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Dyfed Powys Police

Welsh Government and police forces unite to protect victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence this Christmas

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Domestic abuse and sexual violence will not go away over this festive period the Welsh Government and the four Police forces in Wales warn.

Times of crisis can result in an increase in incidents of domestic violence, and Christmas and the holiday period may be a time of dread, fear and isolation for victims of violence and abuse.

While Covid-19 and restrictions have not caused domestic abuse to happen, evidence shows that being shut behind closed doors with abusers, 24 hours a day, has made things worse, and increased the risk to victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, today asked friends and neighbours to look out for signs of domestic abuse, and encouraged victims and survivors to seek help and escape from their homes if necessary.

Jane Hutt said: “Now, more than ever, I urge communities, friends, neighbours, postal workers and delivery drivers across Wales to look out for others in the community, and to act as the eyes and ears for victims of abuse who need help. Please look behind the Christmas lights and present deliveries, and if you see fear in the eyes the other side of the door, you can help by calling 999 in an emergency, or the Live Fear Free helpline. You could be saving a life.

“Specialist services remain open and are available to help victims of violence or abuse throughout the Christmas period, and during the period of restrictions which will follow. Perpetrator services, which work to prevent incidents of domestic abuse from happening, also remain open and will continue to provide support.

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“You will not be in trouble if you need to leave your home to seek help at any time, and specialist services are open and operating, refuges will take referrals, and support is available to help you.

“I want to emphasise this – if you are in danger or need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse, you should do so – you will not be in trouble. You can travel wherever necessary, and specialist services can help find you suitable emergency accommodation and support.

“Police forces right across Wales are responding to domestic abuse and sexual violence callouts. If is not safe for victims to speak, police will respond to a silent 999 call – dial 999, followed by 55 when the operator answers to indicate that you can’t talk, but need help.

“The Live Fear Free helpline is open 24 hours a day, every day, including Christmas and the New Year, for support and advice. Home shouldn’t be a place of fear. Support is available. You are not alone.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, Alun Michael, said: “We know that incidents of domestic violence and abuse increase at times when families and couples spend more time together at home.

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“So, while many of us are looking forward to the opportunity to form a ‘Christmas bubble’ with loved ones, even if we can only catch up virtually, for others the festive period means spending even more time with a partner or family member who causes them harm.

“We want you to know that the Police and Welsh Government are united in tackling the problem vigorously, even during the holiday period and even during the Pandemic.”

South Wales Police Chief Constable, Jeremy Vaughan, said: “If you are hurting your partner, child or another family member, I urge you to get help to change your behaviour because we will not tolerate domestic violence and abuse.

“Protecting vulnerable people is our number one priority, and despite the challenges the coronavirus crisis has presented, I want to reassure our communities that we are still responding to incidents, we are still arresting abusers, and we are still charging abusers.

“We know it can be difficult to talk about what is happening behind closed doors, however if you can take that first step and contact the police or the Live Fear Free service, we will work with you to keep you safe.”

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The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “Sadly we know that Christmas can be a time of fear for many.

“This year we are particularly concerned as we know that cases of rape, sexual violence and domestic abuse have increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“If you are experiencing abuse, or suspect someone you know is being abused, then please don’t suffer in silence; help is available. I would urge you to call the Live Fear Free helpline, and always call 999 in an emergency.”


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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape on Ammanford victim’s phone changes plea mid trial

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A man who filmed himself raping an Ammanford woman on his victim’s phone has changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing. However, after the jury was shown the video of the attack and hearing the victim was going to give evidence yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May), Hassan changed his plea to guilty.

Investigating Officer DC Sophie Lambert from Dyfed Powys Police said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

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New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

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A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

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Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

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Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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Ammanford

Police appeal after cyclist dies in Garnant accident

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Dyfed Powys Police have issued an appeal after a cyclist died in a single vehicle road traffic collision on Friday (6 May).

The accident took place around 8.45pm outside the Discovery Book Shop on Cwmamman Road in Garnant, Ammanford.

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A spokesperson for Dyfed Powys Police said: “Sadly the 58 year-old male rider of the pedal cycle sustained serious injuries and passed away in hospital.

“We are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen the pedal cycle at the relevant time, or who may have dashcam footage if they travelled along this stretch of road at the time, to get in touch.

“Also local residents and business owners are asked to contact Police if they have any CCTV footage covering the location.”

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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