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Police station ‘past its sell-by date’

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Past sell-by date: Llanelli Police Station

Past sell-by date: Llanelli Police Station

A PLANNED upgrade for Llanelli Police Station has been abandoned, and the main custody centre will move to Dafen, while a base is retained in the town centre, the Police and Crime Commissioner has announced. The changes will form part of a £15m ‘estate modernisation programme’ announced earlier this week. Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon said: “I want the public to access local policing as easily as possible and I want to spend their money as wisely as possible.

“Llanelli’s current main police station, in Waunlanyrafon, is well past its sell-by date; it’s not a welcoming place for the public and it’s not a good place for officers to work. “We’d have liked to build a new base there – and had planned a £7.5m upgrade – but research has found it wouldn’t be cost effective, partly due to flood risk.” Other sites such as North Dock and Delta Lakes were considered but dismissed as not being cost effective.

Additionally, plans are being made to build a new base in Dafen, with Carmarthenshire’s main custody centre being moved there from Waunlanyrafon along with improved support facilities. Llanelli currently has 10 cells. Now a key focus is on identifying a prominent town centre location for use by the public and as a base for local policing teams. Mr Salmon has stressed that police accessibility in the town centre will be maintained, along with emergency response capability for the town as a whole. During the new development work the current station and custody suite will continue to support the existing levels of policing.

Mr Salmon said: “Llanelli’s police facilities must meet the public’s expectations of modern policing. This is a major investment which will result in modern, effective and efficient police bases. “I analysed what’s needed and the options for providing it. With the Chief Constable, I considered all options and we agreed to explore this one. I’m determined to spend public money wisely and to deliver accessible and responsive policing focused on our communities.

“I invite the Llanelli public to let me know where they’d like to see their new town centre police base.” The cost of the new work is accounted for in the force’s capital budget. Llanelli Police Station is base to around 150 police officers, PCSOs and staff. It is one of five custody locations across Dyfed-Powys. The others are Aberystwyth, Brecon, Haverfordwest and Newtown police stations.

Overflow facilities are available at Ammanford and Cardigan. Chief Constable Simon Prince said: “This level of investment in Llanelli’s police bases clearly demonstrates our commitment to keeping a local base in the town and our desire to ensure our custody facilities are fit for operational use for the future. “The police officers and staff there will together continue to keep the public safe from new, improved locations.

The work will ensure that we are able to provide the highest standards of service to our communities in the Llanelli area.” A review of the Dafen plan’s cost and environmental implications is expected later this month. Other Llanelli-area police stations, including Llwynhendy, Burry Port, Kidwelly and Cross Hands remain open.

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Llanelli and Germany meet again for Oktoberfest 2019

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Fans of beer, music and dancing are in for a treat as Oktoberfest comes to Llanelli this October.

Bringing the German beer festival closer to home, Oktoberfest celebrates its first year in Llanelli this 5th and 6th of October. With a Bavarian Oompah band, German beer, food and an Oktoberfest themed venue, it is sure to be a fantastic event.

Popularly known as the world’s largest beer festival, the traditional Oktoberfest is held annually in Munich, Germany. With more than six million people travelling from all over the world to attend the Munich event, Iceqbe Events are now hosting the festival in Llanelli.

Iceqbe plan to bring the Bavarian atmosphere to the same venue that the town was once twinned with Germany in 1989. Taking place in the Selwyn Samuel Centre, the event is hopeful to attract both Llanelli locals as well as those who live further afield, supporting the Welsh town.

In preparation for the crowd, the biggest German beer festival to hit Llanelli will take place in a 220 people capacity venue, with the two-day festival spread into three separate beer-drinking sessions. 

Recently nominated for the Great British High Street award, this up and coming town is overflowing with welsh culture and international events, including Pride which took place in Llanelli earlier this year.

Iceqbe’s Co-Founder and Operations manager, Stefan Diamond, explains why they chose the town to host their event.

“We are thrilled to be hosting our very first Oktoberfest event in Llanelli,” said Stefan.

“I’ve lived here for seven years now and know first-hand what a great atmosphere this town brings to events like this. 

“With the town’s connection to Germany, it felt like the obvious choice for our event location. We can’t wait for beer-lovers across the UK to come together for a weekend of dancing, food and fantastic Bavarian beer!”

Co-founder of Iceqbe events, Luke James, explains what they’re hoping to achieve from the event.

