SIX officers have been shortlisted for the public-chosen Dyfed-Powys Police #WeCare Award, in recognition of their commitment to the people they serve.
From helping a mother and child rebuild their lives after fleeing an abusive relationship, being community-minded, making young people’s lives better in a deprived area, being labelled ‘community heroes’ for their work with a challenging school, to providing support for Polish victims of domestic abuse, these officers have been singled out for their outstanding work within their communities.
Nominees were put forward by the public and now Dyfed-Powys Police is asking for the public to place their final votes and find the winner of the 2018 #WeCare Award. The winner will be presented with their award at the force Annual Awards ceremony on Friday, March 23.
Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Constable Mark Collins said: “We have been overwhelmed with the response from members of the public for our #WeCare award.
“This award means such a lot to the winner and the force as a whole as it is chosen by members of the public who our officers serve on a daily basis and have had a positive impact on their lives.
“Some of the stories shared were truly touching, and the fact our officers stand out in the minds of people they have helped for many years speaks volumes for their compassion, enthusiasm and professionalism.
“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to nominate a member of the force for this award, and I look forward to presenting it to the winner on March the 23rd.”
Voting closes at 12pm on Friday, February 9. You can vote online here: bit.ly/wecareaward
Alternatively, post your vote to #WeCare Award, c/o Corporate Communications, Dyfed-Powys Police Headquarters, PO Box 99, Llangunnor, Carmarthen, SA31 2PF
The following officers have been shortlisted:
PC Phil Westbury 376, part of Ceredigion’s Roads Policing Unit, has been nominated for the commitment and dedication he has shown to making young people’s lives better. He’s described as the glue that keeps Penparcau Youth Forum together. His work was recognised in 2002 with him receiving a Community Police Officer Award. From that he went on to London for the Janes Award ceremony and was a runner up. His dedication has continued to this day.
A nomination said: “Phil works tirelessly with the Penparcau Youth Forum to enable activities that broaden our young people’s horizons and especially, as we live in one of the more deprived areas in Ceredigion.
“The commitment and dedication he shows to making our young people’s lives better and more fulfilled is outstanding to say the least.
“His contribution is really making a difference and is shining a positive light on the police in general.
“This goes a long way with our young people as they feel more comfortable and confident with engaging with the police, which is mainly down to Phil’s presence and positive manner with our young people.
“Although we do have other volunteers and Trustees involved with the Youth Forum, it is Phil who really is the glue that keeps this all together. He gives up so much of his own time to the young people and you can see how much they love having Phil involved.
“He is creating a positive image of Dyfed-Powys Police and that will no doubt stay with our young people forever.”
PC Phil Westbury said: “I feel it’s important to get involved in the community and make a difference to an area. Penparcau has wonderful people and lots of potential and opportunities to get people involved to make a difference. It’s a privilege to be nominated for something I enjoy.”
PCSOs Ian Chattun and Michala Quinn, based at Abersytwyth, have been nominated for their positive work within a challenging school, Llwyn yr Eos, and the excellent relationship they’ve built with the community as a whole.
Their nomination said: “Michaela and Ian have regular contact with what can be a challenging school, Llwyn yr Eos. They always support school events and fundraisers and always come in when we need help. They both go out of their way to make everybody sure in the community is looked after. They are a happy and approachable team and have made such a difference to the village and local area.
“The kids all love them and feel totally at ease when talking to them. They have stepped in to help us with a number of challenging incidents.
“The two of them are true community heroes.”
PCSO Michala Quinn started her career with Dyfed-Powys Police as a front desk clerk dealing with public enquiries, at Lampeter Police Station, then moving to Aberystwyth Police Station. She then became a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) and has been fulfilling the role for almost four years. In that time she has built strong links with the community she serves at Pemparcau, Llanbadarn Fawr and Waunfawr. She was joined by PCSO Ian Chattun a year and seven months ago when he became a PCSO. Before joining Dyfed-Powys Police he was a youth worker in schools.
PCSO Michala Quinn said: “It is such a lovely feeling to have been nominated for this award. We have built strong relationships with the community and we are always made to feel welcome at any event or meeting. I really enjoy getting out talking to and helping people. Sometimes it’s the smallest thing that can give someone the reassurance that they need.”
PCSO Ian Chattun said: “Being nominated for this award is welcome surprise to me. I am truly humbled to have made a positive impact on my community.”
PCSO Matthew Kieboom 8153, based at Cardigan, has been nominated for providing the highest level of care to members of the community he works in. From joining in local events to providing support and reassurance to individuals through difficult times in their lives.
