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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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Police advise ‘hang up on suspicious callers’

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A NATIONAL telephone scam, aiming to steal money, has reached residents living within the Dyfed-Powys area.

Paul Callard, of Dyfed-Powys Police’s Financial Crime Team, said: “Action Fraud has today  made us aware three people living in Dyfed-Powys have been contacted by fraudsters claiming to be from BT, in the past four days. While three people have reported, we suspect many more have been targeted.

“Victims receive a telephone call from someone pretending to be from BT who is calling due to a problem with the victim’s internet connection speed. During the call the victim is asked to open their online banking, eBay, Tesco and other accounts. The scammer then tries to gain remote access to the victim’s computer to empty the victim’s bank account.

“BT will never ask for remote access to your computer or access to your online bank account. We urge anyone who receives unsolicited/cold calls from any company hang up immediately. Do not enter into conversation with them, provide them with any personal details or send them any money. You should only phone the company back using a trusted phone number.”

If you have been the victim of fraud, attempted fraud, or cyber crime, or have received a potential scam message or computer virus but no money has been lost or you haven’t responded to it, report it to Action Fraud either online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

For further advice and information on how to avoid being scammed visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.

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Four arrested as man remains in ‘critical condition’

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FOUR men have been arrested after a man was hospitalised in the early hours of Sunday morning (Jan 14).

19-year-old Ifan Richards Owen is in hospital in critical condition after the attack.

The incident took place in High Street, Aberystwyth, at approximately 2:20am.

Four men, aged 19, 20, 23 and 25 have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent.

They are in police custody.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to contact them as a matter of urgency.

DCI Anthony Evans, of Dyfed-Powys Police, said: “We are issuing a fresh appeal for witnesses to the assault on Ifan Richards Owens, aged 19, which occurred on High Street, Aberystwyth at around 2.20am on Sunday, January 14.

“In particular we would like to speak to anyone who gave first aid to Mr Owens before emergency services arrived.

“Mr Owens remains in hospital in a critical condition.

“We would urge anyone with any information that could assist in our investigation any witnesses to the incident or anyone who may have any CCTV or video footage of the incident to contact police on 101, quoting incident number 402 of January 14. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“Four men, aged 25, 23, 20 and 19, have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent and remain in police custody at this time.”

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£750,000 funding for highway improvements

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CEREDIGION COUNTY COUNCIL has recently been awarded almost £750,000 of additional grant funding from the Welsh Government’s Local Transport Fund and Road Safety Capital Grant to carry out further highways improvement schemes in the County.

£596,000 has been allocated from the Local Transport Fund for various schemes across the county which will include removing the pinch point on the C1010 at Gogerddan, near Penrhyncoch. £249,000 of funding is allocated for active travel improvements in Aberystwyth to create an improved shared use path along Boulevard St Brieuc which will continue along the side of the Police Station and up Park Avenue towards Glyndwr Road. A pedestrian crossing on Boulevard St Brieuc will be upgraded to a new toucan crossing, which cyclists can also use alongside pedestrians. This will be the first of its kind in Ceredigion.

The funding will also purchase a new scooter shelter at Plascrug Primary School. Head Teacher Menna Sweeney said: “This is great news because the shelter purchased just 16 months ago following grant funded works on the Avenue cannot cope with current demand due to the amount of children scooting and cycling to the school every day. This is really helping to alleviate the traffic congestion problems previously experienced in the area”.

Two new public cycle repair stands with integrated cycle pumps will be installed in Aberystwyth. One will be placed outside Plascrug Leisure Centre and the other on Aberystwyth University Penglais Campus.

Councillor Alun Williams, Cabinet Member for Transport said: “I’m delighted that we’ve managed to obtain funding to further improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. The work will complement the new Parc Kronberg Skate Park and improve the look of this important gateway into Aberystwyth by increasing the number of trees and spreading them wider along Park Avenue as well as renewing the currently uneven section of pavement on the street.”

Additional funding has been allocated to the Cardigan Active Travel Area Year 2 Scheme,  which earlier this year saw a new 20mph zone with traffic calming outside Cardigan Secondary School and a new footway link and pedestrian refuge crossing on Aberystwyth Road. The extra funding will fund footway widening on Pontycleifion Road and the provision of new dropped kerbs to assist mobility and pushchair users to improve the link between the Town Centre and Parc Teifi Industrial Estate.

Deputy Leader of the Council Cllr Ray Quant MBE and Cabinet Member for Technical Services said: “I’m delighted that Ceredigion residents will benefit from a further three quarters of a million pounds funding from the Welsh Government for transport schemes throughout the County and I look forward to seeing the improvements which should be completed by the end of March 2018.”

A Road Safety Capital Grant of £149,963 will fund the replacement of 15 Vehicle Activated Signs. These signs alert drivers exceeding the speed limit to slow down at locations with a history of personal injury collisions.

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