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Police and Crime

Independent review to help support Mayhill and Waun Wen communities in wake of riot

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An independent joint review is being set up as part of measures to support a Swansea community in the wake of violent unrest in May.

The review will be led by a three-member panel chaired by a QC, Prof Elwen Evans, alongside vice-chairs police expert Martin Jones and local government expert Jack Straw.

Communities in Mayhill and Waun Wen have been working closely with Swansea Council and South Wales Police to support local people following disturbances there on May 20.

Residents, community leaders and the authorities came together to provide assistance to the close-knit community and provide a range of immediate support to those affected by the incident on May 20.

And, while the criminal investigation continues Swansea Council with the Police & Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable have announced there will be an independent joint learning review to find out more about the background to the occurrence and to learn lessons for the future.

The review is supported by the Welsh Government, which has welcomed the local leadership shown by the Council and the Police.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “The unlawful disturbances we saw were shocking. They were the actions of yobs and criminals and were in no way a true reflection of the wonderful communities of Mayhill and Waun Wen – or of the majority of the people of Swansea.

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“We took immediate action to support residents after the disturbances and we are still working side-by-side with families, young people, local councillors and community leaders in the recovery.

“However, it’s essential that we take the opportunity to answer the questions the community have asked and learn more about the background to this incident, what happened on the night and the immediate aftermath. 

“Events like those we witnessed in Mayhill and Waun Wen are thankfully extremely rare and the independent review offers us an opportunity to learn lessons to further prevent incidents across Wales in the future.”

Youths jumping on cars during the Mayhill disturbance on 20 May

Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael endorsed this approach, saying: “It is important for us to understand how and why these events happened in Mayhill, how each agency responded and to use the outcome of the learning review constructively for the future.

“It’s important to note that straight away the Council’s Leader and Chief Executive met myself as the Police & Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable and we agreed to work together to appoint an independent Chair for the Learning Review.

“The review will examine what led up to that incident, whether it could have been predicted and the way in which agencies responded to support the local community and restore confidence after the event. It is being established with the support of Welsh Government, who are providing finance to enable the review to take place. 

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“An independent legally qualified chair is being appointed, supported by two vice chairs; one with past experience of senior leadership in local government and the other with senior command experience within policing. This review will build on internal reviews already conducted by individual organisations into the event.  It will also look at how members of the community responded and supported each other after the incident.”

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Councillor Rob Stewart added:  “Working with the community it will assist us in developing long-term plans to continue to support the area in recovering from what happened.”

Residents directly affected by the disturbances as well as community groups and leaders will be invited to give feedback to the inquiry panel.

Cllr Stewart said that over the last decade the council had continued to invest heavily in the area despite years of U.K. national government austerity. Around £50m was invested in improving housing in the area. 

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Last year a £500,000 refurbishment of the local Seaview Primary School was completed and the local youth club in Townhill received £80,000 of support. A £2m state-of-the-art family centre and GP surgery was opened at Mountain View in Mayhill in 2018. More investment is being delivered now in better community facilities and community services.

Cllr Stewart said: “Since May 20 we’ve seen the true spirit of the Mayhill community and its neighbouring Townhill area emerge with residents supporting each other and working with the council and local councillors to address some of the immediate issues. 

“I thank them, council staff, local schools, the police and other agencies who’ve stepped up to the plate with support to help those affected and help the wider community feel safe.”

Panel member biographies

Professor Elwen Evans, QC

Professor Elwen Evans QC is Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean for the faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She also holds the University portfolio for Welsh Language and Culture.

Elwen has enjoyed a very successful career as a barrister choosing to practice mainly in Wales. She has undertaken a wide range of legal work, specialising in criminal law at trial and appellate levels. She sits as a Crown Court Recorder having been appointed in 2001. She is a Bencher of her Inn, has been honoured by Gorsedd y Beirdd for her services to Law in Wales and was a Commissioner on the Commission on Justice in Wales. She has served on a wide range of external bodies and committees reflecting her areas of professional experience and interest. In 2018 she was in the top 10 of a list celebrating 100 of Wales’ most inspirational women.

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Elwen joined Swansea University in 2015 when she was appointed as Head of the College of Law & Criminology where she supported its growth and transformation into an exciting and dynamic centre for learning, teaching, research, impact and engagement. Today, the University’s Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law is recognised as being at the forefront of innovation in legal education and practice.

Jack Straw, OBE

Mr Straw has worked in a range of public sector posts since 1973.

He began his career at Nottingham City Council and moved to Coventry City Council before joining Swansea City Council in 1989. He joined the NHS in 1993, holding a number of senior posts including Finance Director, General Hospital Manager and Chief Executive of the Local Health Board.

