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Council consults on plans to introduce extra anti-social behaviour powers

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SWANSEA Council is to consult residents and businesses on plans to introduce new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in some areas of our city.

If approved it would mean trained council officers and police would be able to confiscate alcohol in the street and have additional powers to tackle issues such as drug-taking and drunkenness in the city centre, the Marina and parts of Morriston.

Known as Public Space Protection Orders, or PSPOs, they can be introduced in areas where anti-social behaviour needs to be brought under further control.

A six-week consultation on applying them to the city centre, including the upper High Street as far as Dyfatty lights, the Marina area, Woodfield Street in Morriston and a section of St Helen’s Road goes on until January 25, 2021.

It’ll be followed by a report that will go to Swansea Council’s Cabinet for a decision on whether to go ahead with some or all of them along with details of how they will be implemented.

Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism said people are fed up with anti-social behaviour and want something done about it.

Between July and September this year alone there were 493 complaints to City Centre rangers about anti-social behaviour and in the 12 months to June this year South Wales police reported more than 1,100 anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related crimes in the city centre and marina area.

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Cllr Francis-Davies said: “We recognise people’s concerns. They should not go to the shops, visit friends or go to work feeling worried about being intimidated or threatened because of anti-social behaviour.

“Swansea is better than that. By using these additional powers to the ones the police already have, the Council will  be able to do even more to support visitors, businesses and their staff to enjoy our city at its best.”

Swansea City Centre Rangers (Image: Swansea Council)

Alyson Pugh, Cabinet Member for Supporting Communities, said a PSPO will give the council and police extra powers to deal with anti-social behaviour on our streets such as drinking, drug-taking and other activity where it is having a negative effect on an area.

The consultation document shows exactly where it’s proposed the PSPOs will go.

She said: “It means we will be able to confiscate alcohol from people drinking on the streets before it becomes an issue, issue fixed penalty notices for anti-social behaviour and take other proactive action to tackle the problem.”

Ty-Nant Tunnel between The Strand and High Street and the Service Lane at the bottom of St Helen’s Road have become areas of concern due to anti-social behaviour. 

Cllr Pugh said the proposals would help nip long-standing issues in the bud by closing the tunnel and controlling access to the service lane for legitimate use only. Work to upgrade the Jockey Street tunnel to provide a better alternative route for getting back and forth from The Strand and High Street will also be undertaken.

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“We already know there is good support for PSPOs from the police and businesses concerned about the impact on trade from anti-social behaviour. Although a lot of work has already been done to address these problems, more needs to be done.”

Andrea Lewis, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Homes, Energy and Service Transformation said PSPOs have been introduced by councils across the UK and elsewhere in Wales such as Newport and Monmouthshire as part of a package of measures to tackle anti-social behaviour.

She said: “We have to do all we can to reduce the blight of anti-social behaviour in places like the city centre and the Marina.

She added: “It’s also important to recognise that if they’re introduced, PSPOs are not aimed at the homeless or rough sleepers; people who often have complex problems and deserve our support to help them manage their lives.

“We already have established mechanisms in place with the excellent outreach services who are working hard locally to support vulnerable people. This year the council has spent £5.6m on supporting the homeless with medical and social care as well as finding them a place to live. We are investing around £1m to increase the number of one-bedroom flats we own so there are more permanent homes available to those who need them most.”

To find out more and join in the consultation please go here: www.swansea.gov.uk/PSPOs

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(Lead image: Woodfield Street in Morriston – Geograph / John M)


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Dyfed Powys Police

Eight people have lost £58k in the last week to criminals in ‘courier fraud’ – with Llanelli area being hit hardest

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thoughtful adult woman talking on smartphone

Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating a growing number of reports of people posing as bank staff or police officers, as eight people have lost £58,000 to criminals in the last week alone due to ‘Courier Fraud’.

This increase is particularly prevalent in the Llanelli area.

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DC Gareth Jordan from the Economic Crime Team said: “People posing as fake bank staff or police officers have been calling residents and persuading them their accounts have been compromised, then sending a courier to collect the money. This is known as Courier Fraud.

“In the past week alone we have seen eight people lose a significant amount of money between them, and it’s very distressing for those victims. We are asking friends and family to look out for those that could be vulnerable – talk to them about this scam, advise them to be vigilant, and report any suspicious calls.