One nomination reads: “In 2011 I escaped a violent relationship and moved away. Matthew has worked hard to make sure I feel safe and protected, he isn’t just a police officer he is now a friend of my family. He would check on me every evening, just a knock on the door was extremely reassuring for me.
“We always see him in the community joining in with all of our local events, taking little ones fingerprints, giving out stickers or simply just giving up his time to chat with the elderly or reassure small children.
“During all my struggle, my son suffered quite a lot as he had been told he was in trouble with the police (he was only 8 at the time) Matthew came around and approached him with a friendly smile, let him try on his hat and his vest and showed him all around his car.
“I will forever be so appreciative of Matthew he has worked so hard not only for me but for so many in our community.
“He has completely changed opinions of the police and is just doing an awesome job. Matthew is always the guy we all go to if we need anything, and he never fails to deliver. He is a shining star.”
Before joining Dyfed-Powys Police, PCSO Kieboom was an officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps, where he had a successful career in helping people in distress. He joined Dyfed-Powys Police in 2013 as a Police Community Support Officer and has continued to support and protect the vulnerable and those in distress.
PCSO Matthew Kieboom said: “To be honest I was shocked and humbled at finding out I had been nominated, never mind reaching the finals. I have always adopted the approach of keeping my head down and quietly trying to do my best in the role. Showing that not only do #WeCare at Dyfed-Powys Police, but also that I personally care and take pride in the work I do on behalf of the force within our communities. At the end of the day, I can only do my job with the public’s trust and support.”
PCSO Billy Dunne 8058, based at Crickhowell, has received nominations from various parts of the Crickhowell community. All highlight his community spirit, level of service and outstanding community engagement skills.
One of his nominations said: “PCSO Billy Dunne is the most community-minded police officer I have ever encountered and lives up to the name of Community Support Officer in every way. He somehow manages to engage with people at every level and it never ceases to amaze and delight to see him with people in my village and beyond in Crickhowell.
“It is testament to Billy that everyone actually knows him as Billy. Beyond that, I can confidently say he is very professional, always does what he says he will do and if he can’t then he will carefully explain the reason why. I don’t know anyone who is more deserving of this award than Billy.”
Another added: “Billy is more than just the face of policing in Crickhowell. He knows the community and we know him. He’s helpful, approachable, knows when and where to be seen, and not seen, is cheerful, supportive and I suspect a lot wiser than he lets on! This brilliant bobby polices with a light (but firm) touch and a warm heart.”
PCSO Billy Dunne was a Special Constable for 11 years, serving the community of Crickhowell. He also served as a custody detection officer for one year based in Brecon custody. For the last three years he has been a PCSO based in Crickhowell. He has been a driver for force initiatives in Crickhowell, such as Community Speedwatch and Farm Watch.
PCSO Billy Dunne said: “I feel humbled that members of the community have taken the time to nominate me for the We Care award. I love my job and relish the opportunity to work these communities, and cannot believe that I was nominated, however to make the short list is a credit not to me, but the community that I work, and live in.”
PCSO Piotr Glowczyk 8038, of Llanelli, has been nominated for his support given to Polish domestic abuse victims in Carmarthenshire.
His nomination said: “I am currently employed as an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor in Carmarthenshire working with high risk victims of domestic abuse. Many are Polish who speak very little, if any, English.
“PCSO Glowczyk has accompanied me to see victims, explained the role of the IDVA and updated them on court results. With his help and dedication victims can be kept well-informed and offered the support they need from the IDVA services. This would not be possible without his help. It is very difficult to put into words the difference that he has made to the IDVA service and victims of domestic abuse but he should be recognised for all the work he does.”
Piotr joined Dyfed-Powys Police in December 2012 as a Special Constable based in Carmarthen. In May 2016 he joined Llanelli Neighbourhood Policing Team as a Police Community Support Officer, where he currently covers Tyisha Ward.
PCSO Piotr Glowczyk said: “This nomination is a big shock and surprise for me. I feel privileged that my work within the local community has been recognised and the people with whom I have worked with appreciate my help.”
KeolisAmey awarded Wales and Borders Rail contract
KEOLISAMEY is pleased that the Welsh Government has announced its intention to award the contract to operate the Wales and Borders rail service and the South Wales Metro to KeolisAmey.
Upon successful completion of a 10-day standstill period, the contract will run from June 4, 2018, to October 14, 2033, with rail services transferring on October 14, 2018.
This standstill period is normal procurement practice.
