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Police urge people not to assault emergency workers following attacks

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has issued an appeal for the public to work with us, not against us after a number of assaults on emergency workers in the past week.

It comes after a man who lunged at a police officer following a disturbance was sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work.

Officers had attended a disturbance in Spilman Street, Carmarthen, on the evening of Saturday, 11 December, over reports of 20 people fighting.

When officers arrived, the situation had calmed slightly to pushing and shoving.

Officers were speaking to those involved and initially spoke with Robin Pitt, aged 40, who appeared calm.

However, when officers were dealing with another male, Pitt lunged at one of them from behind with his arm out.

PC Chris Day, who witnessed Pitt’s charge, stepped in to stop a potential assault on a colleague.

“I got in the middle of them,” said PC Day.

“He grabbed me so I’ve grabbed him and then he’s wrapped his arms around my head.

“When he took me to the ground I smashed my left knee into the floor causing several grazes and bruising.

“He landed on top of me, so I cut my hand while trying to get him off and some reddening to the left eye.

“There were abrasions on my face from all the struggling, it was like sandpaper on my face.”

PC Day said the assault had been unprovoked.

“It was out of the blue,” he said. “As I first attended I spoke with him and he was fine and calm with me.

“No-one ever expects to be assaulted when they go to work.

“As a police officer, you expect to deal with violent offenders, but we’re just doing our job and should not be attacked for doing it.”

Pitt admitted the assault at Llanelli Magistrates Court on 13 December.

He was given a 12-month community order, including 120 hours of unpaid work, costs of £85, a £95 victim surcharge, and £100 compensation.

This month Dyfed-Powys Police is supporting the emergency services’ #WithUsNotAgainstUs campaign being led by the Welsh Ambulance Service.

In one week this month, eight assaults were recorded on police or paramedics in the force area.

It is part of a rising trend, which has seen more than 4,240 assaults committed against emergency workers, including police, fire and ambulance crews, in the period April 2019 to November 2020. This represents a monthly average increase from 202 in 2019 to 222 in 2020, or 10%.

Assaults ranged from kicking, punching and head-butting, to spitting, slapping, biting and verbal abuse.

In 2018, the maximum sentence under the Assault on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act was doubled from six months to 12 months in prison, but criminals could soon face up to two years in prison under new laws.

Attacks on emergency workers:

  • When officers were called to a disturbance in Monkton on 9 December, they arrested a man, who kicked one officer and butted another.
  • Officers were called to a woman damaging a car in the Kidwelly area on 9 December. Once arrested, the woman lashed out kicking two officers to their legs.
  • When making an arrest in Llanelli on December 12, two officers were assaulted – one had their hair pulled, while the other was bitten on their hand.
  • On 12 December officers were called to Llanelli after a paramedic had been punched in her stomach by a patient in an ambulance.
  • Officers called to concern for the welfare of a man in the Aberystwyth area on 12 December. The man was located and offered support by officers but became abusive to an officer, including racial comments.
  • On 14 December officers were called to Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli to reports of an intoxicated man with a child, who then refused treatment for the child. He was found in a car outside, and when approached by officers became aggressive, squaring up to officers and bystanders, swearing at them. He then lunged at an officer, spitting in their face. Once he was in a police custody suite, he again lashed out at another officer, kicking them to the shin.
  • On 14 December officers attended a property in Carmarthen and spoke with an occupant who lashed out at officers and had to be restrained. Two officers were kicked to their legs during the disturbance.
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Public Services Board seeks views to improve local well-being

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CARMARTHENSHIRE’S Public Services Board (PSB) is seeking residents’ views to find out what matters to them and their local communities.

The PSB has developed its Well-being Objectives and draft actions to deliver them, based on feedback received on its Well-being Assessment. The results of a survey at that time gathered views and helped shape the PSB’s understanding of the economic, social, environmental, and cultural factors that impact the well-being of individuals and communities within Carmarthenshire.

