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Over 900 caught on phone whilst driving

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phonewhiledrivingMORE than 900 motorists were caught using their mobile phones whilst behind the wheel during the 2014 All-Wales Anti- Mobile Phone While Driving Campaign last month. The two-week enforcement campaign, which ran between October 9 and 17, involved road safety partners and urged all road users to ‘keep their eyes on the road’ and not be distracted by answering their mobile phone, reading a text or going online. Officers from all four Welsh police forces carried out proactive patrols to target motorists who endangered other road users through this behaviour and educated drivers on the penalties they faced if caught.

Go Safe safety camera vans, that can also enforce mobile phone offences, were used during the campaign. During the campaign, officers detected a total of 914 mobile phone driving offences throughout Wales. North Wales Police issued 53 TORs (Traffic Offence Reports) while in the Gwent area a total of 72 fixed penalty notices were issued to law-breakers. In the Dyfed Powys force area 447 notices were given, while in South Wales 342 offenders were caught and apprehended. TOR’s have now replaced all endorsable fixed penalty notices which means the driver will be contacted with details of how their case will be dealt with – be it an offer of an educational course, a conditional offer of a fixed penalty and/or driving licence penalty points or an appearance at a Magistrates’ Court.

Chief Inspector Darren Wareing from North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said: “It is disappointing that so many drivers chose to ignore our warnings. Even the most experienced or competent of drivers can be easily distracted and a slight lapse in concentration can have serious consequences. Along with drink driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and driving carelessly, using a mobile phone behind the wheel, whether it be texting, using an app, or making a phone call is classed as one of the “Fatal 5”; the 5 most common causes of fatal road traffic collisions.

With the increased use of smart phones we are seeing drivers being distracted whilst accessing their apps, reading their emails or accessing the internet. Drivers need to be aware that these actions carry the same danger and the same penalty. This campaign is just one part of our continuing effort to target and reduce the number of drivers who risk becoming involved in a serious or fatal collision due to using a mobile phone while driving. This is not a seasonal effort – officers will continue to clamp down on drivers who risk their lives and the lives of others.”

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales and Road Safety Officer for Dyfed Powys Police added: “Driving while using a mobile phone is not only illegal but dangerous. It doesn’t just put your own life at risk but also the lives of your passengers and other road users who may not have a say in your actions behind the wheel. While it’s saddening to see that so many motorists got caught using a mobile phone whilst driving it has also demonstrated the resolve of all the Road Safety Wales partners in tackling this issue and we will continue to work together to drive home the message that you need to switch off before you drive off.” During the two-week campaign officers also detected other offences whilst carrying out checks – including 113 offences of speeding, 64 offences of failing to wear a seatbelt, five offences of no insurance, four disqualified drivers and 31 arrests were made for drink/ drug driving offences.

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Blue Gem Wind begins digital aerial surveys for 300MW Valorous floating wind project

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BLUE GEM WIND, the joint venture between TotalEnergies, one of the world’s largest energy companies, and Simply Blue Energy, has begun offshore digital aerial surveys for a proposed 300MW floating wind project.

APEM Ltd have been chosen by Blue Gem Wind to deliver 24 consecutive monthly bird and marine mammal surveys of the early-commercial scale Valorous site. The high resolution data obtained will support baseline environmental characterisation of the site and environmental impact assessments for key ecological receptors.

The survey programme commenced in March 2021 and four of the 24 monthly surveys have been completed
to date.

Sean Evans, Environmental Specialist at Blue Gem Wind said, “It is important for us to begin long-lead in items
such as bird and marine mammal surveys as early as possible. These surveys will provide crucial species specific
data on the number, spatial distribution and activity of individuals across the Valorous site. This enables us to
undertake robust environmental impact assessments ahead of our planned consent application submission in
2023.”

Matt Rohner, Senior Consultant at APEM, “APEM Ltd are delighted to be able to support Blue Gem Wind’s
proposed Valorous offshore wind farm with our best-in-class survey design approach. Imagery captured using
state-of-the-art cameras is of ultra-high (1.6cm) resolution, providing industry leading image quality that is
essential for species level identification.”

The Celtic Sea is poised to play a key role in Net Zero, the Committee on Climate Change’s 100GW offshore
wind target, and crucially, the UK Government’s target of 1 GW of floating wind by 2030. The ORE Catapult also
estimated that the first GW of floating wind in the Celtic Sea could potentially deliver over 3,000 jobs and
£682m in supply chain opportunities for Wales and Cornwall by 2030.

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Three arrests as suspected cocaine worth £12,000 seized in Milford Haven

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POLICE in Milford Haven have disrupted the supply of cocaine in the town in a major operation which saw people detained and a large quantity of drugs found.

Three people were arrested and suspected cocaine worth up to £12,200 was seized, police said.

Dyfed-Powys Police carried out a warrant at a house in Hubberston on the evening of Friday, June 11, “where 122g of what is believed to be cocaine was found.”

This is estimated to have a street value of between £9,760 and £12,200 depending on its purity.

The occupant of the address – a 59-year-old man – was not present at the time, however he was later arrested on suspicion of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.

He has been released under investigation pending the result of forensic, digital and financial enquiries.

As enquiries progressed, officers made two further arrests over the weekend.

A 33-year-old man from Manchester, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possession of an offensive weapon after police stopped the car he was driving.

A quantity of white powder was seized by Greater Manchester Police during a warrant at the address he gave officers in custody.

A 27-year-old woman from the Stockport area was also arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

Both have been released on bail with the condition not to enter Pembrokeshire.

Detective Constable Phillip Jones said: “This was a significant drugs seizure, and we will continue our enquiries with the view to securing a swift outcome.

“I would like to thank all officers involved over the weekend for their dedication and diligence.”

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Major blaze destroys well known Tenby chip shop

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EMERGENCY services have sealed off part of Tenby following a major fire at a chip shop.

Fire fighters rushed to Park Road Fish & Chip Shop after a blaze broke out late on Tuesday morning (Jun 15).

Emergency services are still at the scene. Police are asking people to avoid the area.

Diversions for traffic are in place.

Four fire appliances responded to the blaze at the Tenby chip shop (Image G Davies Photography)
Fire fighters take off BA kits after the blaze was put out (Image G Davies Photography)

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