KeolisAmey is a joint venture partnership of international public transport operator Keolis, and infrastructure asset management specialist Amey.
KeolisAmey currently runs the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London, which has one of the best records in UK rail – consistently better than 99% reliability. Additionally, we operate and maintain Greater Manchester’s Metrolink – the largest tram network in the UK.
Alistair Gordon, Chief Executive of Keolis UK, said: “This will be a transformative new rail service for Wales and its borders which will see Keolis once more combine its worldwide expertise in passenger operations with Amey’s engineering excellence.
“We look forward to the successful completion of the procurement process – this exciting contract will deliver for all of Wales. The procurement process was rigorous, resulting in transformative solutions for the benefit of all in Wales, and indeed, future generations.
“While the proposed changes won’t happen overnight, the railway will be unrecognisable in five years thanks to the vision of the Welsh Government.”
Andy Milner, Amey’s Chief Executive, said: “Building on our successful partnership with Keolis, which already sees us deliver two high performing services – the Greater Manchester Metrolink and London’s DLR – we are honoured to be asked to operate the Wales and Borders service.
“This is a great opportunity for us to use our joint capabilities to deliver a first-rate service for Wales. We will be focused on working with Transport for Wales to transform the existing infrastructure and introduce new trains to significantly improve the passenger experience, as well as creating hundreds of new jobs and apprenticeship opportunities.”
KeolisAmey is unable to make any further comment until the procurement process has concluded and the contract has been awarded.
Changes made to Sex and Relationships Education
EDUCATION SECRETARY Kirsty Williams has announced changes to Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) and its role in the curriculum.
Whilst the topic of sex and relationships is a statutory part of the curriculum of Wales, individual schools can currently choose their approach to the subject. But the changes, set to be introduced in 2022, aim to provide a greater grasp of sexuality, with greater emphasis on healthy relationships rather than a lesson on the biology of the topic.
Age appropriate material on diversity, domestic abuse and consent will be taught to children from five to 16 years old.
The announcement comes 30 years after Section 28 was introduced in Welsh, English and Scottish schools. Section 28 of the Local Government Act stated that a local authority ‘shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality’ or ‘promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship’. It was repealed in 2000 in Scotland and in 2003 for the rest of the UK.
Kirsty Williams, Member of the Welsh Assembly for Brecon and Radnorshire, said: “The days of traditional sex education are long gone; the world has moved on and our curriculum must move with it.
“Sex should never be taught in isolation for the simple reason that it is about so much more than just sex; it’s also about relationships, rights and respect and that must go hand in hand with a much broader understanding of sexuality.
“Anything less does a disservice to our learners and teachers.
“The fact is relationships and sexuality shape our lives as well as the world around us.
“They are a fundamental part of who we are and how we understand ourselves, each other and society.
“30 years on from the introduction of Section 28, we will also ensure that RSE is fully inclusive of all genders and sexualities and meets the needs of LGBTQI+ learners.
“Crucial to all of this will be ensuring that our teachers have the knowledge and confidence to provide the RSE our learners deserve.”
Illegal gin traps leads to death of red kite
AN RSPCA appeal for information has been launched following the death of a red kite caught by an illegal gin trap.
RSPCA Cymru was alerted after the poor bird of prey was found bleeding, and with broken legs, in the trap on Park Avenue in Aberystwyth on May 7.
The caller who found the bird transferred the animal to a local veterinary practice, where it was confirmed that the legs had been broken by the trap.
Sadly, the vet was left with no choice but to put the bird to sleep to prevent further suffering.
Gin traps, such as the device used in this incident, are spring-operated and illegal to set and use, although not illegal to own. It is also illegal to set any spring trap in the open or on top of a post.
The RSPCA say they are following a line of inquiry about the placing of the trap – but are calling on the local community in Aberystwyth to get in touch should they have any relevant information.
RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “These gin traps were made illegal to set many years ago and yet shockingly are still being used to catch animals. They are indiscriminate and sadly this red kite is the latest victim.
“The potential consequences of these devices for animals and humans are so severe. I shudder to think what could have happened had a toddler, for example, crossed the path of this trap.
“We are following a line of inquiry on this incident but are eager for more information to come to light as to the circumstances behind this illegal trap being put down.
“The RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line can be reached on 0300 123 8018, and all calls are treated in confidence.”
If you have concerns about the welfare of an animal, please call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999 to report the incident.
For more information on what to do if you find a wild animal in need of help, please visit the RSPCA website.
If you wish to help RSPCA Cymru complete rescues such as this, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.
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