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Dyfed-Powys Police to wear body cameras

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UNIFORMED police staff and officers across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Powys will soon be equipped with Body Worn Video (BWV).

Today (Mar 29) marks the beginning of the forcewide training roll-out for the approximately 800 police officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) who will be issued with the cameras.

The footage provides visual and audio evidence for use at court; meaning offenders are more likely to plead guilty and can be brought to justice faster. It will improve the process of investigating complaints against officers, and make them more accountable to the public. Officers will only record if there is a policing need and it is proportionate to do so.

BWV cameras will be clearly visible, worn attached to the officer’s uniform – usually on the chest. The camera is always on but will only begin recording once the officer presses ‘record’. When in ‘standby’ mode the cameras will record a rolling 30-second loop of film, there is no audio until the recording begins.

Officers will announce when they begin and end filming. When recording, the camera makes a regular loud beep and displays a solid red circle in the centre.

Chief Constable Mark Collins said: “Training for officers will begin at the end of March, and soon after members of the public will start spotting them on officers and PCSOs.

“The introduction of these cameras is in line with the national policing approach, and is a significant move forward for policing in our area. They will provide the public with more reassurance, and will help officers to document valuable evidence – leading to swifter justice for victims.

“Technology can help improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of policing. The roll-out of BWV follows a three-month trial at the end of 2015, which saw the footage captured by officers secure a number of convictions in court.

“It makes sense to us as a force to introduce BWV as we work towards digitalisation of the force.  A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to introduce these cameras and I’m pleased that they are now being rolled out.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn added: “The introduction of Body Worn Video is a positive move for the public. The use of the cameras supports transparency in policing and will aid the investigation of complaints against officers.

“Members of the public have a right to request footage of them within 31 days of any incident.  I am confident that this will improve policing services.”

All footage recorded on BWV is subject to legal safeguards and guidance. The footage from the Axon Body Camera is automatically uploaded to secure cloud based storage once the device has been docked, and flagged for use as evidence at court or other proceedings. Video not retained as evidence or for a policing purpose is automatically deleted within 31 days.

If any member of the public wishes to view footage taken of them they can request, in writing, to obtain it under freedom of information, data protection laws. It must be within 31 days, unless it has been marked as policing evidence and therefore retained.

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Stereophonics to play Swansea gig

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ONE of Britain’s best live bands Stereophonics has announced a special performance at Singleton Park, Swansea on Saturday, July 13, 2019.

The stadium rockers will perform in their south Wales heartland to celebrate 20 years since the career milestone show in Swansea at Morfa Stadium to 55,000 people and the release of ‘Performance and Cocktails’.

It will be the band’s first time back in south west Wales since their Morfa Stadium show in 1999. This now iconic album, which was the band’s second studio release, gave Stereophonics three straight top five singles in the British charts with ‘The Bartender and the Thief’ reaching No.3, and both ‘Just Looking’ and ‘Pick a Part That’s New’ reaching No.4.

Over the past two decades, Stereophonics have played at some of the biggest venues to fans all across the globe, amassing over 10 million album sales in that time.

More recently in 2018, the band performed to sell-out crowds across the globe, including a huge 15-date arena tour, summer homecoming gigs in Wrexham and Cardiff plus headline shows at Kendal Calling, Y Not Festival and Victorious Festival.

Speaking about the latest announcement, Kelly Jones said: “Performance and Cocktails put us on the world map, and also on the TV and the Radio, which meant a lot of people went back to discover Word Gets Around and made our first album platinum! Morfa Stadium was where we set Performance and Cocktails alight, and it was a one off day that can never be beaten. It was perfect. I’m not a man that likes to go backwards, this event is merely a birthday party, so come along and help us blow out the candles.”

Stereophonics are Kelly Jones (vocals/guitar), Richard Jones (bass), Adam Zindani (guitar) and Jamie Morrison (drums).

Tickets go on sale on Friday (Dec 14) at 10am via www.myticket.co.uk.

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Heroin could be linked to Aberysytwyth supply

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A LIVERPOOL man has admitted possessing heroin that could be linked to drugs supplied in Aberystwyth.

Jack English, aged 20, pleaded guilty to possessing a quantity of heroin with intent to supply when he appeared at Swansea Crown ccourt for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Keith Thomas.

The court heard the drugs could also be linked to English’s father, who had been a heroin user who had ‘gone to Aberystwyth on many occasions’ and who had died since his son’s arrest in October 2017.

Judge Thomas said he would sentence English on January 11.

English, of Storrington Road, was granted bail meanwhile but warned that a jail sentence was the most likely outcome.

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Mark Drakeford named next First Minister

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THE NEXT First Minister of Wales will be Mark Drakeford, it has been announced this afternoon (Dec 6).

Mr Drakeford, a Cardiff West AM, was named as the winner of the Welsh Labour leadership contest at the Principality Stadium.

The contest was triggered when Carwyn Jones, the current First Minister, announced he was stepping down.

Mr Jones will officially step down on Tuesday (Dec 10).

Mr Drakeford will then be officially confirmed as the new First Minister of Wales by the National Assembly next week.

In the first round of voting, the results were:

Mark Drakeford – 46.9%
Vaughan Gething – 30.8%
Eluned Morgan – 22.3%

Eluned Morgan’s votes were then redistributed on voters’ second preferences, with the following results:

Mark Drakeford – 53.9%
Vaughan Gethin – 46.1%

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