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Carmarthenshire

Police fear increase in serious collisions during holiday season

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Police have revealed fears that an increase in cars on the road as people holiday closer to home will lead to a rise in serious injury and fatal collisions.

Dyfed-Powys Police has released figures showing an increase in the number of serious crashes attended by its Roads Policing Units over the past three months as people enjoyed the easing of Covid restrictions and the freedom to travel.

These figures show the number of people killed or seriously injured in collisions rose sharply from seven in March, to 17 in April, 18 in May and 21 in June.

And officers have revealed concerns that the trend will only continue.

Chief Inspector for Specialist Operations Tom Sharville said: “May was a particularly bad month weather-wise, but despite this we still saw an increase in vehicles on our roads as people started to enjoy the freedom to travel again.

“Sadly, with this came an increase in collisions, which we are anticipating will continue to rise over the summer as more and more people avoid the uncertainty of overseas travel and holiday in the UK instead.”

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Officers attended 91 road traffic incidents across the force in May – the highest monthly figure so far this year – with 14 serious injuries recorded and four deaths.

“What we all need to remember is that these are not just statistics,” said CI Sharville.

“Those fatalities relate to four people who never made it home to their loved ones. Four families who faced the unimaginable trauma of opening the door to a police officer delivering a death message, and four groups of friends, relatives and colleagues grieving the loss of someone they cared for.

“And they could have been any one of us.”

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Proactive policing plans are in place to keep road-users safe over the summer, including Op Darwen which focusses on motorbike safety, and Op Snap, which allows the submission of dash-cam footage of dangerous drivers for investigation.

But CI Sharville is also urging drivers themselves to do their bit to help ease the pressure on roads policing teams.

“What we are asking is that you’re aware of the environment and other road users around you, and that you pay full attention at all times,” he said.

“You might be travelling along roads you’re unfamiliar with, or trying to navigate new routes, but please don’t let this put you and your family at risk of injury or worse.

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“We want you to reach your destination safely, whether you’re a tourist enjoying the beautiful areas Dyfed-Powys has to offer for the first time, or you’re a local commuting on the same road you use every day.

“Increased traffic means an increased risk to all road-users, so please don’t be complacent, and keep your wits about you.

“Our officers don’t want to be knocking on your door.”


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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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Carmarthenshire

Women’s Tour of Britain returns to Carmarthenshire

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The countdown is on before the world’s top women riders will race through Carmarthenshire as part of the Women’s Tour of Britain.

Some 108 cyclists will race through the County to the finishing line on top of the Black Mountain between Llangadog and Brynamman as part of the stage five event on Friday, June 10.

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The route will be starting from Pembrey Country Park at 10.45am and riders competing for the title will go through Pinged, Carway, Pontyberem, Horeb, Llansawel, and Llangadog.

A rolling road closure will take place along the 65-mile route which will come into action at 10.45am until 1.50pm.

Roads will be re-opened once the cyclists have passed through. A full road closure will be in place over the Black Mountain from 5am-5pm.

The event will be broadcast on ITV4 and across Europe with a helicopter camera crew following the race.

The Women’s Tour departs on Monday, June 6, and coincides with the final day of a four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The race will culminate with a prestigious finale six days later on Saturday, June 11.

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Pembrey Country Park previously hosted the Grand Départ of the men’s Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters said: “We are thrilled that we have again been chosen to host this top cycling event. Previous years have brought an immediate economic boost to the tourism sector as well as providing a great deal of positive media coverage.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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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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