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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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Aggressive man found naked and abusive

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A NAKED man who urinated in a police cell required six police officers deal with his arrest.

Brian Warren Kerley, 24, of Clos Yr Helyg in Crymych, attended Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (Nov 15) to face four offences.

Kerley pleaded guilty to assaulting two constables in the execution of their duty, using threatening behaviour towards another with intent, and damaging police property by urinating in a cell and on its mattress.

Prosecutor Helen Tench said on October 31, police received a call regarding a disturbance in a public place in Cardigan. They arrived at the scene to find Kerley stripped of clothing and behaving in a threatening manner.

The defendant was escorted to the police vehicle, where he became increasingly aggressive towards a member of the public. He then wrapped his leg around one of the officers’ to trip him up. He spat on the other officer’s arm.

Ms Tench said the defendant continued spitting and became ‘extremely aggressive and violent’ when he banged his head inside the police vehicle.

A total of six police officers assisted with the arrest.

At custody, officers attempted to reason with Kerley whilst he continued his threatening behaviour, and was monitored in his cell every 30 minutes.

In the early hours of November 1, the defendant urinated in his cell three times. Two of these times, he urinated on the mattress.

In a statement, Kerley said he was sorry for committing the offences and did not remember the incident.

Defending, Katy Hanson said Kerley was filled with remorse and regret for his behaviour and accepted responsibility.

She added that it ‘clearly is not the way for someone to behave’ and the defendant ‘now realises the potential consequences of his actions’.

Ms Hanson concluded by saying Kerley admitted to having consumed three cans of lager on the night in question and has no recollection of the events.

Probation officer Julian Davies said the defendant was currently serving a 12-month community order imposed on September 20 for an offence of common assault.

For the offences, magistrates allowed the current community order to continue and added a six-week curfew.

Kerley was told to pay £50 compensation to both officers he assaulted, but no compensation for the offence of criminal damage.

He was also told to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a surcharge of £85.

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Scrutiny committee votes to close Bodlondeb

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AT A recorded vote this morning (Nov 20) Ceredigion’s Healthier Communities Scrutiny Committee voted to back the Cabinet’s decision to close Bodlondeb Residential Home by the end of March 2018.

In refusing to remit the decision to Full Council, the committee dashed the hopes of campaigners fighting to retain Bodlondeb until adequate replacement facilities are in place.

The vote was nine to seven with no abstentions.

There will be more on this breaking story later and in this week’s Ceredigion Herald.

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AM calls for further protection of wild animals after Lynx deaths

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MID AND WEST AM Simon Thomas has called for further protection from the Welsh Government following the death of two wild cats from a zoo in Borth, near Aberystwyth.

The AM quizzed the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths in a topical question in the Senedd.

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs for Plaid Cymru Simon Thomas said: “The deaths of the two Lynx wild cats have created a great deal of concern to many people in the area and, more broadly, to people who care for animals and their welfare at zoos.

“I asked whether the Welsh Government approved of the steps taken by Ceredigion County Council in this case and more broadly with the position of the zoo. It’s clear that there’s something amiss when a wild animal can escape and another dies because of its handling. I requested we look at national regulations that govern organisations such as this to ensure that people who run zoos do have the appropriate skills, but also that the equipment is suitable for the animals kept there.

The Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths replied: “Ceredigion County Council is investigating the escape of the lynx and the death of a second lynx linked to the zoo to establish whether there have been any breaches of the operating licence. While inquiries are ongoing it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on this matter.”

She added: “Officials have been in frequent contact with Ceredigion County Council. The decision to dispatch the animal was taken by the county council along with Dyfed-Powys Police, officials from Welsh Government and also the chief veterinary officer. There are several issues that I think need to be looked into very carefully around the licence.”

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