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Volunteers wanted to scrutinise police complaints

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dyfed powysVOLUNTEERS with an inquiring mind and analytical skills are being sought to scrutinise the Dyfed-Powys Police complaints process.

The successful candidates will form a panel being created to examine public complaint files and to recommend improvements to the force’s system.

Dyfed-Powys Police receive around 700 complaints every year on matters such as neglect of duty, oppressive conduct, incivility and lack of fairness.

From October to December 2013, 203 complaints were received of which 25 were in Pembrokeshire and 46 at force HQ. The Residents’ Panel, being created by Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon, will consider a number of files four times a year.

Mr Salmon said: “The people of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys must trust the police; one way of building that trust is for the public themselves to scrutinise the complaints process.

“The volunteers I seek will be enthusiastic about improving policing. They will have communication skills, will be able to interpret detailed information and will have experience of reviewing or developing services, and evaluating performance. They will be eager to challenge and make balanced judgements.”

Panel members will be over 18, preferably living in Dyfed-Powys and must not be, or have been, on a police force payroll. After training, they will review randomly selected police complaint files and will consider whether, in their view, complaints were dealt with fairly. The panel’s brief may be broadened in future.

Panel meetings to discuss issues raised will take place at a time and place convenient to the volunteers. This could include evening or weekend meetings. Expenses will be paid.

The panel represents an increase in police transparency. More in-depth scrutiny is now applied to the Dyfed-Powys Professional Standards Department (PSD) which handles complaints.

Superintendent Huw Meredith, head of Dyfed-Powys PSD, said: “Dyfed-Powys Police aims to provide a first class service to its communities and expects police officers and staff to behave on and off duty in accordance with the national Standards of Professional Behaviour.

“Unfortunately, there are occasions where the service provided falls below this standard and leads to dissatisfaction and complaints.

“In this event, we aim to establish what went wrong, try to put it right and – where appropriate – offer an apology.

“The Residents” Panel will provide the community an opportunity to scrutinize the complaints process and determine if these complaints have been dealt with fairly.”

Residents’ Panel Info: http://bit.ly/1aooLy6, 01267 226440, opcc@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk.

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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