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Dyfed Powys Police

Teenager sentenced for danger drive chase through Haverfordwest

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A 17 year-old disqualified driver who sped away from police, leading to a chase through a busy town, has been handed a suspended sentence and banned from driving for three years.

Jerry Harty was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Friday, when he was also ordered to take a diversionary scheme to engage with rehabilitation activity for 20 days in a bid to get him to change his ways.

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Harty’s driving was so dangerous – with excessive speed, driving on the wrong side of the road, and travelling the wrong way around a roundabout – that police had to call off their pursuit.

However, officers from Dyfed-Powys Police refused to let him get away with it.

They continued to patrol the area and spoke to a member of public who had seen a car matching the description of Harty’s turn down towards Freystrop.

Officers followed that route and found Harty, now aged 18, of Pantyblawd Caravan Site, Swansea Enterprise Park, near his black Peugeot 308, where he had attempted to dump the car and its keys.

PS Paul Owen-Williams said: “Harty is a young, inexperienced and was already a disqualified driver.

“His driving on that day was dangerous and could so easily had resulted in a serious collision.

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“He thought he could get away with it, and denied any involvement in the incident, trying to blame someone else for his actions, and pleading not guilty at earlier hearings.

“But I’m pleased our officers, through tenacious efforts and good police work, were able to get the evidence needed to make him change his plea to guilty.”

The incident, on October 9, 2021, started when officers attempted to pull over Harty’s car just prior to Salutation Square roundabout in Haverfordwest.

Harty, who was previously disqualified from driving in 2018 and had never held a full driving licence, did not stop. He continued to drive, initially in a highway code compliant manner, onto the roundabout and took the exit onto Freemans Way.

With police still in pursuit, with lights and sirens on, Harty then moved into the oncoming lane and started overtaking vehicles at speed, forcing his way through traffic towards the Merlins Bridge Roundabout.

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He has then taken the second exit onto the A4076 towards Johnston where the lights were on red and has gone the wrong way around the ‘keep left’ bollard at the main traffic lights, next to the turn to go onto Old Hakin road, forcing a member of the public to slam on their breaks.

The then carried back onto the correct side of the road and continued at speed out on the A4076 towards Johnston. He was seen doing 60mph in a 30mph zone.

Harty continued to overtake vehicles and force his way through traffic and is then sighted doing 90mph as his car entered the 50mph zone towards Johnston.

As he came to the roundabout at Johnston, Harty went the wrong way around it, again, forcing people to stop and move to avoid getting hit.

Due to the risk posed to members of the public from the driver, officers have called the pursuit off.

Once officers tracked him down he was arrested and later charged with failing to stop, driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance, dangerous driving and driving otherwise in accordance of a licence.

After pleading guilty to these offences at a previous hearing he was sentenced on Friday and received a 27-week custodial sentence, suspended for one year, ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work, to engage with rehabilitation activity for 20 days and disqualified from driving for three years.

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PS Owen-Williams added: “We’re pleased with the sentence and we hope it serves as a warning to anyone considering driving in such a foolish, reckless way.

“It is only down to luck that no-one was seriously hurt that day.”

WATCH: Dramatic chase as 17 year-old disqualified driver attempts to evaid police.

(All images & Video: Dyfed Powys Police)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Drivers in Dyfed-Powys police area least likely to have car stolen

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New research has shown that drivers in Dyfed-Powys police’s area are the least likely to have their car stolen in all of England and Wales.

There were 623 vehicle thefts in 2021. This means just 1.2 cars were stolen per thousand households.

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The study, conducted by  A-Plan Insurance, was carried out by assessing Home Office data of vehicle thefts in each Police Force Area and determining the rate according to the number of thefts per household. 

With 100,185 cars stolen in London in 2021, England’s capital had 11.1. vehicle thefts per thousand households. This puts it first for the area where drivers are most likely to be the victims of vehicle theft. 

The West Midlands comes second for its vehicle crime rate, with 10.4 vehicle thefts per thousand households (30,608 cars stolen in 2021), while Greater Manchester had nine cars stolen per thousand households (25,495 vehicle thefts), making it the third most dangerous place to own a car. 

Cumbria and North Yorkshire are also some of the least likely areas for vehicle theft, with 727 and 1,433 cars stolen respectively in 2021. That’s 1.5 vehicle thefts per thousand households in Cumbria and 1.7 in North Yorkshire. 

The research also analysed data from 2020, to determine whether vehicle thefts have increased or decreased in each Police Force Area since last year, finding that although London is still the worst place for vehicle theft, the crime rate is improving. Compared to 2020, car thefts in the capital are down by nine per cent, however, it’s a different story in the West Midlands, with 12 per cent more vehicles stolen in 2021.  

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Greater Manchester also saw an increase of five per cent on last year, but Hampshire is the area where vehicle theft has increased the most, with 22 per cent more cars stolen in 2021 than in 2020. 

Gloucestershire has seen the biggest improvement when it comes to the number of cars stolen in the area, with nearly a third fewer thefts in 2021, compared to 2020. 

