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Police and Crime

100 new PCSOs to be funded by the Welsh Government

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The Welsh Government have announced additional funding to provide a 100 Police Community Support Officers to tackle crime and support communities.

The First Minister Mark Drakeford and the Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt have announced an extra £3.7m for additional PCSOs across Wales, bringing the total budget to over £22m.

The additional 100 PCSOs brings the total funded by the Welsh Government to 600.

The Welsh Government say this funding shows the importance it places on the values of community, equality and social justice, adding that this will be another step forward to ensure strong and safe communities with resources in place to cut crime.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “PCSOs have provided a vital link between neighbourhoods and police services and are recognised for their willingness to become part of their communities.

“They have played a critical role in responding to the pandemic and I want to pay tribute to their unwavering commitment.

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“The PCSOs have continued to step up, providing support and developing innovative ways to keep their communities safe.”

“Police Community Support Officers work with police officers and share some, but not all of their powers. They provide an important link between their communities and the police service to ensure people have the support they need

“Some of the things PCSOs support frontline policing with are stopping speeding outside our schools, reporting vandalism or reducing anti-social behaviour.”

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Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said: “Communities right across Wales have appreciated the vitally important difference that PCSOs make to their neighbourhoods. It’s clear to see that they’ve fast become part of their communities and have ensured that when there is a problem, individuals know their local PCSOs have their best interests at heart.

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“Their work to identify and understand local issues has enabled a focus on early intervention, ensuring that local support services can link up and deliver for our communities.

“I’m delighted that we’re hitting the ground running on delivering our pledge to recruit 100 more PCSO’s in Wales today, demonstrating our commitment to keeping our communities and neighbourhoods in Wales safe.”

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South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said: “PCSOs strive to make our communities safer and stronger by the part the play and their visible presence helps to inspire confidence. That is why I am absolutely delighted that Welsh Government ministers have moved so quickly to implement their manifesto commitment to 100 additional PCSOs across Wales, in addition to the 500 they already fund. 

“Their financial commitment enables the four Welsh forces to press ahead with the additional recruitment and to restore and enhance this important frontline resource in each of our communities at the same time as tackling the competing demands of tackling violent crime, drugs-related exploitation, domestic violence and abuse and internet-enabled crime. 

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“Just as in Wales we worked together to combat Covid-19 we will now work together to protect vulnerable people from the threats and harm that are faced by every community.”

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Port Talbot

Police launch appeal to find missing disabled woman

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South Wales Police have launched an appeal to find missing Waunarlwydd woman, Kelly Randell.

45 year-old Kelly was last seen in Port Talbot on Tuesday 3 May.

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A wheelchair user with one leg, Kelly is described as being around 5ft of medium build with brown hair which is tied up – possibly in a bun.

She was last seen wearing black jeans and a black coat.

She has links to both Swansea and Port Talbot.

South Wales Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen Kelly, or who has information which will help them to find her, to contact them online or by calling 101 quoting occurrence number 2200149152.

(Lead image: Family photo / South Wales Police)

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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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