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Another critical report on Dyfed-Powys Police

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Confident Force is effective: PCC Christopher Salmon, Conservative candidate

Confident Force is effective: PCC Christopher Salmon, Conservative candidate

A FURTHER report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has found ‘some shortcomings’ in the Dyfed-Powys Force’s approach to investigating crimes and has suggested that insufficient attention is being paid to the victims of crimes when allocating investigators.

The report is not all bad news, however: it finds that the force works effectively with partners and highlights its joint work with Barnardo’s to support runaway children.

Dyfed-Powys Police has a strong ethic to protect the vulnerable. However, the report finds that this is overshadowed by difficulties that call-handlers have in identifying vulnerability at the first point of contact. Additionally, the service to some domestic abuse victims falls short of acceptable standards.

Perhaps most troublingly, the report finds that there is a lack of availability of experienced detectives and out-of-hours coverage.

More positively, the force has three integrated offender management (IOM) units. HMIC found these to be well managed and their staff are highly motivated and their systems and ways of working are effective at curbing the offending behaviour of the most prolific offenders in Dyfed-Powys.

In October 2015 HMIC graded the force’s financial and workforce future planning as “requiring improvement” – the only force in Wales not to receive a grading of “good”.

Last week HMIC said the force also “required improvement” in the way in which it treats members of the public.

Commissioner responsible for 'a catalogue of failures': Dafydd Llywelyn, Plaid candidate

Commissioner responsible for ‘a catalogue of failures’: Dafydd Llywelyn, Plaid candidate

Dafydd Llywelyn, who is the former Principal Crime and Intelligence Officer at Dyfed Powys, has today been equally as critical of the current Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner, Christopher Salmon. Mr Llywelyn, currently lecturing in Criminology, said today’s report made him think that “enough is enough”.

He added that the workforce and residents in Dyfed and Powys communities needed a new Commissioner who could competently lead the force.

Dafydd Llywelyn said: “In recent weeks and months HM Inspectorate of Constabulary has been very critical of Dyfed Powys Police Force. I am deeply concerned to see yet another damning report today.

“Let’s take stock of the current position of Dyfed Powys: HM Inspectorate has said the police force has put workforce cuts before organisational requirements, has no clear plans as to how the force will manage future budget cuts and that the force is not performing well in child protection cases.

“Last week HM Inspectorate issued a damning verdict on the way the force treats and engages with the public. Today the independent watchdog said the force must improve how it keeps us safe and improve on how it can reduce crime.

“All of these critical reports have been issued within the last few months. The current Conservative police and crime commissioner has presided over a catalogue of failures and I think enough is enough.

“Dyfed Powys Police force, the resident is serves and its workforce are desperate for new and competent leadership. That leadership can only come with a change of Commissioner in May.”

Mr Llywelyn concluded: “As things stand, with critical Inspectorate report after critical Inspectorate report, the public would not have any confidence in the decision making and appointment by the current Commissioner.”

In response to today’s HMIC report Police Effectiveness 2015, Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon said: “Dyfed-Powys has the lowest crime rates in England and Wales.

“Crime and antisocial behaviour combined have fallen further and faster here than anywhere else in Wales since 2012.

“Dyfed-Powys Police investigate every crime. They take more cases to court than the average in England and Wales.

“Since my election in 2012 we have more officers spending more time on our communities’ streets.

“We have more officers investigating the most serious crimes and my Help Hub has increased support for victims.

“There is always more to do but I am confident that Dyfed-Powys is effective and keeping people safe and reducing crime.”

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Masks now advised in all secondary schools

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PUPILS across Wales are now being advised to wear facemasks in all communal areas of secondary schools (including playgrounds), colleges and on transport to and from places of learning by the Welsh Government.

Although not compulsory, the new recommendations have been made by ministers to ensure a consistent approach in tackling COVID-19 across Wales.

People picking up and dropping off children are also advised to wear face coverings too to minimise the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19.

The new guidance, aimed mainly at secondary schools, which the Education Minister has described as ‘easy to follow’ was announced today and now means that the only spaces where staff and pupils can safely remove their facemasks is in the classroom.

The majority of councils already require secondary pupils and staff to wear masks in corridors and on most school transport with those rules extended to primary pupils too in some areas.

Education minister Kirsty Williams said: “It is vital that young people, parents, adults and the workforce feel confident that all measures are being taken to ensure the educational environments are as safe as possible.

“We have been clear that we will keep every policy under review and will continue to follow scientific advice. The policy we are announcing today does just that”.

The new advice has been recommended by the Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Group (Tag), which has been looking at the “possibility of wearing face coverings for older age groups in more circumstances, including on public and dedicated transport” and could “even include in the classroom on a risk assessed basis…. balancing benefits with harms to overall wellbeing of students.”

Tag is also looking at how feasible a mass asymptomatic testing programme in schools and colleges could be, the Welsh Government has said it is considering that approach.

Debbie Thomas, Head of Policy at the National Deaf Children’s Society Cymru, said: “Face masks and coverings in communal areas could have serious consequences for Wales’ 2,500 deaf children, almost all of whom rely on lip reading and facial expressions to communicate.
“Socialising in corridors, break time chats and playground games are all rites of passage, but deaf young people now risk missing out because they can’t understand what others are saying. They’re also more likely to experience loneliness, isolation and bullying.
“Public health is the priority, but schools and colleges must move quickly to introduce reasonable adjustments to help deaf young people during this difficult time.”

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Two day centres to close temporarily as a precaution

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TWO north Pembrokeshire Day facilities for older people and people with learning disabilities are to close temporarily as a precaution following the rise in coronavirus cases in Ceredigion.

Bro Preseli Day Centre in Crymych and Wintern Day Centre, Goodwick, are to close temporarily from tomorrow (Tuesday, November 24).

The decision to close each site will be reviewed regularly.

It is emphasised that there have been no positive cases of Covid-19 detected at either site and the temporary closures have been put in place as a precaution.

 

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North Pembrokeshire schools remain closed

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THE SIX North Pembrokeshire schools which were closed today (Monday, November 23) as a precaution following the increased spread of coronavirus in South Ceredigion, will remain closed tomorrow (Tuesday, November 23).

The Pembrokeshire schools are:

• Ysgol Preseli
• Ysgol y Frenni
• Ysgol Llandudoch
• Ysgol Eglwyswrw
• Ysgol Cilgerran
• Ysgol Clydau.

The Pembrokeshire schools are closed as a precaution as they share services – such as transport – with the Ceredigion schools.

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