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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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Haverfordwest: HaverHub targeted by vandals

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Trashed: Vandals, believed to be children, have targeted HaverHub

POLICE are investigating after thieves broke into HaverHub community centre and stole alcohol and a net full of plastic ducks.

The first incident occurred on Friday evening (Aug 17) or early Saturday morning (Aug 18) when a side door was smashed in.

Within hours, vandals had returned and went about trashing the place and stole 26 bottles of Prosecco.

In a post on social media, HaverHub said: “The first [incident] saw our side door kicked in, and the second occurred when some opportunistic kids came in through the unsecured door.

“They’ve smashed a window, emptied two fire extinguishers everywhere, helped themselves to our supplies and generally made a big mess. They’ve also stolen 26 bottles of Prosecco, and a net full of plastic ducks from the duck race.”

HaverHub project coordinator and founder Gitti Coats told the Herald: “One of the team came to secure the broken door and make it safe and as he arrived three girls and three boys of about 12-years-old ran from the building with a seventh child locked inside.

“If any parents see their child with cuts from broken glass or with yellow plastic ducks, please get in touch,” she added.

The former Post Office building in Quay Street was taken over by the non-profit social enterprise in August last year aiming to provide a new focal point for the community.

HaverHub has appealed for anyone with information to contact Dyfed-Powys Police directly by calling 101.

A JustGiving page has been set up where donations to support the project can be made: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/haverhub-clear-up and you can find out more on the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/4haverchange

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Woman injured in Castlemartin cliff fall

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A WOMAN suffered injuries after falling when climbing at Linney Head near Castlemartin.

Coastguards were called after the fall near Linney Head at about 4pm last Friday (Aug 17).

Tenby Coastguard Rescue team were paged to assist St Govan Coastguard Rescue team in a rescue operation which lasted two-and-a-half hours.

The area needed to be assessed for a suitable helicopter landing site to enable Coastguard Rescue helicopter 187 to land on site.

The casualty suffered leg injuries and was airlifted from the cliff and flown to Withybush hospital, where she continues to receive further treatment.

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Haverfordwest: Your Health, Your Wealth event returns

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HAVERFORDWEST will be the location for the second Your Health, Your Wealth money advice and wellbeing event to be held in Pembrokeshire on Friday, September 7.

More than a dozen local and national organisations have already signed up to take part in the pop-up advice shop at Unit 5, Riverside Shopping Centre between 10.30am and 1pm.

Attendees will receive the latest information on how to save money, manage changing welfare payments and pick up tips on how to stay fit and well as the winter approaches.

The event will run alongside the first Farmer’s Market of September in the town centre. Everyone attending will receive an official event booklet detailing money saving tips, healthy living ideas and essential contact information for local organisations, and be entered into a prize draw.

Eluned Morgan AM said: “Low unemployment rates don’t necessarily signal a strong economy. The reality is that finances are still tight for thousands of families in Pembrokeshire. Household incomes are under pressure as the cost of living and heating our homes continues to rise.

“That is why setting up this pop up, one-stop advice shop with local organisations who can offer the very best advice on how to live well. The Citizens Advice Bureau, Age Cymru, PAVS Community Connectors, Pembrokeshire Trading Standards, Macmillan Cancer Support, the DPJ Foundation and many others will be there.”

Pembrokeshire people in and out of work who are in receipt of benefits will be able to apply for Universal Credit soon, including self-employed people or those considering self-employment.

The Department of Work and Pensions have also been invited to attend to explain how benefit changes will affect local residents with Universal Credit set to roll out from September 5.

Eluned continued: “For many people, especially those on lower incomes, the changing benefits system and the increasing cost of living is making life much more stressful and that isn’t good for our health. I’ve recently met with Martin Lewis, the money saving expert, who agrees that not enough is being done to help people manage their money, and is concerned about the impact on peoples mental health. This is why I’ve been so keen to organise these events right across the region.”

Eluned Morgan will be holding an advice surgery during the event, where local residents can talk to her about a particular issue in their community or ask a question about the role of the National Assembly for Wales.

A full list of the organisations taking part can be found on Eluned Morgan’s Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/ElunedMorganAM

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