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Police officers to have spit and bite guards from today

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FROM today (May 18) front-line police officers across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys will be equipped with spit and bite guards.

Spit and bite guards, made from a loose-fitting, lightweight mesh fabric, are placed over a person’s head to help minimise the risks of diseases and injuries associated with spitting and biting.

This means if someone spits or bites, or threatens to spit or bite, officers have a new piece of equipment to protect themselves and others.

Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis said: “Both spitting and biting are a particularly unpleasant form of assault and should not be considered by anyone to be an acceptable part of the job. Figures show there were 77 spit and bite incidents against Dyfed-Powys Police officers and staff in 2017 alone – more than six per month, on average.

“Assaults by spitting and biting can have long-term and distressing implications for officers, who sometimes have to take medication for many weeks afterwards to prevent infection.

“Use of force tactics, such as spit and bite guards, are there to protect not only the public but also for the safety of our officers, who face dangerous situations every day.

“It is imperative that we employ proportionate and appropriate tactics in each situation we face in order to achieve our number one objective, protecting the public.

“Our officers go through rigorous and continued training on tactics which are considered by the Home Office as a use of force. Officers are highly trained to use force proportionately, lawfully and only when necessary.

“The Chief Officer team has listened to concerns raised by officers as well as taking on board recent recommendations from the National Police Chief’s Council and have taken the decision that spit guards will be rolled out to all front line officers across the force, in line with 25 other police forces nationally.”

Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, said: “Dyfed-Powys Police officers do their utmost to deliver invaluable services to the public, day in day out, no matter the circumstances. It is not right that they are subject to abuse whilst performing their duties, and it is our duty to protect those who strive to keep us safe and free from harm.

“In March 2018 I wrote to Members of Parliament to encourage them to support the passage on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill through the House of Commons. It is an important initiative which seeks to underline the importance of protecting emergency workers from assaults such as spitting and biting, and is a significant step in highlighting our mutual stance on this matter. It is of utmost importance that we take action to protect our police officers.”

College of Policing said: “Spit guards are for the protection of the arresting officer, other emergency service personnel and the public.

“It is recognised that the need to use spit guards or handcuffs during the restraint of an individual may cause distress to them and those who witness the arrest.

“However, as well as serving as protective equipment for the officer, it is also recognised that, by eliminating the risk of being spat on, bitten or the transmission of communicable diseases, the need for physical restraint may be reduced.

“As such, the risk of serious physical injury to the individual being arrested, is also reduced.

“The College has recently led a national review of the Personal Safety Training given to officers, which includes a section on spit guards and the medical implications of their use.

“As with all use of force, it will be for the arresting officer to justify their actions in each individual circumstance. The availability and use of equipment such as spit guards remain a local decision for each chief constable.”

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‘Multiple serious injuries’ after Haven Hotel incident, say police

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POLICE arrested a man who caused “mayhem” in a Milford Haven pub on Sunday evening (Mar 17).

Police said that a male suspected of causing “multiple serious injuries” had been detained, but the investigation was ongoing into reports of serious violence. Milford police were assisted by officers from Tenby in tracking down and arresting the suspect.

A witness told The Herald that a man, who was not a regular customer of the premises “went mad” – knocking an older drinker, a gentleman, off his stool – punching the licensee in the head – and breaking the arm of a barmaid.

It is not known why the man acted violently in the premises, and it is understood he was not known to the management or other customers.

The witness said: “I saw three or more police vehicles outside The Haven – maybe five officers – there was a lot of confusion. The suspect in the case has already fled, but was later found and arrested – possibly in another pub nearby.”

“I saw one injured person, a female, being treated in an ambulance.”

A police Twitter account posted: “Police have responded to an incident last night at around 8.15pm where multiple people received serious injuries. Police were on scene at Hamilton Terrace quickly and the suspect was arrested. The investigation is still ongoing.”

“Code B response team would like to thank PCSOs Brown and Osmolak for staying on duty to assist and also to the attending Tenby police officers for providing resilience.”

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Milford Waterfront development promoted at prestigious international property event

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MILFORD WATERFRONT was one of six Welsh projects to be showcased by the Department of International Trade at MIPIM, an international property event.

