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Dyfed-Powys Police to take part in national knife amnesty

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is cracking down on illegal possession of knives as part of Operation Sceptre, a national a week of action that runs from September 18 to 24.

The aim of the week is to increase awareness about the dangers of carrying knives and the laws around buying and selling knives and blades.

Knife amnesty bins will also be placed around the force area for people to hand over knives or blades.

Using intelligence, officers will target people who think its ok to carry a knife in public, and action will be taken if anyone is found with one in their possession without a valid reason for carrying it.

The force wants to educate people about the laws surrounding buying and carrying knives and will be working with partners such as Trading Standards and Crimestoppers to combat the issue.

Superintendent for specialist operations Craig Templeton said: “Carrying a knife is a crime which brings that added risk that a minor issue can escalate into something much more serious and potentially life changing.

“The damage caused by knives, not just to the victim and their families, but also to the wider community, can be devastating. We will be doing all we can to spread the message that carrying a knife is not ok.

“We are keen to reach out to members of the public who may have information about knife carriers, and I would encourage anyone with information to have the confidence to come forward and report it by calling 101.”

During the week, officers will be using their powers to stop and search individuals who are believed to be carrying knives. Educational visits to schools, colleges and youth clubs are also planned, to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying knives among young people and their teachers.

Shops and businesses are being asked to put in robust controls on the sale of blades, such as kitchen knives, as part of the operation.

Supt Templeton said: “While Dyfed-Powys has not experienced the high volume of knife-related incidents seen in other forces, we will be supporting our police colleagues nationally by taking part in Operation Sceptre.

“We will work with residents, partner agencies, the business community and schools to reduce the number of knives on our streets.”

A knife amnesty will run from Tuesday, September 18 to Monday, September 24, with amnesty bins located at certain police stations around the force. No questions will be asked at the point of surrender, and no paperwork will be taken.

For more information about Operation Sceptre and the laws around carrying knives, visit www.dyfed-powys.police.uk.

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Cleddau Bridge Hotel fire started deliberately

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A RESPONSE to a Freedom of Information Act request made by Llanion councillor Joshua Beynon reveals that the fire which devastated the Cleddau Bridge Hotel on March 30 this year was arson.

The blaze followed a protracted period during which the hotel had been empty following the refusal of a planning application for change of use to residential accommodation.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that investigators have now concluded the fire investigation regarding the fire that took place at the Cleddau Bridge Hotel on March 30, 2019.

“The investigation determined that the fire was started deliberately, and all relevant information has duly been passed on to Dyfed Powys Police.”

The Herald has asked Dyfed Powys Police to comment on the progress of its investigation.

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No prosecutions in Pembroke Dock grant fraud allegations

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MORE than five years since allegations of impropriety in publicly-funded building restoration grants were taken up by the police, the local force tells Pembrokeshire County Council chief executive, Ian Westley, in a letter circulated to councillors: “The Crown Prosecution Service has determined that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against any of the suspects.”

More details to follow – the matter will also be discussed at this Thursday’s full council meeting.

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Fishguard school last in Wales without broadband

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CHILDREN in a school in Fishguard are excited about next term before the summer holidays have even begun.

Ysgol Llanychllwydog is the last school in Wales without broadband.

The pupils sometimes have to wait half an hour for pages to load. Sometimes videos won’t play. Now the school is looking forward to an ultra-fast future, and for the head teacher the changes cannot come quickly enough.

Currently when the internet goes down Amanda Lawrence has to drive 10 minutes to her other school to send an email to report it.

“It’s frustrating. There are lots of schools that are able to use schemes where you can plan electronically, but it’s difficult for staff here to do that,” she said.

As part of a scheme to target hard-to-reach places, fibre optic cable is being laid along a 15-mile route from Haverfordwest.

Matt Lovegrove, who works for Openreach, admitted it had been ‘a massive challenge’.

He said: “We’ve had to plough 1.5 miles of new trench to put new duct in, we’ve had to put new poles and had to span the cable between 50 poles as well, so a real variety of challenges.

“The product is limitless in terms of speed. It’s gigabit capable, that means they can download music, interactive learning et cetera, and it will be instant for them.”

The wider community will also benefit from the upgrade, he said. “We are looking to work with local government and residents to expand that fibre footprint to as much of the village as possible.”

“They’ll be able to access the high speed broadband and again get all the benefits from that.”

The last school in Wales without broadband

Broadband is a Welsh Government priority. It’s invested £13.8m in school broadband.

But Llanarchllwydog has been a tough nut. It’s taken the efforts of Welsh and UK governments to bring broadband.

“Because of the challenging topography, that we are familiar with, it has taken rather a long time to make sure that every school is equipped with the broadband speeds that they need,” said Welsh education minister Kirsty Williams.

“This means that schools will have the external infrastructure that they need to deliver our exciting new curriculum and I hope to be making an announcement shortly on further investment on kit and equipment inside schools.”

The work is being done through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) £200m Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme.

DCMS minister Margot James MP agrees cooperation between the two governments has helped deliver the project.

“That’s not the end of it for Wales,” Ms James said.

“The other aspects of the rural gigabit connectivity programme is that we are using that £200 million to bring full fibre to local public buildings like hospitals and schools so that they get the gigabit connectivity first.”

The cable has now reached the telegraph post outside the school. The final work will happen over summer.

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