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Dyfed-Powys launch new app

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Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 10.54.33DYFED-POWYS POLICE have just launched their brand-new DPCM App, following on from the launch of the community messaging system earlier this year. 

DPCM sends you up-to-the-minute information about where you are, not just where you live, and this app signals a new way of doing things for Dyfed-Powys Police.

Launching the App, T/ Assistant Chief Constable Pam Kelly, said:

“This fast-time targeted messaging system is another tool on an officer’s belt. DPCM enables us to send messages very quickly to people in specific locations and, when it comes to safely policing large events like the Royal Welsh, Wales Ironman and the Hay Festival for example, the system really comes into its own.”

T/ACC Kelly is especially enthusiastic about the opportunities DPCM brings in helping us to safeguard our communities and in preventing and detecting crime. She said: “If we become aware of a spate of crimes in a community, the app will enable us to send a message which will hit the phones of all those in the affected area. We can ask people to be alert to suspicious activity around them or use the system to undertake virtual house-to-house enquiries.

“It’s an exciting system and I’m optimistic about the potential it holds for Dyfed-Powys Police. It needs followers for it to be successful though, so I urge people to download it now.”

Community messaging systems are on the increase in many police forces around England and Wales. The system used by Dyfed-Powys allows for very local and relevant messages be sent directly to subscribers.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn stated: “As well as being a tool available to officers in dealing with crimes and large-scale events, DPCM has an important role to play in building communities.

“Dyfed-Powys is the largest geographical policing area of Wales and England – and with that come significant pockets of isolation. We also have a high proportion of elderly people – around 24%.

“Through DPCM, individuals or groups can cast nets around properties and locations of their choosing, meaning they can capture relevant information distributed by the police specific to an area of interest to them.

“I urge people to take advantage of this, to pass messages to friends and family who are not online, to inform community groups and – where there aren’t any already established – be inspired to set up new ‘watches’.

“Vulnerability through isolation is a real concern, but DPCM provides an opportunity for us all to engage and work together differently.”

For further information on DPCM please visit www.dpcm.co.uk, or speak to officers from your local Neighbourhood Policing Team. Visit your smartphone app store and search ‘Dyfed Powys’ to download the app.

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KeolisAmey awarded Wales and Borders Rail contract

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KEOLISAMEY is pleased that the Welsh Government has announced its intention to award the contract to operate the Wales and Borders rail service and the South Wales Metro to KeolisAmey.

Upon successful completion of a 10-day standstill period, the contract will run from June 4, 2018, to October 14, 2033, with rail services transferring on October 14, 2018.

This standstill period is normal procurement practice.

KeolisAmey is a joint venture partnership of international public transport operator Keolis, and infrastructure asset management specialist Amey.

KeolisAmey currently runs the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London, which has one of the best records in UK rail – consistently better than 99% reliability. Additionally, we operate and maintain Greater Manchester’s Metrolink – the largest tram network in the UK.

Alistair Gordon, Chief Executive of Keolis UK, said: “This will be a transformative new rail service for Wales and its borders which will see Keolis once more combine its worldwide expertise in passenger operations with Amey’s engineering excellence.

“We look forward to the successful completion of the procurement process – this exciting contract will deliver for all of Wales. The procurement process was rigorous, resulting in transformative solutions for the benefit of all in Wales, and indeed, future generations.

“While the proposed changes won’t happen overnight, the railway will be unrecognisable in five years thanks to the vision of the Welsh Government.”

Andy Milner, Amey’s Chief Executive, said: “Building on our successful partnership with Keolis, which already sees us deliver two high performing services – the Greater Manchester Metrolink and London’s DLR – we are honoured to be asked to operate the Wales and Borders service.

“This is a great opportunity for us to use our joint capabilities to deliver a first-rate service for Wales. We will be focused on working with Transport for Wales to transform the existing infrastructure and introduce new trains to significantly improve the passenger experience, as well as creating hundreds of new jobs and apprenticeship opportunities.”

KeolisAmey is unable to make any further comment until the procurement process has concluded and the contract has been awarded.

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Changes made to Sex and Relationships Education

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EDUCATION SECRETARY Kirsty Williams has announced changes to Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) and its role in the curriculum.

Whilst the topic of sex and relationships is a statutory part of the curriculum of Wales, individual schools can currently choose their approach to the subject. But the changes, set to be introduced in 2022, aim to provide a greater grasp of sexuality, with greater emphasis on healthy relationships rather than a lesson on the biology of the topic.

Age appropriate material on diversity, domestic abuse and consent will be taught to children from five to 16 years old.

The announcement comes 30 years after Section 28 was introduced in Welsh, English and Scottish schools. Section 28 of the Local Government Act stated that a local authority ‘shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality’ or ‘promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship’. It was repealed in 2000 in Scotland and in 2003 for the rest of the UK.

Kirsty Williams, Member of the Welsh Assembly for Brecon and Radnorshire, said: “The days of traditional sex education are long gone; the world has moved on and our curriculum must move with it.

“Sex should never be taught in isolation for the simple reason that it is about so much more than just sex; it’s also about relationships, rights and respect and that must go hand in hand with a much broader understanding of sexuality.

“Anything less does a disservice to our learners and teachers.

“The fact is relationships and sexuality shape our lives as well as the world around us.

“They are a fundamental part of who we are and how we understand ourselves, each other and society.

“30 years on from the introduction of Section 28, we will also ensure that RSE is fully inclusive of all genders and sexualities and meets the needs of LGBTQI+ learners.

“Crucial to all of this will be ensuring that our teachers have the knowledge and confidence to provide the RSE our learners deserve.”

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Illegal gin traps leads to death of red kite

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AN RSPCA appeal for information has been launched following the death of a red kite caught by an illegal gin trap.

RSPCA Cymru was alerted after the poor bird of prey was found bleeding, and with broken legs, in the trap on Park Avenue in Aberystwyth on May 7.

The caller who found the bird transferred the animal to a local veterinary practice, where it was confirmed that the legs had been broken by the trap.

Sadly, the vet was left with no choice but to put the bird to sleep to prevent further suffering.

Gin traps, such as the device used in this incident, are spring-operated and illegal to set and use, although not illegal to own. It is also illegal to set any spring trap in the open or on top of a post.

The RSPCA say they are following a line of inquiry about the placing of the trap – but are calling on the local community in Aberystwyth to get in touch should they have any relevant information.

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “These gin traps were made illegal to set many years ago and yet shockingly are still being used to catch animals. They are indiscriminate and sadly this red kite is the latest victim.

“The potential consequences of these devices for animals and humans are so severe. I shudder to think what could have happened had a toddler, for example, crossed the path of this trap.

“We are following a line of inquiry on this incident but are eager for more information to come to light as to the circumstances behind this illegal trap being put down.

“The RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line can be reached on 0300 123 8018, and all calls are treated in confidence.”

If you have concerns about the welfare of an animal, please call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999 to report the incident.

For more information on what to do if you find a wild animal in need of help, please visit the RSPCA website.

If you wish to help RSPCA Cymru complete rescues such as this, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.

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