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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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Criminal damage at a caravan park in Kidwelly.

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POLICE are investigating reports of thefts and criminal damage at a caravan park in Kidwelly.

Two reports have been made, with a number of items stolen from two caravans at Tanylan Caravan Park.

The first incident took place between September 23 and October 12.

A number of items – including fishing equipment, computer consoles and £300 cash – were stolen, and an awning window was smashed.

The second report was made on October 13, with the crime taking place sometime after August 25.

Scooters, camping equipment, TVs, DVD players, Amazon fire sticks, a Wii U console, and several other items were taken.

Anyone with information about the burglaries is asked to contact PC 810 at Carmarthen Police Station.

You can report information 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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Abandoned property fire in Burry Port probed

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POLICE are investigating a fire at an abandoned property in Burry Port.

A call was made at around 1.20am today (Tuesday, November 19) reporting that a detached house in Graig was well alight.

The house is not lived in, and has sustained substantial fire damage.

There were no witnesses to indicate who has started the fire, but two people were seen running away from the scene.

Due to the temperature inside the building remaining high today, it has been unsafe for investigators to enter the building.

Anyone with information, or who saw a person or people acting suspiciously in the area between 12.30am and 1.30am is urged to contact the joint investigation unit at Llanelli Police Station.

You can report information 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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Man ‘fit for work’ collapses and dies at job centre

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A 65-YEAR-OLD man has collapsed while waiting for an appointment in a job centre in south Wales. He was found slumped in his chair at 9.30am on Friday in Llanelli.

The DWP said: “Our thoughts and those of the staff at Llanelli Jobcentre are with the family and friends at this time.”

The Llanelli Herald understands that he was waiting for an appointment to discuss Jobseeker’s Allowance after being declared fit for work earlier this year.

Staff and customers rushed to help, but they were unable to get a response so lay him on the floor.

They started CPR and an ambulance was called while the job centre was evacuated, but paramedics declared him dead at the scene. A witness told The Metro newspaper: “I didn’t know him myself, but the man who was sat next to me told me that he had grown up with the guy.

“The man next to me told me that the poor guy had diabetes and had been declared fit for work by the job centre earlier in the year but he was obviously ill.

“The ambulance came but he sadly died and they had to take his body out of the job centre, it was awful.

“We were all very shook up; it was a horrible situation that should have never happened. The job centre is all shut down now.’

The Welsh Ambulance Service confirmed to The Herald: “We were called on Friday November 15 at approximately 9.33am to reports of a person needing urgent medical attention on Stepney Street in central Llanelli. ‘We responded with one rapid response vehicle, one specialised medical vehicle and one emergency ambulance.’

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