, devout and feisty. And I loved her for all those qualities.”

Above all, she was an immeasurably loved Mam, daughter, sister and a doting Mamgu and so much loved by her fiancé. Having been together for 14 years, they would have been married last July 20th had covid allowed! 

Her premature passing at 61 is tragic and she is already sorely, painfully missed. She leaves behind a huge chasm in so many hearts that cannot be filled.

“Eternal rest grant unto her, o Lord, may perpetual light shine about her, may she rest in peace.”

If anyone witnessed the collision or may have been travelling on the M4 at the relevant time, please contact the Serious Collision Unit quoting police reference DPP-20210113-317

Police can be contacted either online at: bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Tip off leads to pensioner’s drug stash

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A BRIEFCASE full of drugs has been recovered during a raid in Swansea suburb.
Police acting on information provided by a member of the public executed a warrant in Gorseinon and recovered a large quantity of cannabis.
A man was arrested on suspicion of possession of the class B drug, with intent to supply.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: “At around 5.40pm on Wednesday, January 6, following an intelligence led operation, a 68 year-old man from Gorseinon was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.
“He was taken to Swansea central police station for questioning. He has been released under investigation”.

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