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Police warn against vigilantism and ‘taking law into own hands’

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Police in Haverfordwest: A group gathered earlier this month follows reports of a convicted paedophile living in the town (Pic: Herald)

DYFED-POWYS POLICE is urging members of the public not to engage in vigilantism following recent incidents in Pembrokeshire.

They say officers have been called to areas of the town where there have been pockets of disorder based around a group of people with a desire to reveal the identities of offenders.

This includes an incident in Haverfordwest following concerns a convicted paedophile had been released into the community earlier this month.

The police force has warned that action will be taken against those who commit offences during these incidents.

Chief Inspector for Pembrokeshire Mark McSweeney  said: “Following recent incidents, I have personally met with members of the Monkton community, along with the Pembroke Neighbourhood Policing Team, a councillor, and representatives of Pembrokeshire Council, to discuss issues that were causing all parties concern.

“I am confident that we and our partner agencies now have plan moving forward that will begin to address some concerns that the community has raised.

Angry mob: Up to 200 people gathered in a street in Monkton in 2017 over concerns about a sex offender (Pic: Herald)

“We understand that the drive behind this activity is to protect the community, but any member of the public who has information about any offences should get in contact with the police first so we can investigate and bring people to justice.

“By engaging in activity in the attempt to disrupt criminal activity, people are taking risks they don’t understand, and can undermine ongoing police operations. For example, revealing the identity of alleged suspects gives that person the opportunity to destroy evidence before the police can investigate them.

“It also leads to people who have been identified going missing or raising concerns for their safety. This can divert significant resources into protecting suspects, which would be better invested in investigating and, where there is evidence, prosecuting them.

“There is also the risk of wrongly accusing someone and the impact that has on them, and importantly, they have no way of safeguarding victims, unlike our officers.

“We are aware that in some instances local action has been taken against people residing in a community that others do not believe should be there. We would like to reassure that where there is a need to monitor individuals, officers will be carrying out these duties diligently.

“Once again, I would urge people not to take the law into their own hands, but to contact us to raise concerns.

“To report an ongoing incident where there is an immediate threat to life or property, always phone 999. In a non-emergency situation dial 101.”

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County Councillor Dai Boswell guilty

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THE FORMER Pembroke mayor, Cllr Dai Boswell, has been convicted of indecently assaulting a nine-year-old girl by a jury at Swansea Crown Court today (Jun 18).

In relation to three other allegations of indecent assault, Boswell was cleared.

The jury has not yet returned a verdict in relation to an allegation of rape and three further charges of indecent assault.

The judge will accept majority verdicts on those.

The offences are said to have taken place between 1991 and 1994 and relate to two children who were under 13 at the time.

Boswell served in the Army for more than 12 years and was well known locally as district parade marshal for the Royal British Legion.

The Pembrokeshire County Councillor was immediately remanded into custody

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One thousand march to save Withybush Hospital A&E services

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Over 1,000 people marched in Haverfordwest today (June 16) to show their support for the A&E department at Withybush General Hospital.

The protesters marched from Haverfordwest football club, leaving  at 11.30am and made their way via Bridge Street to Castle Square, and then around to the Riverside Shopping Centre, and back to the field behind the football club where a family fun day had been organised.

There were rumours that there would be inclement weather for the protest, but just on cue, the sun came out as the first walkers left the field for what many were describing as a “now or never” attempt to retain services at Withybush.

Conservative politicians joined the march including local MP’s Simon Hart and Stephen Crabb as well as Paul Davies AM. County Councillors and representatives from the Labour party were also at the protest, amongst others.

Stephen Crabb MP told The Herald that all of the University Health Board’s proposals for Withybush Hospital included a “downgrade”, and that this was not acceptable for the people of Pembrokeshire. In a passionate interview with Herald TV he said that today was the day that “local people fight for the services that they deserve.”

Mr Crabb said that he knew that recruitment of staff was a “challenge across the whole of the UK” but the Health Board need to be told they need to do more for Pembrokeshire.

Just before the protest, the admin of the Save Withybush Group on Facebok posted: “Over 22,000 have joined this group and almost 23,000 have signed the petition so we know there is massive support among the people of Pembrokeshire to save our hospital. Now we just need everyone to turn out this Saturday and show Hywel Dda Health Board that we mean business and that they will not get away with closing our A&E or any of the vital services at Withybush.”

Drivers of vehicles honked their horns as they drove past the protest which was led by musicians from the Saint City Jazz Band from St Davids.

Many people told Herald reporters that they felt that the hospital had been “deliberately undermined” ans that uncertainty created by the Health Board themselves in relation to hospital services was having a negative effect on the recruitment of staff.

This large march and fun day is described by organisers as the first stage in a summer of action to fight for services at Withybush Hospital.

Those who have not already done so are urged to fill in the consultation document published by Hywel Dda University Health Board.

  • Photography by Mike Hillen and Aad Oostermeijer.
  • Additional reporting by Matthew Roberts

 

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Pembroke Dock: Dog in black bag found dead in water

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A SHOCKING image of a dead dog which was found in the water at Pembroke Port, wrapped in a black bag, has been sent to The Herald.

The image was sent to us by a local man who pulled the bag out of the water.

Once on the dry land, he realised that tragically the remains of a dog was inside.

The shocking uncensored image is below.

WARNING: Upsetting imagery follows.

A witness at the scene told the Herald that police were called to the scene following the discovery.

The man who made the discovery told us: “The bag was down floating by the tugs, Pembroke Port, it looked like a tent bag at first.

“We pulled it up and took it on the walkway to cut it open – we didn’t know what it was.

“Once it was opened, we could see there were stones inside, and then as we opened it more it was obvious the dog was inside.

“To be honest, it looked like it had been in there a while.”

The man then told us that as he left the scene, a member of the tugboats called the police.

“It’s not nice, horrible to see, not nice at all. It didn’t look like a young dog but you don’t have any idea really with it in that state,” he added.

The Herald has contacted Dyfed-Powys Police for more information.

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