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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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Rider of a motorbike taken to hospital following collision with a car

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A COLLISION which involved a car and a motorbike on Friday afternoon (Jun 18) saw one person being transferred to hospital.

Dyfed-Powys Police have confirmed that the collision, which happened at approximately 1.17pm at Dwrbach, Scleddau, involved a white Seat Ibiza and a black Suzuki motorbike.

The Herald understands that the accident happened at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

The incident caused the road to be closed while emergency services dealt with the situation.

The rider of the motorbike was transferred to Glangwili Hospital for treatment.

A Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a two vehicle road traffic collision which occurred in Scleddau, Fishguard early Friday afternoon, June18th 2021.

“The collision involved a white Seat Ibiza and a black Suzuki motorbike. The rider of the motorbike was taken to hospital.

“The road was closed for emergency services to deal with the collision.”

A rapid response vehicle and an ambulance were dispatched to the scene.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called to attend a road traffic collision involving a motorcycle at Dwrbach, Fishguard at 1.17pm on Friday 18 June. We sent one rapid response vehicle and one emergency ambulance. One patient was taken to Glangwili Hospital for further treatment.”

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Residents urged to be alert to Covid-19 symptoms following cluster of cases

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PUBLIC HEALTH WALES, Pembrokeshire County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board are urging members of the public to be alert to COVID-19 symptoms following the identification of a cluster of cases in the Tenby area.

The 22 confirmed cases are linked to social and sporting events and local schools and have generated a large number of contactssince the first cases were confirmed on Saturday, 12 June. 

A number of individuals, including pupils, are currently isolating and close contacts of the positive cases continue to be traced.

From Monday 21 June to Sunday 4 July, a mobile testing unit will be available for local residents in and around Tenby to access if they have symptoms.

This is based at Salterns Car Park, Marsh Road, Tenby, SA70 8DU.  To book a test visit the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ring 119.

Residents can protect themselves and others from Coronavirus by remaining at least two metres away from everyone else, washing their hands regularly, and by wearing a face covering where required. 

The virus disperses in a well ventilated environment, so opening windows and allowing fresh air to circulate is another way to keep ourselves safe.

Residents should take up the vaccine when offered, and self-isolate and get a test if they or anyone in their household develop symptoms.

As well as the three most common symptoms of Coronavirus – a fever, a new continuous cough, or a loss/change of taste and smell – people with any of the following, wider symptoms that are persistent and/or unusual for them are also strongly encouraged to get a PCR test:

  • Mild summer cold symptoms – including sore throat, runny nose, headache
  • Flu-like symptoms, including myalgia (muscle ache or pain); excessive tiredness; persistent headache; runny nose or blocked nose; persistent sneezing; sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Generally feeling unwell and a history of being in contact with a known COVID-19 case
  • Any new or change in symptoms following a previous negative test

If you have any of the above symptoms, even if you have been vaccinated, please stay home and book a PCR test through the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ringing 119.

When booking your PCR test, you will also be asked about your symptoms: if you have wider summer cold or flu-like symptoms as described above, rather than the classic three symptoms, choose ‘None of these symptoms’ and then choose one of the following options to enable you to complete the booking:

• My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms or

• A GP or other healthcare professional has asked me to get a test.

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Paul Davies submits views to Health Board Consultation

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Senedd Member Paul Davies has fed his views into Hywel Dda University Health Board’s consultation, “Building a Healthier Future after Covid-19.”

In response to the Health Board’s proposals, Mr Davies has made it clear that he opposes any movements to centralise or downgrade services at Withybush hospital.

Mr Davies said, “I cannot emphasise how important this consultation is and so I’d urge everyone across Pembrokeshire to read through the Health Board’s proposals and make their views known. In my submission, I’ve made it crystal clear that the people of Pembrokeshire should not have to travel further for vital health services.

“I want to see Hywel Dda start prioritising Pembrokeshire by investing in services at Withybush hospital so that it can support people living and working across the county.

“There’s still time to feed into the consultation and have your say on the Health Board’s plans. The deadline is Monday, June 21 and you can find more information here – https://www.haveyoursay.hduhb.wales.nhs.uk/building-a-healthier-future-after-covid-19.” 

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