UNIFORMED police staff and officers across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Powys will soon be equipped with Body Worn Video (BWV).
Today (Mar 29) marks the beginning of the forcewide training roll-out for the approximately 800 police officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) who will be issued with the cameras.
The footage provides visual and audio evidence for use at court; meaning offenders are more likely to plead guilty and can be brought to justice faster. It will improve the process of investigating complaints against officers, and make them more accountable to the public. Officers will only record if there is a policing need and it is proportionate to do so.
BWV cameras will be clearly visible, worn attached to the officer’s uniform – usually on the chest. The camera is always on but will only begin recording once the officer presses ‘record’. When in ‘standby’ mode the cameras will record a rolling 30-second loop of film, there is no audio until the recording begins.
Officers will announce when they begin and end filming. When recording, the camera makes a regular loud beep and displays a solid red circle in the centre.
Chief Constable Mark Collins said: “Training for officers will begin at the end of March, and soon after members of the public will start spotting them on officers and PCSOs.
“The introduction of these cameras is in line with the national policing approach, and is a significant move forward for policing in our area. They will provide the public with more reassurance, and will help officers to document valuable evidence – leading to swifter justice for victims.
“Technology can help improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of policing. The roll-out of BWV follows a three-month trial at the end of 2015, which saw the footage captured by officers secure a number of convictions in court.
“It makes sense to us as a force to introduce BWV as we work towards digitalisation of the force. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to introduce these cameras and I’m pleased that they are now being rolled out.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn added: “The introduction of Body Worn Video is a positive move for the public. The use of the cameras supports transparency in policing and will aid the investigation of complaints against officers.
“Members of the public have a right to request footage of them within 31 days of any incident. I am confident that this will improve policing services.”
All footage recorded on BWV is subject to legal safeguards and guidance. The footage from the Axon Body Camera is automatically uploaded to secure cloud based storage once the device has been docked, and flagged for use as evidence at court or other proceedings. Video not retained as evidence or for a policing purpose is automatically deleted within 31 days.
If any member of the public wishes to view footage taken of them they can request, in writing, to obtain it under freedom of information, data protection laws. It must be within 31 days, unless it has been marked as policing evidence and therefore retained.
The latest increase in coronavirus in Wales is ‘sobering’ says First Minister
THE FIRST MINISTER, Mark Drakeford has criticised the lack of communication with the UK government as he gave a briefing on what he described as the “sobering” increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalisation in Wales.
The infection rate in Wales has risen to 23.6 infections for every 100k people as cases have spiked in areas including Merthyr, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Caerphilly and Newport.
Hospitalisations remain low but are rising, with five people currently in intensive care with Covid-19 and and 53 Covid patients on all hospital wards, according to the latest data from Public Health Wales from Sunday, September 13.
Mr Drakeford said that the number of people in hospital with coronavirus had risen to 41 with four people in intensive care.
He also said that the R number in Wales was almost certainly now above one – meaning the virus is spreading exponentially again. The latest estimate, he said, was between 0.7 and 1.2.
Mr Drakeford said: “In this most difficult week, there has been no meeting offered to First Ministers of any sort. Since the 28 May, there has been just one brief telephone call from the Prime Minister.
“This is simply unacceptable to anyone who believes that we ought to be facing the coronavirus crisis together.
“We need a regular, reliable, rhythm of engagement: a reliable meeting even once a week would be a start. I make this argument not because we should all do the same things, but because being round the same table allows each of us to make the best decisions for the nations we represent.
“There is a vacancy at the heart of the United Kingdom, and it needs urgently to be filled, so we can talk to each other, share information, pool ideas and demonstrate a determination that the whole of the country can face these challenges together at this most difficult time.”
Trade deal won’t benefit Wales
EVERY week, the Herald carries political opinion pieces from across Wales’ principal political parties.
This week, Jonathan Edwards MP casts an eye over the trade deal between the UK and Japan announced this week and wonders ‘What’s in it for Wales?’
Jonathan Edwards writes: THE BUNTING was on full display in Westminster this week as the British Government announced that it had reached the holy grail of signing its first post-Brexit international trade deal.
The agreement with Japan was described by Secretary of State Liz Truss as a ‘major moment in our national history’. As major moments go, a casual look at the detail leaves a lot to be desired. Effectively all the British Government has achieved is to replicate a deal UK business already benefited from as part of the EU-Japan trade deal signed in 2019.
The British Government admit that over a 15-year period the deal will only increase UK economic wealth by 0.07%. However, under the rules of Brexit political discourse never let the facts get in the way for an excuse to sing Rule Britannia and wave the Union Jack.
