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Police use live data to track traffic hotspots

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POLICE are using live data to track the busiest areas across Wales as six times more bikers take to the roads over summer weekends.

Technology under trunk roads across the country is feeding police with patterns of vehicle movements as they happen, allowing officers to be strategically placed at traffic hotspots.

Figures issued by Dyfed-Powys Police show that over the past two weekends, there have been six times more bikers on the roads compared with weekdays.

With a concern that increased traffic could result in higher numbers of collisions, police have adopted a combination of technology-led and traditional enforcement tactics to reduce this risk.

This approach has already seen a drop in the number of collisions involving motorbikes.

Chief Inspector Tom Sharville said: “With the recent easing of lockdown restrictions on travel in Wales, we have seen a significant but not surprising increase of bikers using our roads over the past two weekends.

“If you compare the numbers we’ve seen on the roads over the past two weekends – around 22,000 on the first Saturday, rising to nearly 27,000 on the Sunday – with an average weekday of about 4,500 bikes in a day, we’re looking at six times as many bikers on the road.

“The number of collisions involving bikes during the first weekend saw a demand on resources that had not been there in previous weekends during lockdown.

“To combat this, we’ve been looking at different ways of working to ensure the safety of bikers, who are our most vulnerable group of road users.”

A joint approach to roads policing will continue to be taken by Dyfed-Powys Police, the three other Welsh forces and the Welsh Government in coming weeks, as road safety campaign Operation Darwen is in full swing.

Live time data from loop sensors beneath trunk roads is broken down to the location of motorbikes and fed to Roads Policing Unit supervisors. This allows them to swiftly deploy high visibility resources to areas with the highest concentration of bikers.

The use of technology to plot police vehicles is also being used simultaneously with North Wales Police to monitor where available officers are located, so they can be deployed with maximum impact.

CI Sharville said: “Op Darwen is not about targeting bikers, or trying to catch them out – rather it focusses on ensuring the safety of riders in Wales.

“It is a fluid operation, with plans changing as we keep an eye on conditions such as the weather forecast, and officers being quickly moved across the force area to meet demand.

“Using a combination of technology and traditional enforcement tactics, we are able to ensure a high visibility presence in the area it’s most needed and increasing the safety of bikers and drivers.

“This way of working reduced the number of collisions involving bikers from five the weekend before last to just one last weekend.

“We will continue to be flexible in our approach to roads policing, and through our joint approach with partners help to keep all road users safe this summer.”

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Monkton man with ‘no regard for the law’ jailed for two attempted robberies

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A MAN who threatened to stab a vulnerable victim just a day after trying to commit a robbery against a stranger has been jailed.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers arrested 29-year-old Jamie Rawlinson 20 minutes after receiving a report that he’d threatened to stab a stranger on June 26.

The victim reported that Rawlinson, of Colley Court, in Monkton, had approached him outside his home and held a sharp object to his chest.

The victim managed to get inside his house safely, and called the police.

Rawlinson was arrested 20 minutes later and taken to police custody, where he was interviewed the following day, and released on bail with conditions while officers carried out enquiries.

But just hours later, he was under arrest for a second time.

Detective Sergeant Tanya Rendell said: “The suspect was released on bail with stringent conditions to comply to while we carried out an investigation into the offence. There were a number of enquiries we needed to progress, which would take longer than we would have been able to keep him in custody. Despite the conditions imposed the suspect clearly had no regard for the law or the conditions imposed, and with less than three hours after being released, went on to commit another attempted robbery, this time against a vulnerable man who was known to him.

“The pair had met at a friend’s house and had gone for a walk, when they ended up in an alleyway.

“The victim was physically assaulted – punched and kicked – and was threatened that he would be stabbed if he didn’t give Rawlinson £40 and tobacco.”

PCSOs on patrol saw the victim and took him to a place of safety. Rawlinson, who was still in the area was arrested following this.

He was charged with two counts of attempt robbery and appeared at Swansea Crown Court, where he was sentenced to six years in prison.

DS Rendell said: “This was a swift an comprehensive investigation, involving officers from a number of teams. Evidence was captured by Neighbourhood Policing Teams at the scene, which was followed up with house-to-house and CCTV enquiries, as well as work from the dog unit, CID and firearms officers.

“This excellent teamwork secured the evidence needed to get a charge, conviction and a prison sentence for a man who is clearly a danger to the community.”

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Surge in reports of personal watercraft incidents on the South Pembrokeshire Coast

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THE NATIONAL PARK is appealing for riders of personal watercraft to consider the impact of their activities on other visitors and wildlife following a recent rise in reported incidents.

Launching the small jet-powered boats has already been banned in a number of locations around the Pembrokeshire Coast due to the actions of irresponsible riders and the noise nuisance generated by the crafts.

Recent reports include a personal watercraft weaving at high speed through the moorings close to the shore in Dale and a near miss with a kayaker in Freshwater East.

Park Authority Chief Executive, Tegryn Jones said: “Noisy, intrusive activities such as personal watercraft riding are not generally welcome on the Pembrokeshire Coast due to their impact on the special qualities of the National Park.

“Peace and tranquillity are some of key things that our residents and visitors value and perhaps more importantly our rare and protected wildlife depends on it. One inconsiderate jet-powered craft user has the potential to ruin the day of hundreds of other people.

“High visitor numbers mean many people are taking to the water in various vessels and kayaks and stand up paddleboards are particularly vulnerable to being overturned by the heavy wakes generated by personal watercraft.

“We are urging people to stick to the dedicated aquabatics zones on the Milford Haven Waterway and follow the ‘dead slow’ and minimum wake guidelines that are in place around beaches, harbours and other people.”

Anyone heading out into the water around the Pembrokeshire Coast is reminded to read and follow the Pembrokeshire Marine Code to minimise any disturbance to wildlife and to enable you to have the best experience possible.

Further information and maps highlighting the dedicated personal watercraft and aquabatics zones on the Milford Haven Waterway is available from the Port of Milford Haven website: https://www.mhpa.co.uk/powered-craft/.

To find out how you can minimise disturbance to wildlife while enjoying the waters around the Pembrokeshire Coast visit the Pembrokeshire Marine Code website: https://www.pembrokeshiremarinecode.org.uk/.

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Johnston: Police appeal after boy on scooter injured in collision

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POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a collision in Johnston, near Haverfordwest, on Wednesday (Aug 5).

A boy on a scooter sustained minor injuries during the collision, which took place at around 4.20pm.

A red 4×4 is also believed to have been involved.

Anyone who was in the area of the St Peters Road pelican crossing, or nearby Langford road, and either witnessed the collision or who has CCTV that covers this area is asked to get in touch with Dyfed-Powys Police

As spokesman said: “You can telephone 101 or email contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired you can text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Please quote Dyfed-Powys Police Ref DP-20200805-249.”

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