Two Llanelli police officers have been described as the perfect team for the way they dealt with a violent and aggressive man with a knife.
PC Hannah Jones and PC Justin Harrold were responding to a routine noise complaint when a man stormed out of his house wielding a kitchen knife with an eight inch blade.
To show the risks faced by officers every day, Dyfed-Powys Police has released “chilling” body worn camera footage from the night.
Looking back at the incident, which took place in Graig Avenue on March 15, 2020, PC Jones explained that on arrival at the house they could never have imagined what would have happened next.
“We’d been dispatched to a routine noisy neighbour call, and had no reason to believe there were any heightened risks,” she said.
“We tried knocking the front door, with no response, so we went around to the back garden to try and explain we were there to help.
“We tried to talk to him through the door, and when he opened it I could see he was holding a large knife above his head and aggressively shouting at us. He lunged towards both of us, brandishing the knife.
“I could see his aggressive nature, and had immediate concerns for our safety. I took a step back to create distance between us, but he came charging towards me with the knife.
“The attack heightened my awareness of my surroundings and I realised that I was further away from the garden exit than I initially thought.”
Time seemed to pass in slow motion for the PCs as the situation took a dangerous turn. As PC Jones raised her baton in defence, she feared they might have been seriously hurt as Jan Olav Kvaerneng-Stolp continued to lunge towards them.
The officers became separated, and PC Harrold found himself near the garden gate while PC Jones was still inside.
“I was shocked,” PC Harrold said. “In training you prepare for situations like this, but you hope they never happen.
“We are trained to get away at the sight of a knife, so my immediate priority was to create distance. In the time Hannah was distracting him, I wanted her to come out of the contained garden so was shouting for her to come towards me.
“Once she did, I drew my PAVA spray and fired it. He became quickly incapacitated dropping to the floor, and I think he dropped the knife. It all happened so quickly and could have ended very differently.”
While the officers remained calm during the incident, both later realised the seriousness of what they had faced.
PC Jones said: “Once the adrenaline had subdued, we had time to reflect on the possible outcomes.
In hindsight it was an extremely frightening experience, but thankfully our training kicked in and I acted reactively in accordance with what I have been taught.
“It took a while to realise the seriousness of what we had experienced and we were both thankful that nobody was hurt.
“It has made me realise that this job is one where even the most routine of calls can turn into something more serious than it may initially appear. I’m very thankful that neither of us was physically hurt, and I think I will be a better police officer as the result of this experience.”
The pair have been praised by Chief Inspector Jolene Mann for acting with the utmost professionalism in an extremely dangerous incident.
She said: “The officers quickly reverted to their training and safely distanced themselves from the subject. I am extremely proud of how they acted.
“The subject was violent and extremely aggressive, but Hannah and Justin responded in a calm and measured manner – they truly are remarkable.
“I watched the body worn footage and it is chilling. They had to act and think quickly, and swiftly brought the matter to a safe conclusion. I spoke to both officers after the incident, and they explained that at the time they just went into autopilot, however they were understandably frightened.
“In particular, Hannah was outstanding – she took complete control of the situation, and Justin composed himself and waited for the perfect opportunity to deploy PAVA spray. They were the perfect team.
“Daily, officers across the country lace up their boots, put on their uniforms and respond to incidents. They do it in the knowledge that they could be confronted with an unexpected threat or risk at any passing second, but they do it to protect our communities from harm.
“Our officers are your officers – an attack on them is an attack on the whole community. It will not be tolerated.”
Jan-Olav Kvaerneng-Stolp was charged with affray and was sentenced to an 18 month community order and 200 hours of unpaid work at Swansea Crown Court on Tuesday, May 5.
South West Wales Virtual Open Day 8 July
Welsh local authorities, schools, colleges and work-based learning providers will be hosting a series of Virtual Open Days for Year 11 pupils for the first time this month.
An event specifically for pupils from Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot, Llanelli, Swansea and Powys will be held on Wednesday 8 July and will cover a series of sessions on post-16 options including A Levels at sixth form or college as well as work-based qualifications.
Jonathan Davies OBE will host the sessions on apprenticeships and traineeships and will be on hand to field questions about how to apply and get the most from industry-led training opportunities.
Other sessions will be led by Pembrokeshire College, NPTC Group of Colleges, Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion as well as Careers Wales and local authorities.
The spread of COVID-19 has not only meant a break in students’ learning, but also the cancellation of many planned events like open days which were scheduled to take place throughout the summer.
Open days are vital ways of helping Year 11 pupils to understand all their options for continuing their education and deciding on the right path for them. It’s also the way pupils make connections with new people and different environments to support them in making their decision.
