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£44k secured for policing centre

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policing centreDYFED-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon has secured almost £44,000 to launch a Centre for Rural Policing and Justice.

The grant, from the College of Policing, will see Mr Salmon and Dyfed-Powys Police collaborate with the Cardiff-based Universities’ Police Science Institute (UPSI) and others to start a high-level network to develop new expertise in keeping rural communities safe from crime.

Mr Salmon said: “The work we do with UPSI and others will lead to people in some of our most isolated areas feeling safer.

“I’m thrilled that my office has secured this substantial sum from the College’s innovation capacity building fund.

“This collaboration will initially build new working relationships between academic establishments, Dyfed-Powys Police and my office.

“This will help develop new skills throughout the police force to build and use research evidence to improve all aspects of frontline policing.”

The Centre for Rural Policing and Justice will provide a network to develop and share information, best practices and approaches to rural policing. Its work will improve policing and justice in rural areas – the biggest challenge faced by Dyfed-Powys Police.

The key collaborative approach is one of a partnership between the Commissioner’s office, Dyfed-Powys Police and UPSI.

The wider collaborative approach will involve a network between academic institutions across Wales, such as Aberystwyth University and University of Wales Trinity Saint David, using a mixture of skills and expertise. It will also incorporate organisations from the voluntary and private sectors. Mr Salmon, who has committed £5,000 to the centre’s launch costs of around £49,000, said:

“What works in policing in rural areas and communities is an issue that has been neglected by researchers, policy makers and practitioners.

“Compared with the amount of attention paid to policing urban environments, little attention has been directed to the particular policing needs of people living and working in rural areas. “This is despite rural communities presenting special challenges to the police, including isolation and limited access to resources.”

Professor Martin Innes, of UPSI, based at Cardiff University, said: “Understanding what are the key policing problems and priorities for people living in Dyfed-Powys, and then how they can be most effectively tackled, will be the focus for this new partnership.

“Using leading-edge data analytics and research, we will be looking to identify what works, what doesn’t and what’s promising in making communities safer.”

The Centre for Rural Policing and Justice’s work will feed into the National What Works Centre for Crime Reduction, providing robust and comprehensive evidence for police to tackle crime. College of Policing head of research Rachel Tuffin said:

“As the home of the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction, the College of Policing wants to build links between police and academia so the way we go about policing is as efficient and effective as possible.

“This funding will be a springboard for future research and learning so police officers and staff get the best evidence to help them cut crime and keep the public safe.”

The Dyfed-Powys grant comes from the College of Policing’s Innovation Capacity Building Fund and is for the current financial/calendar year.

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Aberystwyth: Driver on drugs hits lorry and causes ‘road chaos’

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A DRIVER high on drugs caused 15 miles of chaos as he approached Aberystwyth on the A44.

Brian Pitts hit an oncoming lorry and road signs as he drove on the wrong side of the road.

A car passenger filmed him because she was sure a serious accident was about to happen.

Pitts, aged 57, of Delmont Close, Tipton, west Midlands, admitted dangerous driving and driving while unfit through drugs he had taken.

Dean Pulling, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that on June 16 last year Pitts had been driving his Rover MGZR, towing a trailer full of wooden fencing posts, towards Aberystwyth from his home.

Richard Brooks followed the car through Llangurig and became so concerned he telephoned the police while his wife Victoria filmed Pitts on her mobile.

The Rover collided with a 13 tonne lorry driven by Andrew Paxton but failed to stop.

Pitts failed to take a roundabout and hit road signs and an embankment but still carried on.

During the 15 miles, said Mr Pulling, oncoming traffic had to swerve off the carriageway to avoid a collision.

Several motorists telephoned the police to report what they were witnessing, he added.

Pitts came to a stop in the middle of the road and another motorist snatched the keys out of the ignition–and noticed that Pitts had been driving with a dog on his lap.

Mr Pulling said police officers could tell there was something wrong with Pitts, but an alcohol text showed he was below the limit.

“He was clearly unfit,” said Mr Pulling, although it was still unclear what drugs he had taken.

Pitts was taken to Aberystwyth police station and then to Bronglais hospital, where he appeared to recover after treatment. But he soon deteriorated and had to be taken back to the hospital.

Pitts developed pneumonia and had to be kept in for nine days.

His barrister, Tom Scapens, said when Pitts had been shown the mobile telephone footage he felt physically sick.

Judge T Mervyn Hughes jailed Pitts for 10 months and banned him from driving for four years.

He told him, “If you had not been stopped I am quite sure you would have caused serious injury if not death.”

Pitts was told to pass an extended driving test before getting his licence back.

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Motion to support the reduction of plastic use in Ceredigion approved

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In a Full Council meeting on 22 February 2018, the Council unanimously supported a motion to reduce the use of plastic and to support plastic reduction initiatives in Ceredigion.

The motion was proposed by Councillor Mark Strong and was seconded by Councillor Gethin Davies. The motion calls on Ceredigion County Council to support the various ‘Plastic Free’ campaigns throughout the county by reducing single-use plastics within Council facilities and offices and to promote the use of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics at all Council supported events.

Councillor Mark Strong said, “I’m delighted that the Council unanimously supported the motion. This is an important step for the Council but we must carry on to reduce plastic use. Everyone has a responsibility to reduce the environmental damage caused by plastic. Carrying out small acts such as buying milk from your local milkman supports the local economy but in turn also supports our environment by using reusable glass bottles.”

The motion also calls on the Council to encourage local businesses, organisations, schools and communities to move away from single-use plastics and use sustainable alternatives as well as to support beach cleans and other events which aim to raise awareness of the issues of single-use plastics under the “Plastic Free”, Caru Ceredigion, Tidy Towns or any similar initiative.

The motion was amended in the meeting to include the establishment of a Members’ Task and Finish group to support measures to reduce the Council’s use of plastic and to support initiatives in the county that reduce plastic use.

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Richards-Keegan cleared of sending underage girl nude pictures

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A BOW STREET man has been cleared of charges that he sent an underage girl photographs of his penis.

Paul Robert Morgan Richards-Keegan, aged 21, had denied two allegations of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Richards-Keegan, of Tregerddan, said the only messages he sent her via the internet were in response to approaches from her and did not include photographs of his private parts.

Catherine Richards, prosecuting, had told a jury at Swansea Crown Court that the 14-year-old girl had shared messages with Richards-Keegan via Snapchat.

At one stage police issued to him a child abduction notice, which he signed, instructing him not to contact the girl

In 2016 she told her mother that he was again sending her unwanted photographs of his penis attached to messages.

Richards-Keegan was arrested, and told police he had obeyed the order apart from messages he had sent after being contacted by the complainant.

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