Once again, residents are being asked to contribute to help public service partners develop Carmarthenshire’s Local Well-being Plan for 2023-28.

To help shape the future of well-being please visit: Current Consultations (gov.wales)

The survey closes on 25 January 2023.

Cllr Darren Price, Chair of the Carmarthenshire PSB and Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “To deliver what is important to our communities, we need to their feedback and input. This survey is an opportunity for our residents to tell us if we, as public services, are on the right track to help create a better future for our children’s generation, and the generations to follow, as we strive to reach this goal.” 

Andrew Cornish, Vice-Chair of the PSB andChief Executive Officer / Principal of Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion said: “Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our work so far. Our Well-being Assessment gives us a strong foundation on which to build our Well-being Plan and I would like to encourage everyone to take part in our involvement work for the preparation of the Plan.”

Carmarthenshire’s Public Services Board is a partnership of public and third sector organisations working together to improve well-being across the county and includes Carmarthenshire County Council, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Natural Resources Wales and other organisations.

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Llanelli prepares for Sunday’s Remembrance Day parade

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LATER TODAY (Sunday, November 13) the town will honour those who have fallen in service over the decades.

A number of roads will be closed on the day, including Murray Street, Church Street and Vauxhall Road from its junction with the mini roundabout.

These will be shut for the parade between 8.30am and noon, however, pedestrian access for those wishing to reach individual properties in those streets will be maintained where possible throughout the duration of the closure.

Traffic will be diverted to Robinson Street, Arthur Street, Columbia Row, Anne Street, Bigyn Road, Stepney Place, Water Street, Thomas Street and Gelli Onn.

At 10am, police, organisations and others not marching in the parade will take up their respective positions in front of the cenotaph in the town hall grounds, while the civic party will assemble inside Llanelli Town Hall.

At 10.15am the parade leaves Drill Hall for the town hall with the mayor Cllr Philip Warlow proceeding to the Boer War Memorial where he will lay a wreath.

When the parade arrives at the town hall, the civic party will proceed to the cenotaph where the Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed Sara Edwards, will lay a wreath.

This will be followed by the chair of Carmarthenshire Council Cllr Rob Evans, laying a wreath on the Royal Welch War Memorial and then on the town’s cenotaph.

More wreaths will be laid by dignitaries and politicians and ex-servicemen and women A two-minute silence will then be observed at 11am.

Any service groups or individuals who wish to lay a wreath on Remembrance Sunday can contact Paul Wickers via email at llanlva2009@aol.com.

While community organisations are to contact Llanelli Town Council at enquiries@llanellitowncouncil.gov.uk.

Contact should be made by Monday, October 31 at the very latest to confirm arrangements as no additional wreaths will be able to be accommodated on the day.

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Llanelli choir launches fundraising naked calendar

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MEMBERS of a Llanelli female choir have bared all to raise money for the town’s Ty Bryngwyn Hospice.  

Côr Curiad has created a cheeky fundraising calendar for 2023 – the second one they have done.

With around 50 members, photos were taken across Llanelli with strategically placed items to spare their blushes – all in the name of a good cause.

Llanelli photographer Graham Harries was behind the lens for the project.

The choir’s musical director Alex Esney, who is Miss December in the calendar said: “Local businesses sponsored the calendar and so many of the photos were taken at their premises.

“So for example we went to LTC Mobility Ltd and had scooters carefully positioned in front of us, it was a lot of fun.

“I also want to thank Ffwrnes Theatre for opening up especially for me to go and have my photo taken with the piano there.”

Alex said the aim is to raise as much as possible for the hospice, adding: “We did a calendar a few years ago but we now have more members so we thought it was time to do it all again.

“The ladies decided to ‘bare all’ to raise money for the hospice which provides such great care and support for families in their time of need, including two of our own.

“I think we pulled out all the stops this year, getting their clothes off at local businesses in and around Llanelli.”

One of the calendar photos (Images: Graham Harries Photography)
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