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Prevention is better than a cure

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prevention is better than a cureThe Pembrokeshire Herald spends a day with the Haverfordwest Neighbourhood Policing Team

IT IS VERY EASY to think of the police as an entity in place to fix crime when it happens. Sometimes it slips our minds that a major role of our police force is to prevent crime before it strikes. Designated police officers gather from every station, specifically targeting the prevention of crime and these officers work in the Neighbourhood Police Team.

Sgt Catrin Thomas is the head of a team of four other police constables, along with six police community support officers that make up Haverfordwest’s Neighbourhood force. This team of officers have the responsibility of actively approaching the public in Haverfordwest’s very large geographical area. The town is just the beginning.

Every police officer has a responsibility to protect the public in an emergency situation. If a 999 call comes in then the attention of the officer is immediately prioritised to the alert at hand. The Neighbourhood Policing Team is given a daily brief as to any concerns that the public might have. These concerns may be raised in a well-populated area, or they may be raised in a rural and isolated part of the Haverfordwest sector. All concerns are taken seriously and no report from the public is taken as a ‘waste of time’.

In order to begin to understand the effort of the team, I joined two officers in a visit to a well-established stable in Camrose, to engage with the proprietor.The officers were welcomed as friends due to their continued support of the establishment. PCSO Jude Parr is a keen equestrian herself and the genuine concern, also displayed by PC Simon Davies, is blatantly obvious from the moment they arrived at the premises. These officers were both approachable and genuine and demonstrated that a crime does not have to be committed to build a relationship with the people that often need them the most, when a police station may not be ‘just around the corner’.

There are rural organisations that the team help to maintain. These entities are often not even heard of by the general public. Most people have heard of Neighbourhood Watch but few could claim to know of organisations such as ‘Farm Watch’ and ‘Horse Watch’ that are in place to monitor theft and vandalism of rural enterprises and homes. This idea would not be so successful if it was not for the community officers that help to spread the information needed by the community.

The very presence of officers in rural areas has given individuals the confidence to raise concerns that otherwise would have remained unspoken.

Back in the centre of town, officers are patrolling the streets attempting to create the same approachability that the rural officers achieve. Every day police officers, such as Rachel Wall and Liam Woodford, step out into the public to affirm the goals of the team. To create an approachable and friendly presence that will always take the public seriously. Rachel and Liam (Liam in particular) may seem a little camera shy but they do what they are employed to do. They do it very well.

Whilst joining the two officers around the town of Haverfordwest, it is obvious that they have a wonderful rapport with the people. Rachel and Liam take the time to speak to the general public and the proprietors of local businesses to take action against any concerns that may be present. It is refreshing to see the genuine look on a member of the public’s face when they know that there is someone there to take them seriously.

Back at the station, Ben Thomas, a local volunteer, explained to me the confidence he has built over his short time with the police. Ben is new to the team but he is training to take on the paperwork that sometimes makes a practical job very difficult. He demonstrates very well the fact that all sorts of ingredients make a good product.

Sgt Catrin Thomas obviously cares a lot for her colleagues and for the public that the team stands for. Dyfed Powys area has the least crime of any area in Wales as Catrin explains. In maintaining a community based police force the public can continue to feel in the county that they live in. I must admit, after a day with this team, I certainly believe that to be true.

Do not be afraid to contact your local police force if you have a concern. All of the public will be taken seriously and you have a local team to back you up and help. Please call 101 from your telephone or stop an officer. After all, they are there to help and not to intimidate.

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Appeal after woman sexually assaulted on cycle path near Haverfordwest

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POLICE officers in Haverfordwest are appealing for witnesses after a woman was sexually assaulted at approximately 4.30pm on Sunday (May 16).

The woman was walking along the cycle path between Haverfordwest and Tiers Cross when she was approached by a man who threatened and assaulted her, before walking away towards Haverfordwest town.

The male is described as a white male, between 5ft 4 and 5ft 11 tall , normal build with a welsh accent. He has short dark hair, a beard and a moustache, brown eyes, and wearing light blue jeans, navy/dark blue jersey with grey sleeves. Anyone who saw a man matching this description in the area between 3.30pm and 5pm in the afternoon.

A 35-year-old man has been arrested and is currently in police custody.

The cycle path is currently closed while the investigation continues.

Detective Superintendent Jayne Butler, who is leading the investigation, said “Incidents of this nature are extremely rare in the Dyfed-Powys area. The public may see an increased presence of police officers in the coming days as police investigate the incident. Anyone with concerns or information that could help our enquiries can speak to those officers or contact police. While a man was quickly arrested we would still like to speak to anyone who saw a man matching the above description in the area yesterday afternoon.”

Anyone with information which could help the investigation is asked to contact police. This can be done online at bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet endorses STEP Fusion application

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’S Cabinet have today endorsed proposals from Cllr Paul Miller (Cabinet Member for Economic Development) to further progress the nomination of a Pembrokeshire site to host a Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) fusion power station in the county.

Working with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), the proposed site is adjacent to the existing energy facilities on the South Shore of the Haven waterway.

If approved, the facility will initially host research with the ultimate aim of developing this technology which could offer a virtually limitless source of clean electricity by copying the processes that power the sun.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “I am pleased my Cabinet colleagues endorsed this important programme of work. The Haven Waterway has provided livelihoods, underpinned by fossil fuels, for thousands of Pembrokeshire families, mine included, for more than 50 years. It’s my job to help ensure the waterway continues to provide high skilled, engineering, science and technology jobs for the next generation of this county – and so linked to our focus on climate change (and in addition to our existing multi-million pound commitments to supporting wind, wave and tidal clean power generation) my team have been exploring whether we can also support the development of clean, green fusion technology.

“It’s very early days in the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s site selection process but we’ll provide regular updates as things progress.”

•       STEP is an ambitious programme to design and build a prototype fusion power plant;
•       It is a UKAEA programme, currently with £222m funding from the UK Government to produce a concept design by 2024: https://step.ukaea.uk/

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Re-opening of indoor hospitality and attractions at Milford Waterfront

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RESTAURANTS and indoor visitor attractions in Milford Waterfront are welcoming the return of indoor services from today.

The re-opening of indoor dining allows all restaurants at Milford Waterfront to seat customers indoors. As well as all restaurants on the Waterfront now being able to offer this service, the brand-new Foam Domes overlooking the Milford Haven Waterway are able to open, with bookings being taken from the 19th May.

Indoor visitor attractions are also allowed to re-open. This includes the Waterfront Gallery, which is open today and Phoenix Bowl & Pirate Pete’s Adventure Play which is making preparations to open from Wednesday 19th May. Also, Milford Museum, which has had a new rendered exterior finish, is preparing to open for the end of May.

Lucy Wonnacott, Marketing Manager for Milford Waterfront commented: “We are delighted to see the re-opening of indoor hospitality and visitor attractions here at Milford Waterfront. Each business has their own safety and social distancing measures in place and we kindly ask that you respect and adhere to these for your own safety, and that of others. We hope you enjoy your visit to Milford Waterfront and stay safe!”

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