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Efficiency of local police needs improvement, says Inspectorate ​

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THE EXTENT to which the Dyfed-Powys Police is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement. That is the assessment of Wendy Williams of her Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in her latest report

It’s the fourth such assessment – called a PEEL report (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) of the force by the Inspectorate so far.

PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas.

The review body said that Dyfed-Powys Police needs to improve the overall efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime, although there are some aspects of the force’s work that are managed well, such as its understanding of demand.

The report added: “The force has well-established processes and systems that allow it to monitor and understand current demand, including demand that might go unreported. It uses this understanding to move resources to where they are needed most.

“The force’s leaders are also good at promoting innovative thinking to reduce demand, and use continuous improvement techniques to good effect, identifying wasteful and inefficient practices.”

BD0TGH Three Traffic officers inspect a RTA while stood in front of a fire engine

IMPROVE USE OF RESOURCES

Dyfed-Powys Police needs to improve the way it uses its resources, the Inspectorate said.

“The force has not undertaken a skills audit to understand the capacity and capability of all of its people. Such an audit would help the force inform its recruitment, selection and promotion processes in order to identify the best people for the job and to develop people in their roles.

“The force also needs to improve the way it plans for the future. For example, the force needs to make better use of national recruitment and development schemes, external recruitment, and other recruitment opportunities to ensure it is able to recruit, promote and develop people with the skills it needs.”

VISION FOR THE FUTURE

“The force also needs to develop an integrated vision of the future that takes into account public expectation, changing technology, interoperability with other emergency services and the reduced resources available to its partners. On a more positive note, the force has made good progress in developing a more strategic approach to partnership working. It has also invested well in ICT, which has resulted in significant savings and a reduction in demand across a number of areas.”

REACTION FROM THE DEPUTY CHIEF

Responding to the assessment, Deputy Chief Constable Darren Davies told The Herald: “I welcome the latest efficiency report from HMICFRS and whilst we are one of 10 forces graded as ‘Requires Improvement’ overall, and therefore still have much work to do, there are clear indications within the report that the force is making positive progress.

“At the time of this inspection, a new Chief Officer team had been in place for only a few months, and together with all staff, we have worked tirelessly to improve performance.

“In previous years Dyfed-Powys has been assessed as Requires Improvement in all three areas making up the efficiency report – this year for the first time, we have been assessed as ‘Good’ at understanding demand, but still ‘requiring improvement’ in both use of resources and planning for the future sections. Clearly to use resources and plan for the future, understanding the demand we face is an essential requirement and, we have progressed to ‘Good’ in that regard. This is a small but important step in continuing to improve as a force.

“In the report HMICFRS has identified 5 areas for improvement and we have already begun addressing these and will continue to work hard to rectify these whilst maintaining the positive direction of travel.

“We look forward to receiving the further reports from HMICFRS in the coming weeks on both Legitimacy and Effectiveness, when we are confident there will be further tangible evidence of the progress we are making in an effort to deliver the high quality policing that our communities deserve.

“I am personally leading this work, and have seen first-hand the energy, commitment and drive the whole force is demonstrating in seeking to continually improve what we do at every level.”

CRIME COMMISSIONER’S COMMENTS

Local Police & Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn said: “It is evident upon reading the report that improvements are being made to the way in which Dyfed-Powys Police are utilising their resources. This is testimony to the hard work and commitment of Officers and Staff and the leadership of Chief Constable Collins and his team.

“Whilst there is still a lot of work to do, I am confident that future reports will demonstrate continued improvement which ultimately will result in the delivery of an enhanced service to the public within the Dyfed-Powys area.”

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Police trying to track stolen tanker

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of a fuel tanker containing approximately 8,500 litres of diesel (4,000 litres of red diesel and 4,500 litres of white diesel).

The vehicle was taken from Tan Y Foel Quarry, Cefn Coch, Welshpool, between 5.30pm on Wednesday, May 23 and 6am on Thursday, May 24.

The police are asking people to see if the tanker is now in this area.

Anyone with information that can help officers with their investigation is asked to report it by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908, quoting Ref: DPP/0006/24/05/2018/01/C.