Part of Wales’ first property portfolio, which is worth £1.19 billion, the Milford Waterfront development is being recognised as a leading investment opportunity in Wales, with a focus on the development of a 10,000m² indoor immersive digital experiential leisure attraction.

The Milford Waterfront development represents the ambition of the Port of Milford Haven to significantly increase visitor numbers to Milford Haven, both drawing on and supporting the thriving tourism industry in Pembrokeshire, by developing a leisure-led, mixed-use destination that significantly expands the facilities and assets surrounding the existing 300-berth marina.

Neil Jenkins, Development Director, Port of Milford Haven commented: “Being acknowledged as one of the leading developments not only in Wales but in the UK is an incredible recognition for Milford Waterfront.

“This is a bold project but one that we are passionate about. It forms part of a wider business strategy to diversify into new markets and create new economic opportunities not just for the Port but for the entire region. We have a fantastic opportunity to revitalise the marina and docks and create a unique destination that Pembrokeshire and Wales can be proud of and we are excited to be showcasing that at MIPIM.”

The event took place in Cannes, France between March 12 and March 15.

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Residents ‘let down’ over new Jameston homes

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38 NEW homes could be built in Jameston, Tenby, if approved by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s officers.

Members of the Park’s Development Management Committee gave their support for delegated approval to be given and there were no less than 31 conditions attached to the application.

The new homes could be built on land opposite Bush Terrace but there were objections from residents and Manorbier Community Council.

Cllr Phil Kidney raised concerns about the affordable homes being built on a separate part of the site to others saying it would create a ‘them and us’ situation.

He went on to state his unease with the plans and said the residents felt ‘very let down’ by the National Park.

Objecting to the plans, Mary Sinclair said: “Planning notices were not seen, if they were seen, they were not there. Nobody saw a notice advertising this application.

“The National Park doesn’t have a policy to prevent these being sold off as second homes. The proposal is also contrary to Welsh Government’s policy on farmland.

“In 2017, a replacement system was introduced which has to be used. This is the best and most versatile land and should be protected for future generations.

“The wall crossing the site cannot just be moved, it is part of the landscape. We would be left with a stark line of homes with no childrens playground, no safe walking route to school.

Where is the well-being of future generations? There are no solar panels, the gardens aren’t large enough and this project is building over land with the highest protection possible.

There has to be an extra-ordinary reason for you to approve this.”

Applicant Harry Thomas responded to some of the points raised saying: “The application is presented as it is. We don’t have the scale and size to build affordable homes and sell them off.

“We will be using a smaller developer, using local trade.

“Jameston will not see 38 new homes built in the next 12 months. We have been working on this application with the National Park for many years. To go at a fast pace would be far worse.

This allows us to create more work in the winter months.”

Cllr Kidney then read out a letter from Mr Ray Hughes, chairman of Manorbier Community Council.

He stated that many issues had not been considered fairly and that over 30 members of the public attended a meeting discussing the application.

Mr Hughes also spoke on the Government’s policy to encourage children to walk to school adding that a footpath should be installed.
Cllr Tony Wilcox said he found it ‘difficult’ how there was no section 106 agreement towards a footpath to the school but an officer stated that a footpath could be installed in the future.

Cllr Mike Evans questioned what affordable housing was adding that these new homes would be social housing which would be rented out by a registered landlord.

Cllr Kidney then gave his own views on the application saying: “There is a lay-by in front of Bush Terrace and there are going to be two entrances.

“I have got no problem with the development, the stone wall has been a big feature of Jameston. This is creating a development with affordable homes separate to the others. That is just creating a them and us situation and that is a big fault. The affordable housing should be integrated in.

“There is a lot of concern here. There is no problem with space so I don’t know why we need to encroach. We could make bigger gardens, this is about giving everybody a fair crack at the whip. There is a lot of discomfort about it, the residents feel very let down that none of the points raised were considered. It is not fair on them but there is not a lot we can do about it and I want to state my unease with this development.”

When it was put to a vote the committee were unanimous in giving delegated authority for the plans to be approved.

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