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Police stay tight-lipped about hospital runs

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DyfedPowysPoliceDYFED POWYS POLICE force has declined to provide information to The Herald about its use of police cars as make-shift ambulances as they have deemed it too time consuming and not worth their effort. 

According to figures released by Plaid Cymru, who made Freedom of Information requests to each Welsh police force, more than 600 patients in Wales had to be taken to hospitals by police cars rather than ambulances over the last three years. The Welsh Ambulance Service said it was missing its eight-minute target and crews were “tied up” and unable to respond to other calls. Police dealt with a wide range of patients, including those who had attempted suicide, been involved in assaults or stabbings, suffered drink-related injuries or had hypothermia. While 600 is the figure from South Wales Police, North Wales Police and Gwent Police, Wales’ largest force Dyfed Powys did not provide any figures.

The Herald asked the Force: “On how many occasions in each of the financial years 2011-12, 2012- 13 and 2013-14 have the force been asked to take patients to hospital in police vehicles because of a lack of availability of ambulances to carry out the task?” The response that came back that an exemption to providing this information, freely available apparently under the Freedom of Information, applied and told us it would take a staggering 9635 hours – over a year of man hours to provide the Herald with the basic information given freely by other Welsh police forces.

While the Welsh Government claims that the figures cited represent less than 0.05% of all calls made to the Ambulance Service, the situation has been pounced upon as evidence of the growing crisis in the Welsh Ambulance Service at a time when Health Board service reorganisations are increasing the burden placed upon the grossly under-performing service. Mike Collins, director of service delivery at the ambulance service, said the organisation was working as hard as it could take patients to hospital as quickly as possible. “The trust is working in partnership with police forces across Wales to reduce instances where our emergency colleagues are awaiting an ambulance response,” he added. “Both the trust and all four police forces maintain frequent contact and are building on the close relationship in support of each other and their staff.

“Despite the increase in calls that we experience year on year we are actually reaching more and more people across Wales than ever before.” The crisis in Ambulance provision was highlighted by performance figures released in June which showed a catastrophic failure by the Welsh Ambulance Trust to meet minimum performance levels set by the Welsh Government. The figures show that 50.8% of ambulances in Pembrokeshire arrived at the scene of an immediate life-threatening Category A call within 8 minutes. The target is 65%. Neighbouring counties of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire achieved better figures of 53.3% and 51.9% respectively, and the average for the whole of Wales was 54.1%.

The death of three years-old Angel Jade Smith of Carmarthen shows the depth of the challenge facing those seeking to improve first responder times. Having been recovered from a serious house fire, Angel received treatment for twenty minutes at the scene and had been transported to Glangwili Hospital by police officers before an ambulance arrived, forty minutes after being called. Carmarthen Ambulance station is only seven minutes from the family’s home. The Ambulance Service announced an enquiry into the matter, but a search of their website for further information on the incident drew a blank.

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Dyfed-Powys Police Prepares for Royal Welsh Show

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is inviting Royal Welsh Show visitors to their stand to find out more about what the force is doing to protect the public over the summer months and beyond.

The stand, located at E340 behind the main grandstand, will be bringing to life key pledges and crime prevention messages from the Chief Constable’s Police and Crime Delivery plan, which sets out how police will tackle crime and keep people safe.

The force will be showcasing their summer campaign, called #EnjoyDPP, which is about helping people who live in, work in and visit the counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys respect those areas and prevent crime from occurring.

Rural-trained officers from Dyfed-Powys Police, Gwent Police and North Wales Police will be offering practical advice, at the police stand. They will also be on patrol throughout the showground listening to any concerns from the farming community. They will be accompanied by other officers, staff, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Special Constables and Police Cadets.

Specialist officers will also be speaking to landlords about County Lines drugs, and the signs to look out for that might show a tenant is being exploited by gangs, in a practice known as ‘cuckooing’.

The police will have a stand at The Royal Welsh Show.

Superintendent of Powys, Ifan Charles, said: “The Royal Welsh Show is the biggest event of the year we police in Dyfed-Powys, and also where we concentrate huge efforts on engaging positively with visitors to the show at our police stand.

“Come and say hello, meet our experienced and knowledgeable officers and staff and find out more about our commitment to keeping all of our communities safe by giving people the advice and confidence to protect themselves effectively.”

Visitors will be able to explore police vehicles, chat to Tarian colleagues about cyber-crime, meet a police dog, dress up as a police officer or Police Community Support Officer and solve a crime using real police techniques. Venture inside, relax on a hay bale and have a chat with experts on issues including rural crime, cyber-crime, issues that affect children and so much more.

Key partners will also be based at the stand including Crimestoppers, Modern Slavery group, Tarian and GoSafe.

There will also be a special children’s corner where young people can have their fingerprints taken, colour a police-themed picture or dress-up as a police officer or PCSO.

The Police and Crime Commissioner has a host of activities planned throughout the week. In addition to engaging with our communities, he is particularly keen to hear from victims of rural crime about their experiences when contacting police.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “The Royal Welsh Show is a great opportunity for me to engage with the public and gather their views on specific policing matters. This year, my team will be at the showground speaking to members of the public about rural crime and police contact. Please head over to speak to my team so that we can hear your views.”

The force is also offering advice for people heading to the Royal Welsh Show, including home security, personal safety and advice for people towing caravans.

Personal Safety:

Before you leave the house, take a photograph of your child. You’ll then know what they’re wearing if they become lost.
Write your contact number on a slip of paper and put it on your child’s person.
Before you head inside, double check your vehicle is locked and any valuables are safely out of sight.

