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Dyfed Powys Police

Panel seeks answers over Penally asylum camp costs

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The Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel are seeking answers over costs incurred due to the demand for extra policing at an asylum seekers camp in Pembrokeshire.

The question will be raised at this week’s meeting of the Panel, due to be held virtually at 10.30am on Friday, February 5.

Member of the Panel, Cllr Keith Evans, will ask Dafydd Llywelyn, the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), how much it has cost to police the camp at Penally, which was brought into use by the Home Office to house asylum seekers in September.

The camp has been the subject of significant attention, attracting protests and creating tensions in the surrounding communities.

Cllr Evans plans to ask the Commissioner what actions he has taken in the wake of demand for additional policing, and assurance that policing in other parts of the force area has not been adversely impacted.

Meanwhile, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn recently welcomed news that the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) has begun an inspection of the use of hotels and barracks as contingency asylum accommodation, which includes the Penally Camp in Pembrokeshire.

PCC Dafydd Llywelyn has been calling for an independent inspection of the camp, following recent protests held by individuals from the camp, and met with David Bolt, the Chief Inspector of Asylum and Immigration earlier in January to discuss his concerns.

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PCC Dafydd Llywelyn said; “I welcome news that the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has begun an inspection. I have seen first-hand the difficult circumstances encountered by individuals that are residing at the centre, and on the 5th of January, I met with David Bolt, the Chief Inspector of Asylum and Immigration, who reassured me that an independent inspection of the Centre would take place in the near future.

“This will be a welcomed relief not only to residents of the local community, but also for the individuals who have been residing at the camp”.

The inspection will examine the use made of hotels and other forms of contingency asylum accommodation, including Penally Camp and Napier Barracks, since the beginning of 2020. It will focus on the roles and responsibilities of the Home Office and the accommodation service providers, and also communication between the Home Office and stakeholders such as local authorities, health services, police forces, who PCC Dafydd Llywelyn has criticised on several occasions.

PCC Dafydd Llywelyn said; “The lack of strategic planning around the use of the Penally camp since September 2020, as well as the lack of community engagement has been extremely frustrating. This has led to unnecessary pressure being put on local resources at a time, when we are trying to protect our communities from a global pandemic. As a result, I’m pleased that the inspection will include a focus on communication between the Home Office and stakeholders.  

PCC Llywelyn has confirmed that he is pushing for additional funding from the Home Office to support local resources that have been put under pressure as a result of the decision to utilise the camp as an asylum centre.

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ICIBI is inviting anyone with relevant knowledge or experience of the Home Office’s contingency asylum accommodation to submit their evidence to chiefinspector@icibi.gov.uk. The call for evidence will remain open for four weeks, until 19 February 2021.


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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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