With no indication yet of when face-to-face events might be able to go ahead again, over 220 schools, colleges and work-based learning providers across Wales are partnering with the Welsh Government to hold virtual sessions for all Year 11 pupils in Wales to make sure nobody misses out.
Organised by Welsh Government and hosted by Working Wales, the Virtual Open Days will enable young people across Wales to discover the options for furthering their education in their area, including what school and college courses are available, as well as training opportunities like apprenticeships and traineeships, and access to careers advice from
Live sessions will be held for each region across Wales from 7 – 10 July, with lots of additional content available throughout the second week of July and beyond. There will also be the opportunity to put questions to local careers advisors and learning providers who know about the provision in your area.
Virtual Open Days will be hosted online, but those without internet access at home will have the option to phone and speak directly with schools, colleges and work-based learning providers.
Welsh Government will be providing information about the full range of Virtual Open Days, as well as links to partner websites and content, on Working Wales where there will also be advice for those students who are unsure of what they want to do next.
Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education, said: “Now more than ever, it’s vital that young people are equipped with the skills, information and training they need to find fulfilling work.
“If you’re a young person, you may be unsure of what you want to do after school, or whether you want to continue in education at all. Open days can play a vital role in helping access the right education or training, providing a vital insight into the different courses and ways of learning that are available to young people considering their next options.
“Virtual Open Days are a really innovative way to explore options digitally and will help young people in deciding what to do next. Whether you are shielding at home, returning to school to say goodbye for the summer, or are not sure what to do next, our national virtual open days will ensure learners in every region of Wales have the opportunity to engage and
ask questions at this important time.”
Nikki Lawrence, chief executive of Careers Wales, said: “Deciding what the next step is with your education is an important time for young people across Wales and we want to make sure that they are still able to explore the different options that are available.
“During the four days we will be offering additional support from our expert careers advisers who will be available via our live web chat. This will enable young people who are not sure what the next step is to get the advice and guidance they need.”
To find out more about Wales’ Virtual Open Days, call Working Wales on 0800 028 4844 or go to www.workingwales.gov.wales/start-your-story
25 apprenticeship in the construction industry on offer
Applications are still being taken for up to 25 paid apprenticeships through the Next Steps programme.
Now in its 11th year, Next Steps is open to men and women living in Carmarthenshire aged 16 and over who have an interest in obtaining qualifications in groundworks, carpentry, bricklaying, plastering, electrics, plumbing and painting and decorating. No previous experience is required.
Working in partnership, Carmarthenshire County Council, Lloyd & Gravell, TRJ, Coleg Sir Gar, CCTAL and CYFLE the Next Step Programme is looking for up to 25 people to become professionals of the future.
Successful candidates will have the opportunity to learn through a practical hands-on experience.
The programme has already changed the lives of countless local people – including people who have gone on to set up their own business and win national skills competitions, as well as children and adults with severe disabilities who have benefitted from community projects built by the Next Steps teams.
The successful candidates will commence a minimum two-year paid apprenticeship/training programme with Lloyd & Gravell Ltd, TRJ Ltd, CYFLE or Carmarthenshire County Council starting September 2020.
A basic knowledge of Welsh is required to accomplish this post. Support can be provided on appointment to reach this level. For further information and to download an application form visit https://recruitment.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/wrlive/pages/vacancy.jsf?latest=01007474
Deadline for entries is July 6.
For an informal discussion please contact Jason Jones – 07880 504117
Advice for businesses re-opening
AS LOCKDOWN restrictions are expected to ease, businesses and building owners are reminded to check the maintenance of their premises as they re-open.
People who manage or own buildings are being asked to follow the latest advice from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Health and Safety Executive (CIEH).
Particular attention should be paid to water systems not used during the lockdown to help minimise the risk from Legionella bacteria as they prepare to reopen following the lockdown period.
Legionnaires’ disease can be contracted by breathing in small droplets of water suspended in the air which contain Legionella bacteria. Symptoms include fever, a non-productive cough and pneumonia.
Prevention work includes flushing through cold water systems with fresh mains water as well as increasing the temperature of hot water systems to above 60°C if possible to achieve thermal disinfection of the hot water system.
This should be undertaken as part of a thorough risk assessment and may require other works to be done.
More information is also available from the Health and Safety Executive website.
The Food Standards Agency also has guidance for food businesses re-opening their operations. It includes information relating to food safety issues as well as COVID-19 expectations. The link is: https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/reopening-checklist-for-food-businesses-during-covid-19
To confirm your business has taken the necessary measures and is operating in line with the Government guidelines click on:
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