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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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Police call for vigilance to report illegal raves

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is asking farmers and local landowners to be on the alert over the next few months for warning signs of any illegal gatherings planned for their land over the summer.

Gatherings – such as illegal raves – can cause considerable anxiety to the community and if they are not dealt with swiftly, they are difficult to stop or otherwise control, due often to the sheer numbers of persons involved and the safety aspects surrounding breaking up such an event.

Superintendent Robyn Mason said: “There is little doubt that these type of events are very well planned, organised and that local knowledge is important in drawing down the main group to a particular ‘vulnerable’ field, or area of land which has been targeted previously as a suitable venue.

“Farmers, landowners and local communities are encouraged to report any suspicious activity immediately to the Police; this may be an unusual numbers of vehicles, especially camper vans, vans or trucks in the locality, illegal trespassers who may be doing ‘recce’ of sites in advance of the event.

“I can assure local communities that Police will take the appropriate action to deter illegal gatherings and deal robustly with any criminal offences discovered or disclosed.”  

Members of the public are also urged to be vigilant of persons who approach landowners or enquiring for land, in the guise of hiring for apparently acceptable activities such as gymkhanas and scouts/guides events.

Please contact Police on 101 with reports on any suspicious activity.

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Wheelchair-bound man jailed for child sex offences

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A CHILD sex offender from Ystrad Meurig has been jailed despite being wheelchair-bound.

Dean Harper, aged 61, had distributed child pornography and tried to entice a 10-year-old girl into sexually abusing herself and sending him photographs.

Harper, of Sisial y Pin, Ffair Rhos, admitted downloading 317 indecent images of children in the most serious category A, 400 in category B and 500 in C.

He also admitted sending images in all three categories to a third party, all on a single day in October, 2016.

Harper also admitted attempting to incite the girl into sexual activity knowing that she was only 10-years-old.

Kevin Jones, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that the distribution of the images alerted the police who raided Harper’s home and removed computer equipment.

An examination of his internet activity revealed he had made contact with a girl via social media and swapped messages with her.

The judge, Mr Recorder Peter Griffiths told Harper his offending was serious and a jail sentence was inevitable despite his disability.

Harper was jailed for a total of two years and ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for 10 years.

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order which will restrict his contact with young people and his internet activity after his release from prison.

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Royals set to visit Ceredigion during summer visit

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AS PART of their annual summer visit to Wales, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting Ceredigion next month.

From July 2-6, Charles and Camilla will tour the country, undertaking over 20 engagements across the country.

On July 3, The Prince of Wales will visit Dà Mhìle Distillery, Llandysul, the first organic distillery in the UK approved by the Soil Association, where he was previously gifted the thousandth bottle to be produced by Dà Mhìle.

The Prince of Wales will also visit St. Gwenog’s Church, Llanwenog, and view their unique carvings created by Joseph Reubens, a Belgian World War One refugee. His Royal Highness will also meet members of their local community.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s fourteenth annual Summer visit to Wales will feature celebrations to mark the 70th Anniversary of The National Health Service and the marking the 150th anniversary of the Heart of Wales railway line amongst other events.

A Clarence House spokesperson said: “The Prince and The Duchess are really looking forward to their annual summer visit to Wales where they will be celebrating key anniversaries for the National Health Service, the Heart of Wales railway line and the 90th anniversary of Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisation. Their Royal Highnesses relish the opportunity to meet members of the community who are making a difference to Welsh life.”

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