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Drink and drug driving still a problem in the local police area, say cops

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A THIRD of all people arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police last weekend were suspected of drink or drug driving, as roads policing officers crack down on dangerous drivers.

The force has revealed that its Roads Policing Unit officers arrested 20 people on suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol over a three day period (Friday, September 25 – Sunday, September 27).

This accounts for a third of all arrests across the four divisions over the weekend.

Breaking the figures down, the force says 11 of the people arrested were suspected to have illegal substances in their system at the time of driving, while nine were suspected to be over the alcohol limit.

Inspector for Specialist Operations Andy Williams said: “Unfortunately, we have seen a dramatic rise in arrests over the past 12 months, with the number of drug driving incidents surpassing drink driving.

“We are putting this down to increased detection rates, and the highly proactive work of our Roads Policing Unit officers across the force, who are doing all they can to ensure these dangerous drivers are taken off the road.”

Looking at the picture across the force area for last weekend, Powys saw the highest number of suspected drink or drug driving incidents, with more than half of all arrests across the division (56 per cent) being made for these offences.

Drink or drug driving accounted for 30 per cent of the weekend’s arrests in Pembrokeshire, 29 per cent of arrests in Ceredigion, and 19 per cent of arrests in Carmarthenshire.

Insp Williams explained when drivers would be tested for having alcohol or drugs in their system.

“There are various scenarios in which we have cause to carry out a drug swipe or breath test,” he said.

“We might pull a vehicle over due to the way it is being driven, if it shows on our system as having no tax or insurance, or if it has been involved in a crash.

“Officers are well attuned to the signs that a driver could be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and closely monitor the behaviour of the driver in these situations.

“They make an assessment on whether a test is needed, and just like doing a breath test at the roadside, they can carry out a drug wipe which will give an indication within minutes that someone has an illegal substance in their system.

“If this is the case, they are taken to custody where a blood sample is taken for analysis and use in subsequent prosecutions.”

The weekend’s drug drive arrests saw positive indications of drivers with cocaine and cannabis in their system, with male and female drivers ranging from 18 to 55 old arrested.

Inspector Williams issued a reminder that by driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you put your own life and the lives of other road users at risk.

“One incident over the weekend saw officers respond to reports of a collision in Powys where a car had landed on its roof,” he said.

“The driver was displaying behaviour which indicated that he had taken drugs, so a test was carried out once officers we drug swiped, with a positive reading at the roadside.

“Fortunately he was not seriously injured, but the outcome could have been very different.”

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The current lockdown in Wales will end on November 9, despite the expected measures for England

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THE 17-DAY Fire-break lockdown in Wales will still end on November 9, regardless of a potential lockdown in England, the Welsh Government is insisting.

The confirmation comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering new national lockdown measures for England, after scientists warned that half a million people were being infected with coronavirus each week.

Mr Johnson is expected to announce the measures for England, some national newspapers, including The Time, have said.

In England, everything except essential shops and education settings could be closed under the new measures but no final decisions are believed to have been made.

Health minister Vaughan Gething said: “We’ve been clear that we’re acting at this point, we’re acting to have a definitive fire-break. We’ll see the benefit of that come after the fire break ends.

“We’ve also been very clear with the new national set of rules we’ll have, we all need to do our bit and we as a government have a continuing responsibility to look at what’s happening and act on the basis of the evidence.”

“We won’t hesitate to act further if the situation demands it, but the plan is to reach 2021 without further intervention.

“We want to get to the end of the year, but if we need to act further before the end of the year then, of course, we’ll be prepared to do so.
Gething could not completely rule out another lockdown in Wales before January – he said: “None of us can know where exactly we’ll be in six weeks’ time let alone three months’ time.

“It would be foolish and just not honest to tell the public that we can rule out measures at some point in the future.”
He added: “In the future, we may have to act but this is what we think we can do if we all buy into a new way of living, to think of what we can do, to allow us all to get to the end of the year.

“And then, of course, we’ll have to reassess the position that we’re in.”

As we reported last week, another fire-break lockdown is likely in Wales in early January or February.

That is according to Deputy Economy and Transport Minister, Lee Waters, said the current firebreak was unlikely to be the last in Wales – with England “expected” to follow.

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales Sunday Supplement programme last week he said people should be prepared to come in and out of lockdowns until a Covid-19 vaccine is found.

He said: “This is not the last lockdown we are going to see the projections we published in a worst case scenario show it’s likely we are going to need another firebreak in January or
February.”

He added that Wales is now witnessing a second peak, with critical care admissions increasing by 57% this week alone, and that was why the Welsh Government has introduced this “short, sharp” intervention.”

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Electrician has ‘fallen from height’ at Neyland Community Hub

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EMERGENCY SERVICES are attending to an injured electrician who has fallen from a height at Neyland Community Hub, whist working on the project.

The air ambulance has been called and is now in Neyland, ready to medivac the casualty.

Cllr Paul Miller, Development Director at Neyland CIC said in a statement: “This afternoon one of our electrical contract staff has unfortunately fallen from height during the course of his work. He has been attended to on site by paramedics and is currently being prepared for “transfer to hospital by air ambulance.

“The thoughts of everyone at Neyland CIC are with him and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

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Local politician reacts to Corbyn’s suspension

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A LOCAL politician has commented on Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension from the Labour party.

With the announcement that former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the party, local parties have reacted.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who became leader in April, suspended predecessor Jeremy Corbyn from the party after Corbyn said the scale of it’s anti-Semitism problem had been dramaticall overstated.

In an official statement, Labour said that the suspension came after Corbyn’s failure to retract his words.

Jeremy Corby reacted to the suspension by stating he was going to strongly contest it, calling the move ‘political’.

Corbyn in Haverfordwest before election

Commenting on the news that Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour Party after an inquiry found the party was “responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” during his time in charge, Paul Davies MS, Leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Parliament said:

“Mark Drakeford was the first Senedd Member to back Jeremy Corbyn for leader of the Labour Party. He needs to confirm whether he supports Sir Keir Starmer in suspending Corbyn or if he backs his political idol.

“The Jewish community in Wales, alongside all those who have fought against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, deserve to know whether he’s with them or against them.”

The decision was made by Starmer following the publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) report.

Speaking on the findings, Starmer said the report had brought forward a day of shame for the Labour party.

The report found 23 instances of what they called ‘inappropriate involvement’ by Corbyn’s office – with the Labour party responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act.

These were: Failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism complaints, Harrassment and political interference in Anti-Semitism complaints.

Speaking on the suspension, Jeremy Corbyn said: “I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me. I’ve made absolutely clear that those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong.

“It’s also undeniable that a false impression has been created of the number of members accused of antisemitism, as polling shows: that is what has been overstated, not the seriousness of the problem.

“I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism. And I urge all members to stay calm and focused – while this problem is resolved amicably, as I believe it will be – to defeat this awful government, which is further impoverishing the poorest in our society.

The implementation of the recommendations following the report will be ‘as soon as possible in the New Year’ promises Sir Kier.

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