He returned to local government as Director of Social Services at the City and County of Swansea and held a number of senior posts before being appointed Chief Executive in 2011.

Since leaving Swansea Council in 2016, Mr Straw has worked as an independent consultant specialising in service improvement across the public sector.

Martin Jones

Martin Jones is a retired Chief Superintendent who served with South Wales Police for over 30 years. He graduated in law at the University of Lancaster in 1988 and later that year he was posted as a constable to Barry, South Wales.

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Over his police career Martin has held command positions across the South Wales Police area for over 20 years. This Command has been in both local police areas (or Command units ) and also within various strategic functional arenas across South Wales. The latter include him becoming the first Lead for a centralised Custody Service for South Wales and more recently leading the Forces Change Team. He has operational experience as an accredited firearms commander for 20 years, commanding numerous firearm incidents as well as undertaking various roles within local, operational command teams, across Barry, Bridgend, Neath, Port Talbot and Swansea.

He has a strong background in partnership and cross agency working, and spent time within the South Wales Police Community Safety Department, leading on community engagement and cohesion strategies across the region.

He has more recently worked as part of several strategic Partnerships across South Wales, both as part of formal Safeguarding structures and broader strategic work within Public Service Boards, latterly in Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot.


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South Wales Police

Logan Mwangi: Three sentenced for murder

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Three people have been sentenced for murdering five year-old Logan Mwangi, whose body was discovered by police officers in a river near his home in Sarn, in July 2021.

Angharad Williamson, 31, John Cole, 40, and 14 year-old Craig Mulligan, appeared at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday, June 30.

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They were convicted of murder and perverting the course of justice back in April. During a trial which lasted for 10-weeks, the court heard how the defendants colluded in an attempt to cover-up Logan’s murder in the hours that followed his death.

Logan’s body was found by police officers in the River Ogmore at around 6am on Saturday, 31st July, shortly after a 999 call was made by Logan’s mother, Angharad Williamson.

The defendants tried to convince officers that Logan had gone missing overnight but all three were arrested when officers became suspicious.

Damning evidence was gathered by the Major Crime Investigation Team in the days that followed and they were charged with murder.

A Home Office Post Mortem carried out on Logan found that he had suffered more than 56 injuries which were described by a pathologist to be so extreme, that you would expect to find them as a result of a fall from great height or a high speed road traffic collision.

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John Cole was jailed for life and will serve a minimum of 29 years before he can be considered for release. Angharad Williamson was jailed for life and will serve a minimum 28 years. Craig Mulligan will be detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure for a minimum of 15 years.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Lianne Rees, of the South Wales Police Major Crime Investigations Team, said: “Today’s sentences are a reflection of the appalling crimes committed back in July last year.

“It is incomprehensible that Logan had his life cut short in such tragic circumstances at the hands of those very people who should have been there to protect him.

“For Logan’s father, Ben, who stands beside me, today’s sentences are welcome news, however no amount of justice can bring Logan back, or compensate for the grief that continues to be felt.

“Ben, and his family, have demonstrated incredible strength throughout the investigation and legal process. What they have been through is hard to comprehend, but they have endured everything with tremendous courage and dignity at this most difficult time.

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“The impact Logan’s death has had, and continues to have on all those who loved and knew him within the local community, is immeasurable.

“Knowing that justice has been done for Logan, I hope they can now begin to rebuild their lives and celebrate the joy that he gave them during the precious time they had with him.

“Once again, I would like to pay tribute to the professionalism displayed by police officers and emergency service colleagues who were faced with the most traumatic scenes imaginable back in July of last year.

“I would also like thank my team of detectives and staff who have worked tirelessly on this investigation, together with the Crown Prosecution Service and Prosecution Counsel. The efforts of all involved have contributed to today’s outcome.”

Following the verdict handed down in the Logan Mwangi case today, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their calls for an independent inquiry into Children’s services in Wales to try and prevent any more tragedies.

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Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS, who worked for over 25 years as a child protection social worker said: “This case is utterly tragic and we must ensure lessons are learned so that it never happens again.

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats are very clear, following a number of alarming incidents, the Welsh Government should announce a review of child protection across Wales.

“Social workers, their managers, family support workers and colleagues in the health and education systems are working hard to protect children. But, more is needed to help social workers to do their job and a Chief Social Worker for Children is needed – as they have in England.

“Both Scotland and England are carrying out independent inquiries into the state of children’s social services in their jurisdiction. There is no reason for Wales not to do the same.”

(Lead image: South Wales Police)

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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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