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Police £1m cannabis haul

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Cannabis-1-6164391Dyfed-Powys Police is urging landlords and members of the public to be on the lookout for people using premises for illegal activity, following events which lead them to unexpectedly to stumple upon a cannabis factory.

Stunned officers were dealing with a complaint about the theft of clothes from charity bags in Milford Haven on Friday.
Enquiries at various flats nearby to the complaint led to police knocking at one particular door. It was opened quietly by an East-Asian looking man. Police were suprised to see that he was standing in a ‘forest’ of cannabis plants, estimated to be worth over £350,000
A police spokesman said “a male – who is not local to the area – was arrested for the offences of the cultivation and production of cannabis in Milford Haven this week.”
The property, beleived to be close to The Torch Theatre, had been let by R Miles Scurlock Estate Agents in Milford Haven.
The Herald contacted a spokesman from the company by telephone, who said: “A man who told us he was Chinese rented a flat from us a few months back. We acted as agents for the owner. He paid his deposit and rent upfront in cash with no problems at all. He told us that he was staying in the area with a view to opening a Chinese restaurant or takeaway.”
“He was very quiet and kept himself to himself. It turns out now that he was not Chinese at all.”
The arrest followed the discovery of another property in Haverfordwest last week where a similar set up was discovered. This time there was no one at the premises to arrest.
The total amount of cannabis seized in the two raids is estimated to be worth over £1million.
The police told The Herald: “At this stage we are not considering the offences to be linked”
To help combat this and in order to warn and inform the public, police are asking communities to be vigilant with suspect properties:
Mostly terraced – one out of five detached – also industrial units
Limited signs of daily activity
Infrequent calls
Curtains/ blinds closed
Gardens overgrown.
Detective Sergeant Mark Richards said: “When criminals operate out of properties the whole community suffers but it can also result in personal loss for a landlord. Tenants using the property illegally will often reduce the property value, cause damage and not pay rent.
“We are urging landlords and neighbours to be aware of signs which could indicate criminal activity and if they are at all suspicious to tell us and we can help them address the issues.”
Properties used in this type of criminal activity can also have:
Strong smell of chemicals and empty containers left outside
Residents bringing unusual equipment such as sophisticated lighting
Extreme property fortification.
DS Mark Richards added: “Although this is not a significant issue for Dyfed-Powys Police and there are no specific community concerns, we still want to highlight a variety of the signs – which can be present at any one time – as they relate to different types of drug production.
“Other signs are tenants paying rent in advance in cash, tenants preventing landlords from visiting the premises and willingness for tenants to pay for expensive exterior fortifications.”
However, the construction of these ‘factories’ often involves interference with the properties electrical installation, which carries an obvious fire risk and risk of electrocution to future tenants, or unaware visitors. Police are urging members of the public to be aware of the risk and not to investigate themselves – anyone wanting more advice or who has any information can contact their local police station via 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

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Police Tasered teenager in Hakin following car theft

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A SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD boy who resisted arrest after stealing a vehicle and driving it around Glebelands in Hakin in the middle of the night had to be Tasered, police have said.

The Herald understands that police were called after the teenager took a white car at 3am and started doing loops around the estate. Police units moved in blocking off side roads to keep the vehicle within a confined area, and finally he was arrested and taken into custody.

Some residents in the street who had been woken up by the incident contacted this newspaper.
The boy was not hurt.

A witness said: “The police wanted him detained but he was having none of it, chopsing the police. Next minute they fired and he fell straight to the floor like a log, but not before he had been chased through someone’s garden.”

“He was acting extremely aggressively and I think the police had no option.”

A spokesperson for Dyfed Powys Police told The Pembrokeshire Herald in a prepared statement: A 17-year-old male was arrested in Glebelands in Hakin on suspicion of aggravated taking a vehicle without owner’s consent, driving without a licence and driving without insurance, at around 3.35am on Friday, 16 October.

The male resisted arrest and was Tasered to prevent him causing any injury to himself or members of the public.

He did not require any medical attention.

He has been charged to appear at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on November 6.

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Vulnerable man targeted by rogue trader

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A ROGUE trader has been ordered to pay almost £2,000 by a court after carrying out shocking DIY work for a vulnerable Jameston man.

Pembrokeshire Trading Standards prosecuted 20-year-old Douggie James Whitbread who traded as Wales and West Property Solution.

