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Cop speaks out after missing man threatened him

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A POLICE officer who found a high risk missing person, only to be threatened with a knife, has spoken out to highlight the dangers he and his colleagues face.

Dyfed-Powys Police PC Mark Thomas was fortunate not to be injured during the incident, but says he should never have been subjected to the threat of harm by the person he was trying to help.

The Roads Policing Unit officer was on duty on November 16 when he was tasked to help look for Jack Griffiths, who had had been reported missing a short time earlier and was believed to be walking along the A48 near Cross Hands.

As PC Thomas pulled into a car park, he noticed a man matching the 18-year-old’s description, and called over to check if he was ok.

Fearing for Griffiths’s safety being so close to the dual carriageway, the officer approached to check if he was ok. But he couldn’t have anticipated what would happen next.

“As I was within reaching distance, he started running and withdrew something from his clothes, “PC Thomas said. “I didn’t immediately realise that it was a silver kitchen knife.

“As I got closer, he turned towards me and swung the knife at me in a slashing motion across my chest. I would say this was inches away.

“I pushed him to the floor to try and stop him, and he fell to the ground, swinging the knife at me again – this time slashing across my shins.”

Concerned he had been injured, PC Thomas stopped, and his colleague PC Leighton Webb continued the chase.

Griffiths made off over a fence, and due to the risk PC Thomas believed might have been posed to other members of the public, he deployed his taser.

He was arrested by PC Webb, who waded into a river to reach him.

Fortunately, PC Thomas sustained minor injuries during the incident, and was able to remain on duty – but he is aware just how different the outcome could have been.

“Now I have had time to start to process this incident I can’t quite believe what happened,” he said “I’m thankful that the knife Griffiths used to assault me wasn’t sharper, or he could have seriously injured my legs and chest.

“I dread to think what some of the potential consequences of this incident could have been.”

Griffiths was charged with threatening a person with a blade/sharply pointed article in a public place, and was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. He must complete a rehabilitation requirement of 20 days, pay costs of £85, a victim surcharge of £128 and compensation of £200.

Following sentencing, PC Thomas spoke out to highlight the risks police officers face in carrying out their day-to-day duties.

“Although I am a police officer, I do not go to work to be threatened, or to fear for my safety at the hands of someone with a weapon,” he said.

“I attended the call to try and help, and this was how he repaid me.”

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New ward extension opens at Werndale Hospital

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WERNDALE Hospital opens its £1millon ward extension, featuring a suite of new spacious patient en-suite rooms and additional light and airy ward space for new nurses’ stations, new technology and medical equipment, in pleasant and comfortable spaces. 

Werndale is part of Circle Health Group, the UK’s largest provider of private healthcare. The group is carrying out a £125 million redevelopment programme across its 50 hospitals in the UK.

Werndale has a strong history in the village of Bancyfelin, where is has been serving the local communities of Wales for over 32 years.

James Davies, Wales and Scarlets rugby player, from Bancyfelin, cut the ribbon to mark the official opening on Monday 1st August. His nickname “Cubby”, is reference to his brother’s nickname, “Fox”; this refers to the Fox & Hounds pub their parents ran in Bancyfelin, the village where they grew up. Staff and consultants were given the chance to view the new extension, with a small gathering to mark the occasion and celebrate all the hard work that has gone into this project over the last 12 months.

Jacky Jones, Executive Director of Werndale Hospital said: “The investment programme is an exciting opportunity to expand what we can offer to patients at Werndale. Our staff and consultants are delighted with this expansion which will allow us to meet the private healthcare needs of patients and families in Wales and will decrease waiting times which will positively impact the patient’s experience. Having the new patient rooms here increases our ward capacity by 20%, it is a great investment”.

Gaynor Llewellyn, Director of Clinical Services said: “At Werndale we are committed to continuous improvement of clinical facilities and services. We continually invest in the hospital so that we can offer our patients and consultants reassurance when they visit us for treatments”.

Werndale Hospital is seeing increased demand for its services across all specialities particularly orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology, and general surgery. Nearly 4,000 patients had surgery at Werndale Hospital, Bancyfelin during 2021 and the new investment will enable ward capacity to be increased by 25 per cent.

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M4 closed westbound following lorry fire near Swansea

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A SECTION of the M4 near Swansea was shut on Monday (Aug 8) due to a vehicle fire.

The westbound section of the motorway, between junction 47 at Penllergaer and junction 48 at Hendy closed.

Emergency services were called to the scene, and there was queuing traffic in the area.

Traffic monitoring service Inrix reported: “M4 Westbound closed, queueing traffic due to vehicle fire between J47 A48 (Penllergaer / Swansea West Services) and J48 A4138 Pontardulais Road”

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Police appeal after Llanelli assault: victim required hospital treatment

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DYFED POWYS POLICE is investigating an assault which occurred on Regalia Terrace, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire at about 12.05am, Sunday 3rd July.

The victim required hospital treatment.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the person in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the person is, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DP-20220703-011

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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