“As the majority of event companies continue to outsource their staff, customer service levels have dropped whilst food and drink prices have skyrocketed,” he said. 

“We want to change that. We manage everything in-house which allows us to have full control over everything, from the venue to staffing. Our priority is to provide an amazing, safe and great value experience.”

Oktoberfest is sure to have people flocking in, with the opportunity to win tickets for you and five friends via their social media channel. To find out more about Oktoberfest, visit https://www.iceqbe.com/.

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PH Balance help arrest alleged sex offender

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A 51-YEAR-OLD male was arrested in Llanelli last Sunday (Sept 08) in connection to an alleged sexual offence.

Paedophile Hunting group PH Balance South Wales admitted to being involved with trapping the suspect through the use of a decoy. According to PH Balance’s recent Facebook post, the man had arranged a meeting with PH member Dobby who was acting as as a 14-year-old boy online. The man had shown up to the Llanelli town centre to allegedly take the young boy shopping. 

Dyfed-Powys Police arrived swiftly on scene and placed the alleged offender in handcuffs before taking him to the station in the back of a police vehicle.

A spokesman for Dyfed-Powys Police told the Llanelli Herald: “On Sunday, September 8, we received allegations from a group in respect of a man in the Swansea area, which related to offences involving children. Officers arrested a 51-year-old man on suspicion of meeting a child following grooming, at Eastgate Llanelli, the same day.”

The spokesman added: “The man has been bailed from police custody with conditions.”

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Becoming Deputy Chief Constable ‘a huge privilege’

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CLAIRE PARMENTER has been announced as the new Dyfed-Powys Police Deputy Chief Constable, describing it as a ‘huge privilege’.

DCC Parmenter, who grew up in Llanelli but now lives in Carmarthen, has worked her way through the ranks since joining the force as a PC 26 years ago.

She said: “Becoming the Deputy Chief Constable within my home force is a huge privilege for me, I hope this will inspire other officers and staff to achieve whatever they want across the service.”

Her policing career began in Ammanford in 1993, having just completed a BA (HONS) degree in Education at Cardiff.

“I was thinking of a career in teaching or policing, and decided to do my degree before making the choice,” DCC Parmenter said. “Policing was always in my heart, so when it came to it, it was an easy decision.”

As well as serving in a variety of uniform roles, DCC Parmenter has undertaken a number of secondments across UK Policing and beyond.

These include a role as national field officer with the National Policing Improvement Agency, becoming operational Chief Inspector in Avon and Somerset Police, and contributing to the national implementation of neighbourhood policing, for which she received a chief constable’s commendation.

She was promoted to Superintendent in 2010 and became lead for the Joint Emergency Services Group in Wales, leading and developing a number of blue light collaboration and resilience programmes, working closely with Fire and Rescue, Welsh Ambulance Service Trust and Welsh Government.

“I’ve always tried to look at the wider landscape of policing and how we work with partners to improve services to our communities,” she said. “These secondments have given me exposure to different ways of working and has broadened my outlook.”

DCC Parmenter returned to uniformed policing in 2012 and took up the role of Superintendent of specialist operations.

She later took over as BCU Commander for Carmarthenshire and Powys, and later took up the post of Chief Superintendent Head of Uniformed Policing for the force.

She is an accredited Strategic Firearms and Gold Public order commander and has won a Stonewall National award for her support of LGBT staff.

A mother of two, DCC Parmenter’s drive and dedication has not only led her to become a chief officer, but has also had a positive influence on her teenage daughters.

DCC Parmenter said: “My youngest daughter is 14 and she’s also keen to join the police. It’s nice to know that she looks at my career positively and can see how policing can make a real difference.

“I’m very proud to be a chief officer in the force I am from. Being able to effect the delivery of services in my home area, and to serve people in the area I live ensuring the best possible service, is a huge privilege.”

Looking ahead, DCC Parmenter’s aims are to keep delivering across Dyfed-Powys Police, and to ensure the force continues to improve and innovate.

She added: “I know Dyfed-Powys communities and staff very well, and I think we have got all the ingredients to be an absolutely outstanding force. I look forward to being a part of the chief officer team to deliver that.

“I’m really grateful to our staff and colleagues across the force, who have supported me throughout my career.”

Chief Constable Mark Collins said: “Claire has shown outstanding commitment to our communities over many years and I am delighted to have her as my Deputy Chief Constable.”

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