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Police restructuring puts 118 jobs at risk

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police restructuringDYFED-POWYS POLICE is to undergo a restructuring process which could see the loss of up to 118 jobs, it has been announced this week.

The Force said the programme aims to maintain and improve frontline policing for the benefit of the public across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.

It comes as central government funding to Dyfed-Powys falls by £23.5m from 2010-18 and as the region’s 2014 council tax policing precept rise is due to be set.

The process, known as Public First, will include a reshaping of professional support services, currently delivered by a civilian workforce of 823 employees.

It is possible that around 118 posts will go but Chief Constable Simon Prince and Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon said they are determined that redundancies will be minimised and that the public will benefit from an improved police service.

A review of the operational policing structure will start towards the end of this month.

The force – geographically the biggest in England and Wales – has previously announced the creation of 30 new police constable posts, improved public access to police and the development of a rural strategy.

Mr Prince, who will lead the change programme, said: “Our new structure will see us continue to put the public first in all that we do.

“Our civilian support services will be resourceful, agile, lean, adaptable and flexible. They must deliver efficient and effective support to frontline policing.”

Mr Salmon, who will scrutinise the change programme, said: “The public, under pressure financially themselves, constantly tell me they want strong frontline policing. In modernising and streamlining our support services we will enable the police to do policing. The public can be assured that a great deal of thought and consideration has been given to these proposals.”

Staff and managers have been informed of support service proposals which include improved training opportunities and working environments, less bureaucracy, new employment terms and conditions for all support staff, a simpler management structure and fewer departments. All staff are currently employed by the Commissioner.

From April all but 16 will be employed by the Chief Constable.

The views of department heads will be sought and they will play a key role in forming their new teams through a competitive interview process.

Mr Prince said: “We seek to put the right people with the right skills in the right jobs.”

Formal consultation has begun with trade union Unison on the proposed civilian structure and its impacts on staff.

Of the possible post losses, around 38 will come through not filling vacancies. Voluntary redundancy applications will be considered and police staff are being encouraged to apply for police officer and PCSO roles.

The projected number of redundancies is 55. Mr Prince said: “I intend to reduce the number of redundancies to a minimum – and no PCSOs will face redundancy.”

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42 new officers for Dyfed Powys Police in the first wave of police recruitment

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DYFED Powys Police has a recruitment target of 42 new officers in the first wave of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to increase officer numbers across the UK.

The Home Office on Wednesday (Oct 9) confirmed the officer recruitment targets for every police force in England and Wales for the first year of the unprecedented drive to increase their ranks by 20,000 over the next three years.

Stephen Crabb, Preseli Pembrokeshire MP has said that this is ‘a strong start’ to helping Dyfed Powys tackle new forms of crime and keep West Wales as one of the safest parts of the country.

Following the Home Office announcement, Stephen Crabb said: “Forty-two additional police officers for Dyfed Powys Police is a strong start to strengthening frontline policing and making people feel safer.

I praised the good work local officers do in tackling County Lines drug gang in Parliament earlier this year and asked that additional resources be provided to help them stamp out this and other terrible crimes. I’m pleased the Prime Minister listened and is delivered on his pledge to increase officers numbers.”

Strengthening police numbers is a priority for the government, which is providing £750 million to support forces to recruit up to 6,000 additional officers onto our streets by the end of 2020-21, the first stage in this new uplift. This is thanks to the additional funding announced by the Chancellor in the Spending Review.

Every single police force in England and Wales will be able to recruit additional officers this year to help keep all of our communities safer.

All officers recruited as part of the 20,000 uplifts will be added to those hired to fill existing vacancies. They are also on top of the extra officers already being recruited because of the £1 billion increase in police funding for 2019-20, which includes money from council tax and for serious violence.

Government funding for recruitment in 2020-21 will cover all associated costs, including training and kit.

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Anti-Slavery campaigner receives medal

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A Pembrokeshire woman who has committed herself to combating modern slavery has been presented with the British Empire Medal.

Dr Anne Kelly of Saundersfoot was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June.

A Swansea University lecturer, she sits on the Dyfed Powys anti-slavery forum that meets in Carmarthen. Much of her work is done
through the Soroptimist International organisation.

Through her personal commitment, she is contributing to more victims of slavery being identified, recovered and supported as well as
bringing their perpetrators to justice.

It is partly through her determination and constant lobbying of MPs that the Modern Slavery Act became law in March 2015.

Dr Kelly was presented with the British Empire Medal by the Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards, in a ceremony at County
Hall on Friday (Oct 11).

Dr Kelly was accompanied by family members.

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A letter and petition in support

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PUPILS from Milford Haven school were outside County Hall on Thursday (Oct 10) handing out letters to Councillors as they entered the main building to attend a meeting which had Milford Haven School on the agenda.

A PLEA TO DECISION MAKERS

Stevie Joseph, 14, who wrote the three-page letter said that it contained the reasons why she felt that the sixth form should stay open.
“The college is just not the same for some of us”, she said, “we need the pastoral care and support that a sixth form gives us”.

“The decline in pupil numbers is something we have noticed but Milford now has one of the biggest primary schools in Wales so its stupid to close the sixth form…. The numbers are going to go up. We should not close it now and then wait to see that improvement.”

Stevie’s classmate Rebecca said: “I would like to be in an environment where I know people. I have known these teachers for many years, and it will be weird [if I go to college and] they will not be there.”

PETITION AGAINST CLOSURE

A petition to Pembrokeshire County Council has been started on Change.org.

At the time of going to press around 500 people had signed.

Organiser Jenny did not give her last name but wrote on the page: “Milford Haven School may have to close the doors to their current sixth form department.

“The residents of Milford Haven hold the sixth form very close to their hearts as a lot of them attended themselves.

“As a community, we are all deeply saddened to hear this could be coming to an end. In previous years, this sixth form was thriving.

“As a collective, hundreds of thousands have been raised for Children in Need as well as other good causes and charities.

“Sixth form has provided pupils with vast amounts of opportunities and helped them to mature into respectable young adults. It has given students the chance to further their education in subjects they are extremely passionate about. In some instances, Milford Haven Sixth form has provided options that wouldn’t be offered anywhere else in the county.

“As it stands, if our sixth form was to close down, all pupils in year 11 and younger would have to attend either Pembrokeshire college or one of the last remaining sixth forms in the county which is Haverfordwest High which would be the closest in distance to attend.
“But in college you lose the family and community connection you have when you become part of the sixth form family.”

To sign the petition online click the link on the Pembrokeshire Herald Facebook page.

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