During the debate in the Commons, I highlighted that the British Government’s own figures indicate in a best-case scenario it would take 71 deals of this nature to make up for the British Governments strategy for the second phase of Brexit of leaving the EU Single Market and Customs Union. If we no deal at the end of the year the situation would be considerably worse.
For Wales, the economic benefits are projected to be less than even the negligible UK figures with the deal only expected to benefit the Welsh economy by a measly 0.05%. The same goes for other trade deals currently being negotiated by the British Government.
Capitulating on chlorinated chicken in the US Trade deal could only benefit the Welsh economy by 0.05% over 15 years according to an excellent Senedd Research paper.
The New Zealand and Australia deals, according to the same paper, could have a 0% impact on the Welsh economy.
Never again can the Tories claim to be the party of business: what we are witnessing is economic madness.
The agricultural provisions in the Japan deal further fuels my fears that our farmers will be the proverbial sacrificial lambs in these trade negotiations. True there was progress on Geographical Indicators, but the British Government failed to secure any tariff rate quotas for food products. Instead, our farmers will only be able to utilise unused quotas by the European Union.
Let that sink in.
In the real world, effectively. EU export policy will determine what can be exported from the UK.
The Secretary of State emphasised that the Japan deal paved the way for entry to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A free trade area consisting of 11 countries (down from 12 after the US pulled out).
What the British Government are reluctant to reveal is that the TPP contains strict rules on State Aid and also includes an investor-state dispute resolution mechanism which would supersede UK domestic law. These are the same two areas, of course, that have led to the breakdown in the second phase Brexit negotiations currently ongoing.
At the end of the day, the two great Brexit era slogans of ‘take back control’ and ‘global Britain’ are completely incompatible and inherently contradictory.
As UK international trade policy develops these inconsistencies will become apparent to all.
Plans for Llanelli’s first ever virtual Christmas carnival
LLANELLI Christmas Carnival will not be held this year, for the first time in its 42-year history.
Partners have confirmed that the decision has been made in line with current Welsh Government guidance and increasing concerns about the spread of coronavirus linked to large gatherings.
However, plans are afoot to celebrate Christmases past and present in the town’s first ever virtual carnival.
On what would have been ‘carnival night’ the town’s illuminations will be switched on and an online celebration will be hosted on Carmarthenshire County Council’s social media channels featuring music, opportunity to reminisce over past carnivals and a challenge to businesses and organisations to create a carnival scene for the town’s first ever virtual parade.
The town’s Christmas tree is also being relocated to a more visible location for passers-by, at the busy Gelli-Onn junction near West End.
The largest Christmas carnival in Wales, Llanelli’s festive celebrations are a joint effort by Carmarthenshire County Council, Llanelli Town Council, Llanelli Rural Council and Llanelli Round Table.
Partners have expressed their disappointment at the decision but have vowed to keep Christmas spirit alive.
Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We have made this decision with a very heavy heart as we know how much the carnival means to the people of Llanelli. This is the first time since it started over 40 years ago that we have had to take a decision like this and we are as disappointed as I’m sure everyone else will be.
“We are determined to do something special to keep the tradition alive and planning is now underway to hold a virtual carnival on what would have been the night of the traditional festivities.”
Cllr Shahana Najmi, Leader of Llanelli Town Council said: “The Llanelli Christmas Carnival is the highlight in the calendar for thousands of people and whilst we’re sorry we can’t hold the traditional carnival this year, we are pleased to be working with partners on an online celebration which we hope people will get involved with and enjoy.”
Cllr Tegwen Devichand, Leader of Llanelli Rural Council, said: “Generations of families have enjoyed Llanelli’s Christmas carnival over the years and we’re disappointed that for this first time in its history we are unable to put on the parade. We hope people will understand the decision and support the plans we’re developing for the town’s first virtual carnival.”
Roger Bowen, of Llanelli Round Table, added: “Llanelli’s carnival night is an important night as it raises a great amount of money for local charities and brings many communities together with such tremendous work on the floats, which really makes the evening such a special event. We hope that people will find other ways to give generously and support good causes in our communities.”
Further information will be released in the coming weeks about the virtual carnival and how people can get involved.
Keep an eye on Carmarthenshire County Council’s Facebook and Twitter feeds and visit newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.wales
News2 weeks ago
Police appeal for witnesses following attack in Station Road
Politics2 weeks ago
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price visits Llanelli
Uncategorised2 weeks ago
Businesses urged to prepare for NHS COVID-19 app
News6 days ago
Trade deal won’t benefit Wales
News2 weeks ago
Shop local and support market traders, says council
News1 week ago
Partners working to support national problems with booking COVID tests
Uncategorised4 days ago
WASPI unaffected by appeal’s failure
News7 days ago
Neath Retreat And Llanelli Group Receive Cash