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‘Racism has absolutely no place in Wales’ says First Minister

Thomas Sinclair

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1024px-Carwyn_Jones_2011WALES has a proud history of welcoming people from all over the world and this will not change following last week’s EU referendum result; this is the message from the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones as he meets with people from ethnic minority communities today (Jun 30)

The First Minister will meet members of Llanelli’s Polish Welsh Association as well as young people and families helped by the Ethnic Youth Support Team in Swansea.

The First Minister of Wales said: “I am shocked and appalled by the increase in racial tensions and verbal abuse towards people from ethnic minority communities during the past week. We will not stand for any form of racism in Wales and we will tackle this unacceptable behaviour head on.

“While I have been disgusted by the racial abuse endured by some, I have also been heartened by the public outpouring of support and gratitude for ethnic communities living in Wales. I was immensely proud to hear about the note of thanks pinned anonymously on the door of Llanelli’s Polish Welsh Association. I sincerely hope all other communities follow this wonderful example.”

The Welsh Government has provided almost £500,000 to establish a National Hate Crime Report and Support Centre and has funded a range of campaigns to raise awareness of the problem. Such support has led to increased reporting of hate crime in Wales, while figures released last year suggested that hate crimes had fallen by 28% over the last seven years.

Carwyn Jones added: “We have worked with partners to build strong community relations in Wales and I will not let this good work be undone. Nobody should suffer any form of hostility or prejudice and I encourage victims to contact the police or Victim Support Cymru to report incidents.

“Meanwhile, I will do all I can to help reunite the people of Wales. Migrants have made, and continue to make, an immense contribution to Welsh life and I want to reassure foreign nationals living here that they remain valued members of our society. Please hear my message loud and clear – you are still welcome here.”

Rocio Cifuentes, Director of the Ethnic Youth Support Team (EYST) said: “We welcome the First Minister’s message of reassurance to the diverse communities who live in Swansea.

“Now is the time for all of us as individuals, communities and political leaders to redouble our efforts, and our voices of tolerance and reason need to be louder than the voices of intolerance and bigotry. We also need to ensure that everybody has the opportunity to learn the facts about migration and diversity, and to appreciate the contribution that people from different backgrounds make to Wales, rather than believing the myths and misinformation which are sadly pushing up racism, intolerance and hatred.”

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Stand up for slowing down speed campaign launched

Carli Newell

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INAPPROPRIATE speed contributes to around 11% of all injury collisions reported to the police, with 15% of collisions resulting in a serious injury and 24% of collisions resulting in fatalities.

Starting on the 26th July, the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) Speed Campaign will kick off across the UK, with GoSafe and the four Welsh Police Forces participating in both engaging with the public about the risks of speeding and enforcing the speed limits on the roads of Wales.

In 2019, 60,073 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued in Wales to drivers/riders for speeding.

Speeding is a major contributing factor to collisions on the roads of Wales. This includes both ‘excessive speed’, where the speed limit is exceeded, as well as driving or riding within the speed limit when this is too fast for the conditions at the time; for example, in poor weather, poor visibility or high pedestrian activity.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, we saw less traffic but higher speeds.  Now our restrictions are lifting, traffic volumes are up and as we are holidaying in the UK more, we are seeing more people speeding on the roads in Wales.  We want to change this, but can only do that with your help.

 Over the next few weeks you will see an increased presence on the road network of Wales as we aim to keep all road users safe and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

 We know that the majority of road users comply with the speed limit; but the minority of those who do not increases the risk to the safety of all road users and need to be educated on the risks to their own safety as well as to the safety of those around them. Throughout this campaign, GoSafe and our partners in the Police and Local Authorities will encourage and educate more people to reduce their speed to save lives.

Teresa Ciano, GoSafe Partnership Manager said: “GoSafe enforce at sites across Wales in order to encourage motorists to comply with the speed limits and in turn make our roads and communities safer for everyone. If we all play our part and stand up for slowing down we can make a difference, and we can save lives on the roads of Wales.”

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change said: “I am very pleased to support this campaign. Driving at high speeds costs lives and a greater police presence on our roads will mean motorists will be more likely to drive within the speed limits, protecting lives and avoiding a speeding fine.”

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£100,000 of cannabis plants seized in west Wales police raid

Thomas Sinclair

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POLICE seized cannabis plants worth an estimated £100,000 during a warrant near Ammanford.

Dyfed-Powys Police searched a home in Garnant on Wednesday, July 21, where 100 plants were discovered to be growing in the front room and two bedrooms.

Given the number and maturity of some of the plants, officers estimate the quantity of cannabis growing to be worth around £100,000.

Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “This was a significant seizure of cannabis plants, which were growing in a sophisticated set-up across three rooms.

“Our investigation is ongoing into who is responsible, as there was nobody present at the time of the warrant, and we are carrying out all possible lines of enquiry to identify a suspect.

“I would like to thank all officers involved for showing great teamwork during the warrant and subsequent enquiries.”

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101.

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

Quote reference: DPP/2891/21/07/2021/02/C.

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

(Picture above: File Image)

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Four charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Carli Newell

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FOUR people have been arrested and charged as part of an investigation into an organised crime gang supplying class A drugs from London to Aberystwyth, Llanelli and Swansea.

Dyfed-Powys Police, with support from The Met Police, carried out warrants at four addresses on July 21, resulting in four arrests.

Mohammed Osman, aged 23, Yonis Mohammed, aged 20, Salman Mohamoud, aged 23 – all from Islington – and Amy Simmons, aged 21, from Dulwich were charged with a total of 12 offences:

  • Mohammed Osman: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine,
  • Yonis Mohammed: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.
  • Salman Mohamoud: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine
  • Amy Simmons: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.

All four appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday, July 23, where they were remanded in custody. They are due to appear at Swansea Crown Court for their next hearing on August 20.

The investigation is being carried out by the Ceredigion Serious and Organised Crime Team, Aberystwyth CID and the Operation Orochi command of the Met Police.

Detective Sergeant Steve Jones said: “These four arrests and charges are the result of a coordinated approach to target an organised crime gang we believe is running a county lines operation into the Dyfed-Powys Police force area.

“We will continue to work diligently to disrupt gangs of this kind, to prevent the supply of illegal substances into our community.

“I would like to thank all officers involved, as well as the Met Police for their part in the operation.”

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