Home Security:

. Lock your home, vehicles and outbuildings before you leave.
. Take your keys with you.
. Switch on any CCTV or alarm systems.
. Keep an eye on your neighbours’ properties while they are away.

Caravan Safety:

. Check your driving licence. Do you have the correct category to tow?
. Number plates must be fitted to the rear of the caravan. They must comply with the regulations and not . be hand-written in pen on caravan OR written on a piece of paper or cardboard
. Ensure brakes and external lights are working correctly
. Check wheels, tyres, wheel bearings and suspensions are in good condition. This is particularly           important if the caravan has been stationary for some time
.Tyres should be all the same type and size and have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. Also check the   pressure

For more advice visit this website: https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/advice-and-training/advice-for-beginners/

There is more information for visitors on the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show’s website: http://www.rwas.wales/royal-welsh-show/

For updates on our activity follow us on Twitter @DyfedPowys, or like our page on Facebook.

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Local farmer sentenced for animal welfare offences

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ON JULY 10, Dylan Williams of Neuaddlwyd Uchaf, Neuaddlwyd, Ciliau Aeron appeared before magistrates at Aberystwyth Justice Centre and was sentenced for animal by-products and animal welfare offences.

Mr Williams, 47, had previously appeared at the Aberystwyth Magistrates Court where he entered pleas of guilty to the four offences brought before the court by Ceredigion County Council.

On 11 April 2018, 47 sheep carcasses in various states of decomposition were found on Mr Williams’ land, and these were accessible to live sheep and their young lambs. This formed the basis of the offence brought under The Animal By-Products Regulations which requires carcasses to be disposed of without undue delay, due to the risk to animal and public health.

The majority of the flock inspected on the day were seen with severe wool loss and irritated skin which are signs of sheep scab. Sheep scab is a debilitating condition which can lead to weight loss and thickened skin with scabs due to the intense, uncomfortable itching caused by the condition.

There were three separate offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, two of which were for causing unnecessary suffering to two ewes. One ewe was suffering from severe weakness due to scab infestation. Another ewe was found unconscious on the land with her intestines protruding from her flank, likely due to predation as she had also suffered from scab over a prolonged period.

Another offence related to Mr Williams’ failure to ensure the welfare needs of his flock were met by his failure to properly inspect the flock and to manage and treat the sheep scab effectively.

Magistrates sentenced Mr Williams to a community order with a requirement that he carried out 250 hours of unpaid work in the community, he was also ordered to pay the investigation and legal costs of the council which amounted to £1648.

Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council’s Corporate Lead Officer with responsibility for Policy and Performance said, “The council is deeply saddened that yet another serious animal health offence has been committed within the county. It is to the credit of our staff that they have undertaken a successful prosecution of this case.

Our animal welfare officers and our legal team had no option but to carry the prosecution due to the seriousness of the offences committed. I would urge individual farmers who are facing difficulties in caring for their stock to seek advice from the County Council and the Farming Unions.”

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KT Tunstall and “ABBA” Rock the Castle

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OVER 2,000 people descended on Cardigan Castle on the weekend of 12 -13 July as the live season oF events for summer 2019 kicked off in fine style with ‘Thank you for the Music: A Celebration of ABBA” on Friday 12, and a sold out KT Tunstall headlining on Saturday 13th with support from DJ Wozza Woz.

This is now the fifth year of the hugely successful partnership between Theatr Mwldan and Cardigan Castle. Past years have seen artists such as Bellowhead, 9Bach, Tinariwen, From The Jam, Talisman, Dreadzone, Gwenno and Only Men Aloud all play the site of the first Eisteddfod. KT Tunstall’s show night was the second time the venue has reached full capacity after Bellowhead played to a full house in 2015.

The KT Tunstall show was a sell out.

Cardigan Castle director Jac Davies said: “It’s a real coup for the whole town and it shows the ambition and appetite we have to make the castle central to attracting people to the area.”

Dilwyn Davies, CEO at Theatr Mwldan adds: “Every year these events are gathering momentum. They clearly provoke quite an emotional response in those who attend. The obvious economic benefits to the town are one thing, but what’s also so tangible is the sense of pride and joy that is building in Cardigan, and seeing the community coming together like this to really enjoy themselves is just amazing. We’re truly thankful and overwhelmed at how supportive people have been of these events, and we’re determined that we’ll build on this success well into the future.

“The production set-up we have is phenomenal, and we are fast developing a reputation for a quality experience for artists to play, and of course the setting and the atmosphere is so special – the castle has its own magic.

As was: “Thank you for the Music”

“The arts and music scene locally is more vibrant than ever before. The streets are busy, the bars are busy, we’ve seen a number of new eateries and independent shops coming in to town and there is a real vibe about the place.

“Mwldan has been developing a reputation on the international music scene for over a decade with our external music productions and our record label ‘bendigedig’, ran in partnership with ARC Music International Ltd. These are very exciting times for us, and for Cardigan as a town, and we will have another major announcement coming in the coming weeks. Cardigan is definitely on a roll!”

The next castle events include Billy Bragg on Wednesday July 24, The Magic of Motown on Friday July 26, and BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music’s Huw Stephens presents Charlotte Church’s Pop Dungeon with support from Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard and Adwaith on Saturday July 27.

Tickets are available from Theatr Mwldan’s box office on 01239 621 200 or online at www.mwldan.co.uk

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