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Haverfordwest: Vigil pays tribute to victims of Manchester attack

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Local politicians: Mayors and councillors gathered to pay tributes

HUNDREDS gathered for a candle lit vigil at Haverfordwest War Memorial last night (May 24) to pay their respects to the victims of the Manchester attack on Monday (May 22).

Members of the public were joined by politicians and representatives of local emergency services to express their solidarity with all those who were caught up in the tragic events in Manchester.

The vigil, organised by the Mayor of Haverfordwest, Cllr Alan Buckfield, saw people from every corner of Pembrokeshire observe two one–minute silences.

Rev Father Nick Cale gave prayer, before the Mayor addressed the crowd, emphasising how ‘all violent deaths are tragic; but the death of a child is even more so’.

The Manchester attack claimed the lives of 22 people, many of whom were children.

The Mayor added: “The joys of childhood, the hopes and dreams and aspirations for a long and fulfilled life extinguished by a moment of cruel, obscene violence.

“Our hearts bleed for those families trying to come to terms with and understand their loss.”

He went on to pay tribute to the men and women of the emergency services who show extraordinary professionalism and competence ‘in the most trying of circumstances’, and the members of the public ‘who found it in their hearts to help others in their time of need’.

Following the vigil, The Herald spoke with Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb. Reflecting on the event, he said: “Events like tonight’s vigil in Haverfordwest are so important, because they provide a way for the community to come together, express its grief and frustration, but also express unity and empathy with those families who are suffering.

“It’s tremendous to see the support from right across Pembrokeshire here in Haverfordwest this evening, a genuine county–wide event, and it was good to see our emergency services very well represented, because the stories of heroism and bravery that are coming out of Manchester in the last couple of days has just been truly astonishing.”

Asked what local communities ought to do in the wake of the attack, Mr Crabb said: “It’s important for everyone to be vigilant; we might not think that we have potential targets in places like West Wales and Pembrokeshire, but the truth is that the kind of enemy we are facing will strike indiscriminately, men, women, children, regardless of location, and I think it’s important that we shouldn’t have our lives unduly interrupted, but we do need to be vigilant and be on guard.”

Labour candidate for Preseli Pembrokeshire Philippa Thompson meanwhile described the vigil as a ‘sombre gathering with prayer and quiet reflection’ to remember those who lost their lives in Monday night’s ‘senseless attack’.

She added: “I think the bright evening as we lit our candles was a sign to us all that we defeat terror by showing we are defiant in the face of evil and we carry on.”

Labour candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Marc Tierney added that the vigil gave people a chance to show how ‘they are empathising with their friends and others’ from across the UK.

He said: “I think it’s important that local people have an opportunity to come out and show their respects like this. Events often happen in big cities like Cardiff and Swansea, but there’s not always an opportunity to do the same in Pembrokeshire.

“I was really pleased with the turnout, but hopefully we won’t have to do it again anytime soon.

“I think the real issue now is that the public remain vigilant, and report anything suspicious – just as Dyfed–Powys Police want them to do.”

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Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin

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POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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Tenby’s famous walrus ‘Wally’ has been spotted again

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TENBY’S most famous marine animal has been spotted again after fears she had been scared away.

Wally was spotted on Friday evening by the seaside town’s Lifeboat station.

Thought to be a two-year-old male, the walrus’s return comes after it was feared she had been disturbed by people flocking to catch a glimpse of her and “getting too close”

The animal has attracted hundreds of people to the seaside town now that the travel restrictions with Wales have been lifted to coincide with the Easter school holidays.

Wally was last seen on Monday, but  members of the public were warned it was in the animal’s “best interests” to be “left alone” as much as possible and they were urged to “avoid the temptation to get near and disturb” her.

A joint statement was issued by the RSPCA, Tenby harbour master Chris Salisbury, Welsh Marine Life Rescue, Tenby lifeboat coxswain Phil John, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Natural Resources Wales and CSIP Marine Environmental Rescue said that they were concerned to hear that people had tried to get close by using personal watercraft or paddle and surfboards.

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Police plan to deter badly behaved youths from gathering in Tenby

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POLICE in Tenby responded to community concerns over antisocial behaviour and groups of between 15-20 youths gathering and clashing over the Easter bank holiday weekend. They moved the youths on, seized alcohol from them and stopped matters escalating when there were clashes between the groups. And they have a clear message ahead of this weekend – there will be extra police patrols and presence in Tenby, including on the trains, so this type of behaviour won’t be tolerated.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers used powers under the Antisocial Behaviour Act to disperse groups of youngsters meeting to drink alcohol in and around Tenby, many of whom had travelled by train to the area to meet up.

Based on these scenes from last weekend, plans are in place as part of a joint operation with Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers and British Transport Police, to address and prevent any further gatherings.

A Section 34 Order is in place covering Tenby, which allows officers to move people out of the area and prevent them from returning for up to 48 hours.

Sergeant Stuart Wheeler said: “Following last weekend we had some concern from the community of Tenby, due to antisocial behaviour related to the groups of youths from Pembroke, Pembroke Dock and Tenby, and subsequently those groups clashing. Alcohol consumption by these youngsters was a factor.

“Proactive action was taken, and we are keen to avoid a repeat of this behaviour this weekend, and have therefore put plans in place. Additional resources have been allocated, which will allow us to respond quickly and prevent matters from escalating.

“Tenby Neighbourhood Policing Team and response officers, will be carrying out high visibility patrols in the area, covering areas known to be popular with youngsters. Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers will be assisting us in ensuring youngsters can’t buy alcohol in the area by visiting shops and reminding them of the laws around selling alcohol, and if they bring it with them it will be seized. And our colleagues in British Transport Police will be patrolling the train network to prevent problematic groups getting to Tenby by train.”

Police are also appealing to parents and carers to know where their children are, and what they are doing.

Sergeant Wheeler added: “We would like to appeal directly to parents to be aware of where their children are, and prevent them from gathering in large groups. This type of behaviour is distressing for people living and working in Tenby, and we are urging you to be accountable for your children’s actions.

“We understand that the past few months have been difficult, and that children want to see their friends, but remember that only 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors still. Please do your best to ensure they are adhering to regulations that are in place for all our safety.”

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