“Please remember that police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to a ‘safe’ account.”

Dyfed Powys Police warn that if someone is claiming to be a police officer asks you to withdraw money for safe keeping or that they’re investigating the bank staff, it’s a scam.

The police, or your bank, will never ask you to assist in an internal investigation. They will never ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN either. Never hand your card over with the PIN number.

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And the police will never send someone to your home to collect money, nor will they ask you to transfer funds out of your account.

Top Tips to protect yourself from fraudsters

Stop: Always take a moment to think before parting with your money or information – it could keep you safe.

Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam and report it to the police.

Report suspicious emails to: report@phishing.gov.uk

You can also report suspicious texts by forwarding the original message to 7726, which spells SPAM on your keypad. 

Anyone who receives a similar call is asked to contact Dyfed-Powys Police either online; by emailing: 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or calling: 101.

Anyone who thinks they have fallen victim to a scammer should report it by calling 101, or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. For further advice and information on how to avoid being scammed visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.

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Neath

Body found in search for missing Neath man

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A body has been found in the search for missing man Mathew Scott who was last seen on Saturday 4th June in Neath.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Owens from South Wales Police said: “Officers, following up on information sent into us by members of the public, forced entry to an address in Windsor Road, Neath, yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 28th June) and found a body inside.

“Formal identification has taken place and Mathew’s family have been informed.

“Detectives are continuing enquiries to ascertain the full circumstances behind his death. A 44 year old man from Neath is assisting officers with their investigation.

“I’d like to thank everyone who shared our appeal and provided us with valuable information.”

(Lead image: South Wales Police)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Four men fined £6,000 for ‘barbaric’ illegal foul hook fishing

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Four men caught using a barbaric and illegal fishing method by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) enforcement officers during patrols of the River Loughor, near Llanelli, have been fined a total of £6,000.

They each appeared before Llanelli Magistrates Court on 16 and 17 June and pleaded guilty to the offence of foul hooking – also known as snatching – which is prohibited under Section 1 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

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They were fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £10,300 to NRW for investigation costs.

The men were caught by NRW fisheries enforcement officers who were undertaking riverbank patrols of the River Loughor in summer 2021, working to address and prevent the use of foul hook fishing.

Each fish caught using the foul hooking method had been snagged on its tail, back or flank. All fishing equipment and illegally caught fish were seized by NRW and later confiscated by the court.

Alun Thomas, Senior Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “Foul hook fishing is barbaric, unethical and illegal. This method of fishing is not only indiscriminate on what species or size fish that are killed, but also inflicts untold damage to unseen numbers of fish which are likely to die of their injuries soon after. This is often made worse by using deliberately tampered fishing lures.

“NRW’s Fisheries Enforcement Officers and police take these incidents seriously, as do the courts. Hopefully, the small minority of anglers considering using illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines issued by the courts.”

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Romuald Krzysztof Biernacki of Dwyfor, Llanelli, was caught using the foul hooking method on 4 July 2021. He had illegally caught four mullets and six flounder fish.

Biernacki was fined £1,500 and made to pay part of NRW’s investigation costs of £2,500.

Hung Van Tran, travelled from his Gibson Road home in Handsworth, Birmingham, to fish on river Loughor on 25 August 2021. NRW fisheries enforcement officers discovered he had illegally caught four mullet fish using the foul hook method.

Hung Van Tran was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay part of NRW’s investigation costs of £1,800.

Duc Duy Tran of Brithweynydd, Tonypandy, and Tan Van Tran of Pentrebane Street, Caerphilly, were caught during another river patrol carried out by NRW fisheries enforcement officers accompanied by Dyfed-Powys Police’s Wildlife Crime Officer on 6 September 2021.

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Duc Duy Tran had illegally caught 14 mullet fish and was fined £1,500. He must also pay £3,000 to NRW for investigation costs.

Tan Van Tran had illegally caught four mullet fish. He was fined £1,500, plus £3,000 to NRW for investigation costs.

Alun Thomas added: “We would like to thank Dyfed-Powys Police, the local community and law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities. I urge them to continue to report such activity and we will investigate.

“We would encourage anyone going fishing to familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations before going.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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