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Police commissioner puts more bobbies on the beat

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bobbysTHE HERALD spoke exclusively with the Police Commissioner for Dyfed Powys Police Force, Christopher Salmon. We asked him a number of questions that the public had forwarded to us, including what value he placed on his role: 

“Every day I bring rigorous scrutiny to the spending of public money that amounts to around £100m every year. I also offer 24/7 opportunities for the public to tell the Chief Constable through me what they want from the police who get the majority of that money. “Another important practice my office has brought to the criminal justice system is that of new thinking on behalf of the public. Without us, for instance, there would be no innovation such as our forthcoming mental health triage service. A partnership between Dyfed-Powys Police, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Powys Teaching Health Board and the Welsh Ambulance Service, means the units should be operational by this autumn.”A key area, according to the remit of the Police Commissioner’s role, is that of holding the Police Force to account. Mr Salmon explained how he was performing this task. “Every week I meet the Chief Constable formally. This is an opportunity for him to get my views on what the public want and for me to scrutinise the activities of the police. My new Residents” Panel is just one good example of how I’m positively influencing Dyfed-Powys Police. This is a team of volunteers I’ve recruited to independently scrutinise the police complaints process. With an inquiring and analytical approach, they study public complaint files and recommend improvements to the force’s processes. “The people of Pembrokeshire must trust the police, and one way of building that trust is for the public themselves to scrutinise the complaints process. One of my priorities is professionalism and that extends to the recruitment process. Dyfed-Powys Police is going through a workforce restructuring process right now and the Chief Constable, who employs that workforce, very much wants the right people with the right skills in the right jobs. “I encourage all good people with a professional, public-focused outlook to consider joining the force as an officer, PCSO or member of the civilian support staff. We also have some superb volunteer opportunities, including for Special Constable posts. This web page is a good read http:// www.dyfed-powys.police.uk/en/jointhe- police/police-staff.” Many Pembrokeshire residents, particularly parents, are very concerned about the alarming issue of legal highs, an area in which the Commissioner had a clear message. “I urge parents and pupils to find out more about substance misuse on this website – www.schoolbeat.org. New legal highs frequently contain substances that are not legal and canít be assumed safe. These substances have not been properly tested for toxicity so there is no way of telling how it will affect you. “I am well aware that in May a number of pupils were treated at Pembroke School after a reaction to a psychoactive substance. That was potentially dangerous to those involved and disturbing for their families. Police officers visited the school to provide advice, support and reassurance. If you’re concerned about any substance please make the police aware of your worries.” The Herald wanted to know the importance of crime statistics, and as to whether Christopher Salmon believed these to be significant in the fight against crime. “The important thing about us creating 30 new police officers posts around Dyfed-Powys is not statistics but confidence. The public constantly tell me they want more bobbies on the beat so thatís what I’ve given them. Right now a great deal simply isnít brought to the forceís attention for a number of reasons. Dyfed-Powys remains a low-crime region and, although crime fighting shouldnít be driven by statistics, I do hope the public take some comfort in the figures as they stand. “I also hope that police officers, who do a difficult job, are encouraged. My strategy is to not set targets but to raise confidence levels in our communities. I want to keep communities safe from crime, to protect vulnerable people and to bring people to justice. In Dyfed-Powys there are more bobbies on the beat for a start and the policy at police stations these days is: “When we’re in, we’re open!” Whilst I want officers out and about in local communities, some people still visit them in our stations. I want the public to be more aware than ever of how they can meet or speak to police officers. “You can access the police easily – in person at local meetings or briefings or by visiting a station, or by calling 101 and asking to speak to the local neighbourhood team. You can also find your nearest police station and news of officer activity on the force’s smartphone app. I have high hopes of two new services which I’ve just commissioned. Welsh business Gr’p Gwalia has won a contract to reduce antisocial behaviour across Dyfed- Powys and the charity Hafan Cymru has won a contract to reduce youth offending here. Gwalia will identify and manage risk to people who have experienced antisocial behaviour. “Hafan, with a close focus on substance misuse and domestic abuse, will work with youths who are either at risk of offending or have already done so. With substance misuse and domestic abuse often being factors in the lives of such individuals, Hafan’s project will address such issues. “I also urge Herald readers to take my latest quick-fire survey which lets me know how theywould like minor misdemeanours to be punished. Simply go to www.bit.ly/ DPCRsurvey , phone 01267 226457 or request a form by writing to OPCC, PO Box 99, Llangunnor, Carmarthen, SA31 2PF. The survey closes on July 18”. Finally we asked what were his priorities over the rest of his term, to which he responded: “My priorities remain the same as they have done since I was elected by the people of Dyfed-Powys preventing and dealing with crime; protecting vulnerable people; bringing people to justice; enhancing access to the police; ensuring high standards of professionalism and; spending wisely.”