Haverfordwest Magistrates were told on Friday (Oct 23) that a joint investigation with Dyfed-Powys Police discovered that Whitbread of 8 Coldwell Terrace, Pembroke, first approached the 66-year-old victim in the summer of 2019.

After agreeing to cut the man’s grass, Whitbread made regular accompanied visits looking for other jobs and pressurising the pensioner to have them done.

The victim did not know him as Douggie Whitbread as the defendant gave a false name.

Whitbread offered to fit new floor lino in the toilet and small adjoining passageway of the victim’s home, saying he would do a good job. Instead, the court heard, he and a fellow worker spent less than an hour and charged £300.

The standard of the work was shocking and showed Whitbread’s inept ability. Jagged edges and numerous gaps were left where it had not been fitted correctly, exposing the existing floor underneath.

Despite there being enough lino on the two metre by two metre roll, Whitbread told the victim he needed more to finish the job.

A few weeks later the victim was approached by Whitbread at a bus stop near his home. He said he would return the next day to finish the work and that he wanted another £300.

The victim informed a neighbour and Pembrokeshire County Council’s Trading Standards team and when Whitbread returned he was arrested by police.

Whitbread was also questioned about another incident involving hedge-cutting for an elderly lady and admitted taking away the waste as advertised on his business flyer. However, he did not hold a Waste Carrier Licence at the time.

Whitbread admitted four offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. These were: carrying out work not fit for purpose; trading without professional diligence; omitting to give required information for doorstep contracts and advertising and conducting waste removal services when not licensed.

A £200 fine was imposed for each offence together with £1,000 costs plus a £110 victim surcharge. A compensation order for £300 was also awarded to the victim and a restraining order imposed prohibiting Whitbread from approaching the pensioner indefinitely.

“I am appalled by the standard of work and how this vulnerable gentleman has been hounded and taken advantage of” said Sandra McSparron, Lead Trading Standards Officer. She added that the incidents had left the victim anxious and unwell.

The County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Cris Tomos, said: “This court case sends a clear warning to rogue traders that targeting the elderly and vulnerable for financial gain will not be tolerated. We will pursue and prosecute all those who commit such despicable crimes.”

Councillor Tomos also said the case showed the great community spirit of Jameston residents looking out for one another and was a fine example of successful partnership work between the police and Trading Standards.

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Drug driver arrested in Milford Haven after driving through stop sign and into roadworks

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A DRUG driver who drove through a stretch of roadworks on the wrong side of the road, before hitting a parked car and trying to hide from police has appeared in court.

Christopher John Brown led Dyfed-Powys Police officers on a pursuit through Milford Haven on Friday afternoon (October 23), putting pedestrians and other road users at risk.

Pembrokeshire Roads Policing Unit have thanked people for their help in tracing the 31-year-old, of Meyler Crescent, after the manner of his driving became so dangerous they could no longer follow him.

A Roads Policing Officer had attempted to stop Brown at around 1pm when he was seen driving out of The Mount estate at speed.

However, he failed to stop when requested and sped away in his BMW.

As police followed, Brown drove on the wrong side of the road, overtook a number of cars waiting at roadworks, and drove through a stop sign, forcing an off duty officer to take evasive action as the defendant drove towards him.

Police deemed the danger level too high to continue the pursuit when Brown drove through a coned area of roadworks where there were a number of people working.

At this point, members of the public pointed out to officers which direction he had driven in.

Brown went on to collide with a parked car, before getting out of his vehicle and attempting to hide behind another. He was found by a PC, who arrested him on suspicion of dangerous driving and administered a drug wipe.

A Pembrokeshire RPU spokesman said: “This was a highly dangerous incident, during which Brown put a number of people’s lives at risk.

“Driving through a stop sign and into a coned area of roadworks was simply beyond comprehension, and could have had a tragic outcome.

“As we decided to end the pursuit, we were assisted by a number of people, and the team would like to thank members of the public in Milford Haven for their help in tracing Brown.

“Your support is greatly appreciated.”

Brown was charged with dangerous driving, driving with no insurance, driving while disqualified, failing to stop when requested by police, and possession of cannabis.

His vehicle, which had no insurance, tax or mot, was also seized.

He was remanded to appear in front of the next available court, and admitted all five offences at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, October 24. He also pleaded guilty to an additional charge of driving whilst unfit through drugs, which was laid on at court.

He will be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on November 16.

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