The full results of the research

Police Force Area Household figures (mid-2020) rounded to 100 Vehicle thefts per 1,000 households (year ending Dec 2021) Total vehicle thefts (year ending Dec 2021) Percentage change in vehicle thefts (from 2020 to 2021) 
London (Metropolitan Police and City of London) 3,543,000 11.1 100,185 -9 
West Midlands 1,148,800 10.4 30,608 12 
Greater Manchester 1,190,500 25,495 
South Yorkshire 599,500 7.5 10,572 -4 
Bedfordshire 267,900 6.9 4,704 -17 
West Yorkshire 964,400 6.1 14,358 -4 
Hertfordshire 485,400 7,180 
Essex 768,400 5.9 10,896 -6 
Warwickshire 247,600 5.4 3,167 -18 
Cleveland 245,100 5.2 2,989 
Thames Valley 964,200 4.9 12,000 -18 
Hampshire 839,500 4.9 9,760 22 
Nottinghamshire 489,000 4.9 5,714 -12 
Avon and Somerset 737,300 4.9 8,407 -4 
Leicestershire 438,800 4.8 5,330 -20 
Dorset 344,100 4.8 3,718 -4 
Merseyside 632,500 4.7 6,726 -1 
Cambridgeshire 345,600 4.7 4,028 -8 
Northamptonshire 316,900 4.6 3,512 -25 
Surrey 474,900 4.6 5,545 -7 
Kent 778,300 4.6 8,508 -14 
Lancashire 643,600 4.4 6,735 -1 
South Wales 582,100 4.2 5,610 -14 
Northumbria 648,200 4.1 6,082 -15 
Derbyshire  461,800 4,229 
Sussex 750,100 3.8 6,522 -3 
Gwent 256,700 3.7 2,242 -9 
Staffordshire 488,600 3.6 4,079 -8 
Durham 283,900 3.4 2,150 -16 
Humberside 407,600 3.3 3,052 -20 
West Mercia 556,600 3.1 3,977 
Gloucestershire 275,200 2.9 1,838 -31 
Suffolk 330,800 2.9 2,178 -18 
Lincolnshire 332,400 2.8 2,144 -10 
Wiltshire 309,700 2.7 1,947 -14 
Cheshire 467,300 2.4 2,604 -1 
Devon and Cornwall 778,700 1.8 3,210 -7 
Norfolk 398,800 1.8 1,613 -15 
North Wales 308,300 1.7 1,225 -4 
North Yorkshire 360,900 1.7 1,433 -22 
Cumbria 227,000 1.5 727 -13 
Dyfed-Powys 231,200 1.2 623 -12 

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson for  A-Plan Insurance said: “Theft is one of the main concerns for drivers, especially if you live in an area like London or the West Midlands, where there’s a higher risk of your vehicle being stolen than there is in somewhere like Dyfed-Powys and Cumbria.

“It’s interesting to see that some of the places with the highest vehicle crime rates are improving, though, and drivers can rest easier by making sure they have adequate insurance cover for their vehicles to protect them from theft and other risks.” 

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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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Dyfed Powys Police

Four men fined £6,000 for ‘barbaric’ illegal foul hook fishing

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Four men caught using a barbaric and illegal fishing method by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) enforcement officers during patrols of the River Loughor, near Llanelli, have been fined a total of £6,000.

They each appeared before Llanelli Magistrates Court on 16 and 17 June and pleaded guilty to the offence of foul hooking – also known as snatching – which is prohibited under Section 1 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

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They were fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £10,300 to NRW for investigation costs.

The men were caught by NRW fisheries enforcement officers who were undertaking riverbank patrols of the River Loughor in summer 2021, working to address and prevent the use of foul hook fishing.

Each fish caught using the foul hooking method had been snagged on its tail, back or flank. All fishing equipment and illegally caught fish were seized by NRW and later confiscated by the court.

Alun Thomas, Senior Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “Foul hook fishing is barbaric, unethical and illegal. This method of fishing is not only indiscriminate on what species or size fish that are killed, but also inflicts untold damage to unseen numbers of fish which are likely to die of their injuries soon after. This is often made worse by using deliberately tampered fishing lures.

“NRW’s Fisheries Enforcement Officers and police take these incidents seriously, as do the courts. Hopefully, the small minority of anglers considering using illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines issued by the courts.”

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Romuald Krzysztof Biernacki of Dwyfor, Llanelli, was caught using the foul hooking method on 4 July 2021. He had illegally caught four mullets and six flounder fish.

Biernacki was fined £1,500 and made to pay part of NRW’s investigation costs of £2,500.

Hung Van Tran, travelled from his Gibson Road home in Handsworth, Birmingham, to fish on river Loughor on 25 August 2021. NRW fisheries enforcement officers discovered he had illegally caught four mullet fish using the foul hook method.

Hung Van Tran was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay part of NRW’s investigation costs of £1,800.

Duc Duy Tran of Brithweynydd, Tonypandy, and Tan Van Tran of Pentrebane Street, Caerphilly, were caught during another river patrol carried out by NRW fisheries enforcement officers accompanied by Dyfed-Powys Police’s Wildlife Crime Officer on 6 September 2021.

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Duc Duy Tran had illegally caught 14 mullet fish and was fined £1,500. He must also pay £3,000 to NRW for investigation costs.

Tan Van Tran had illegally caught four mullet fish. He was fined £1,500, plus £3,000 to NRW for investigation costs.

Alun Thomas added: “We would like to thank Dyfed-Powys Police, the local community and law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities. I urge them to continue to report such activity and we will investigate.

“We would encourage anyone going fishing to familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations before going.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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