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Reprogrammed virus offers hope as cancer treatment

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A CANCER treatment that can completely destroy cancer cells without affecting healthy cells could soon be a possibility, thanks to research led by Cardiff University.

The team of researchers has successfully ‘trained’ a respiratory virus to recognise ovarian cancer and completely destroy it without infecting other cells. The reprogrammed virus could also be used to treat other cancers such as breast, pancreatic, lung and oral.

Dr Alan Parker from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine said: “Reprogrammed viruses are already being used in gene therapy procedures to treat a range of diseases, demonstrating they can be trained from being life-threatening into potentially lifesaving agents.

“In cancer treatment, up until now, reprogrammed viruses have not been able to selectively recognise only the cancer cells and would also infect healthy cells, resulting in unwanted side effects.

“We’ve taken a common, well-studied virus and completely redesigned it so that it can no longer attach to non-cancerous cells but instead seeks out a specific marker protein called αvβ6 integrin, which is unique to certain cancer cells, allowing it to invade them.

“In this case we introduced the reprogrammed virus to ovarian cancer which it successfully identified and destroyed.

“This is an exciting advance, offering real potential for patients with a variety of cancers.”

Once the virus enters the cancer cell it uses the cell’s machinery to replicate, producing many thousands of copies of itself, prior to bursting the cell and thereby destroying it in the process. The newly released viral copies can then bind and infect neighbouring cancer cells and repeat the same cycle, eventually removing the tumour mass altogether.

The virus also activates the body’s natural immune system, helping it to recognise and destroy the malignant cells.

The reprogrammed virus is from a group of respiratory viruses called adenoviruses. The advantage of using these viruses is that they are relatively easy to manipulate and have already been safely used in cancer treatment.

The technique used to reprogramme the virus to identify the protein common to ovarian, breast, pancreatic, lung and oral cancers could also be used to manipulate it so that it would recognise proteins common to other groups of cancers.

Additional refinement to the viral DNA could also allow the virus to produce anticancer drugs, such as antibodies, during the process of infecting cancer cells. This effectively turns the cancer into a factory producing drugs that will cause its own destruction.

The research was carried out in a laboratory, using mice with ovarian cancer, and has not yet reached clinical trials. The next step is to test the technique with other cancers, with a view to starting clinical trials in five years’ time.

Dr Catherine Pickworth from Cancer Research UK said: “It’s encouraging to see that this virus, which has been modified to recognise markers on cancer cells, has the ability to infect and kill ovarian cancer cells in the lab. Viruses are nature’s nanotechnology and harnessing their ability to hijack cells is an area of growing interest in cancer research.

“The next step will be more research to see if this could be a safe and effective strategy to use in people.”

The team includes researchers from Cardiff University; the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, USA; Glasgow University; the South West Wales Cancer Institute; and Velindre Cancer Centre.

The research was funded by Cancer Research UK, Tenovus Cancer Care and Cancer Research Wales.

The paper ‘Ad5NULL-A20 – a tropism-modified, αvβ6 integrin-selective oncolytic adenovirus for epithelial ovarian cancer therapies’ is published in Clinical Cancer Research.

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Money raised by Canolfan Padarn in the Race for Life

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STAFF and service users from Canolfan Padarn took part in this year’s Race for Life which took place on Sunday, May 13.

Service users Debbie, Lowri and Donna had been training for months as part of the centre’s healthy lifestyle group and were joined by staff members Lina, Ellie-May, Heather, Jenny, Dawn and Anwen, along with Heather’s daughter Cala, and Anwen’s daughter Jena.

Canolfan Padarn Support Worker Ellie-May Watkins said: “The crowd gave the crew great support and we’re grateful to everyone who cheered us on. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Queens Road Bowling Club for use of their facilities on the day. Previously, Canolfan Padarn raised £330 for Cancer research, we hope that we will match or exceed that in sponsorship this year.”

Canolfan Padarn is a community resource base for adults with learning disabilities in Aberystwyth, offering social, leisure and work opportunities in the local area.

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