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Meet the Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor

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A NEW Pembrokeshire business is proving to be an inspiration for young people after its recent launch.

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor is the brainchild of Ewan Griffiths, who turned his dream into reality thanks to the advice and support of Cam Nesa.

The project aims to reduce the number of young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, training or employment.

Before signing up to Cam Nesa, Ewan was out of work and struggling for direction, and anxiety was preventing him from maximising his potential.

Throughout his journey with Cam Nesa, Ewan worked closely with youth worker Donna Wright to devise a plan that provided support and guidance to improve his confidence and self-esteem, and provide mechanisms for coping with anxiety.

In addition, the project provided Ewan with opportunities to gain qualifications and obtain information that would help him with starting his own business.

Ewan’s message to other young people is simple, “If you find yourself struggling, there is help.”

“Cam Nesa supported me in all aspects of my plan, and working with Donna was fantastic.”

“I would definitely encourage others to reach out for support.”

Donna Wright, who supported Ewan throughout his Cam Nesa journey, said that the launch of his new business is a great source of pride for Cam Nesa and Pembrokeshire Youth Service.

“Ewan has come on leaps and bounds, and it was his engagement and determination that has made his outcome with Cam Nesa so successful and inspiring”, she said.

“Congratulations Ewan on your achievements, and we all wish you good luck with your new business.”

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor provides repairs and servicing for mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, and most agricultural engines, with the mobile service providing collection and returns.

For more information, search ‘Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor’ on Facebook.

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Milford Haven: Mount estate death not being treated as suspicious say police

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POLICE have confirmed that following a welfare visit to a property in Mount Estate, they discovered a male occupant, in his 30’s, in need of medical help.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff he sadly passed away on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a property at the Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Friday 30th April 2021, following a report of concern for the welfare of the occupier.

“A male was taken to hospital where he died on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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Polling station changes in Pembrokeshire

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POLLING STATIONS in Pembrokeshire are open today (May 6) but a small number may have changed from the last time you voted.

In Neyland, the polling station will be at the new Community Hub building on John Street.

St Katherine’s Church Hall will be the new host for the station in Milford Haven, having previously been held at the Murray Suite in the town hall.

A polling station will be placed at the leisure centre in Haverfordwest while one at Trecwn has been moved to the Gate, Scleddau.

Voters in the county will be electing for the Preseli Pembrokeshire and the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire constituencies.

People will also be able to select five MSs to represent the Mid and West Wales Region.

The candidate with the most votes will win the constituency but the ballot for the region will be decided by a different process.

People will be elected according to their share of the vote, using a mathematical process, and gives parties who may have won fewer or no constituencies a better chance of winning regional ones.

It will also be a big day for 16 and 17 year olds as they will be able to vote in Welsh elections for the first time.

The ballots will be counted on Friday (May 7) with results expected to come in from the afternoon.

Polling stations opened at 7am and will close at 10pm.

All those who vote will be required to stick to Covid-19 safety measures including wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

Clean pencils will be available but voters can bring their own pen or pencil.

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