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Do you know how to safely get rid of an old kitchen knife?

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THAT’S the question from Dyfed-Powys Police during a national week of action to tackle knife crime.

The campaign, known as Operation Sceptre, runs from today (Monday, November 9) until Sunday (November 15) and aims to keep knives and blades out of circulation, while also increasing awareness about the dangers of carrying knives.

During the week, people are being encouraged to leave unwanted knives in amnesty bins at police stations across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys

The force also wants people to know how to safely dispose of knives and blades outside of the amnesty period, and to urge anyone involved in a household clearance, or those who would consider leaving knives at a charity shop, to instead bring them to a recycling centre for safe disposal.

Inspector Andrew Williams, said: “Dyfed-Powys remains a safe place to live, work and visit, and thankfully we don’t face the level of knife crime other areas see.

“For this campaign we are changing our approach to focus on keeping knives that could travel to other areas, out of criminal hands.

“It can be difficult to know the right thing to do with an old knife when you buy a new set, or inherit them from a relative.

“We want anyone involved in household clearances, people with elderly relatives, and charity shops, to know they can take unwanted or donated knives to the tip.”

The force is also encouraging a common sense approach to selling knives and blades, after credit card blades were handed in to them during a previous amnesty.

When officers visited a store in Haverfordwest, they were presented with a box containing 42 black plastic items around the size of a credit card.

On opening the card, a hidden blade was revealed which could lock in place.

Knives with a lockable blade are illegal to carry, so officers took the items away to be destroyed.

Insp Williams said: “Many types of blades are legal to sell, but have a questionable purpose.

“We will be working with retailers to discuss the law, and what is sensible.

“We will also be working with schools, colleges and youth clubs to reinforce the message about the dangers of carrying knives among young people.

“Carrying a knife is a crime which brings that added risk that a minor issue can escalate into something much more serious and potentially life changing.

“The damage caused by knives, not just to the victim and their families, but also to the wider community, can be devastating.

“We will be doing all we can to keep knives out of the wrong hands.

“While Dyfed-Powys has not experienced the high volume of knife-related incidents seen in other forces, we are supporting our police colleagues nationally by taking part in Operation Sceptre.

“Our force has a lower rate of knife crime than the national average – in the year ending March 2018, there were 31 crimes involving knives per 100,000 of the population in Dyfed-Powys.

“Across Wales, this figure stands at 37, and nationally there were 69 knife crimes per 100,000 people during the same period.”

Local stations taking part:

Haverfordwest Police Station
Pembroke Dock Station
Cardigan Police Station

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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