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All home burglaries in Wales will be attended by the police

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POLICE Chiefs in Wales and England have committed to sending an officer to all home burglaries.

The move follows evidence from the College of Policing and will help police catch more burglars and support victims after a traumatic and invasive experience.

Some forces already have a policy of attending all home burglaries.

Others attend where it has been established that there are evidential lines of enquiry or where victims are vulnerable or elderly.

Police chiefs took the decision after considering public opinion, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services’ (HMICFRS) report on acquisitive crime and reviewing a new rapid evidence assessment produced by the College of Policing on effective measures for solving burglary crimes.

The College is setting new clear standards, making clear domestic burglaries should be attended, which HMICFRS will take into account in determining the efficiency and effectiveness of forces.

Chief constables will work to ensure this commitment is implemented as soon as practically possible. They will prioritise attendance where people’s homes have been burgled, as opposed to outbuildings and garden sheds.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair Martin Hewitt, said:

“The number of burglaries is at an all-time low, down 51 per cent over the past decade due to increased investment by police and partners in preventing them happening in the first place.

“Wherever you live in England and Wales you can be confident the police will attend if you experience the invasion of a home burglary. This should see more burglaries solved and more offenders prosecuted.”

The College of Policing, who set the standards for policing, set out the benefits of officers attending domestic burglaries in a recent letter to all chiefs.

The evidence review shared by the College set out how rapid police attendance at scenes can increase victim satisfaction and help with investigations. It can also help with the prevention of future crimes in the area.

National Police Chiefs’ Council and the College of Policing wrote to the Home Secretary to inform her of the new standards and the decision of Chiefs on September 30.

CC Andy Marsh, CEO of the College of Policing, said:

“Any intrusion into our home can be traumatic. It’s not just the loss of possessions but the way a burglary can steal a person’s sense of security from the place where they should feel safest.

“Officers across the country want to be locking up criminals and keeping communities safe. Our standards will help bring consistency to the police’s response, enable them to get the basics right and deliver what the public expect.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Burglary, Deputy Chief Constable Alex Franklin-Smith, said:

“Burglary has a significant and long-lasting effect on victims. Police officers up and down the country are committed to bringing more offenders to justice and this decision will bring greater consistency across England and Wales in the way we respond to, and investigate, offences of burglary.

“We will work closely with the College of Policing to improve investigative standards and we will continue to invest in the important preventative work with our many partners in an effort to keep offending levels at an all-time low.”

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Community

Pop up museum opens in Haverfordwest whilst Castle works continue

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WITH Haverfordwest Castle closed for the next couple years due to building works for the Heart of Pembrokeshire project the Haverfordwest Town Museum has had to relocate to the town centre.

Last September, plans to move temporarily Haverfordwest’s museum to the town’s Riverside Quay while levelling-up works in the town are ongoing were given the thumbs-up.

An application for a change of use of the former GAME electronic games store at 24-25 Riverside Quay to the temporary home for the ‘pop-up’ museum was submitted to county planners by historian and council presiding member Dr Simon Hancock.

The museum itself is moving from its current site at the Governor’s Office next to Haverfordwest Castle due to ongoing works connected with the £24m Heart of Pembrokeshire levelling-up redevelopment of that part of the county town, which is expected to last until Spring 2026.

Work is ongoing to set up displays and create a museum shop and the new Riverside home is hoped to open to the public on March 25.

Museum Curator Dr Hancock said: “We want to make the pop-up museum an informative and entertaining space. We will have models of the castle and Tudor Merchant’s house, displays on the Llewellin churnworks, the Port of Haverfordwest, items made in the town during the Victorian period, David Lindley paintings and the People of Haverfordwest panels.

“We will be open all year round in our new premises and so we will ensure there will be regular changes of content. We would like to hear from anyone who would be interested in volunteering for us.

“The pop-up museum would only be possible thanks to the stalwart support of the county council with funding from the Shared Prosperity Fund for which we are extremely grateful.”

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Community

Local group demands action on Cardigan sewage crisis

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THE GRASSROOTS organisation Save the Teifi has called upon authorities to urgently address the severe sewage pollution afflicting the lower Teifi and its estuary. The situation, which has deteriorated over the last decade, has been highlighted as the most alarming instance of sewage pollution in Wales, according to a comprehensive report by Peter Hammond in 2023.

The organisation is pressing for prompt completion of necessary upgrades to the Cardigan sewage treatment facilities. Save the Teifi advocates for a nature-based solution in the redesigning of these works and challenges authorities to provide substantial reasoning should these eco-friendly options be considered impractical.

Contradicting claims by Dŵr Cymru that the pollution has no environmental impact, Save the Teifi demands intensified surveillance of the river and estuary pollution levels, alongside the quality of bathing waters at Poppit Sands. The visible decline in biodiversity and the health of the river underscore the community’s concerns.

The organisation is urging the initiation of a citizen science programme by summer 2024, aimed at involving the community in assessing river health and bathing water quality. This move seeks to foster a collaborative effort between residents and regulatory bodies.

Regulatory Inadequacies Highlighted

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) faces criticism for its inadequate enforcement against unauthorized sewage discharges. Save the Teifi argues for a bolstering of NRW’s resources, enabling it to effectively safeguard natural resources.

The leadership of Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water and NRW are called upon to accept responsibility for the delays in acknowledging the need for an overhaul of the Cardigan Sewage Treatment Works. The group suggests linking executive compensation to environmental performance as a means to ensure accountability.

Save the Teifi is calling for an official apology and a clear, time-sensitive plan for mitigating the sewage crisis. The community’s patience wears thin, and the urgency for remedial action has never been more critical. Save the Teifi remains steadfast in its mission to protect the river and its environs for the benefit of current and future generations.

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Community

Pembrokeshire Lane Blighted by Illegal Dumping Incident

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OVER a dozen large plastic vegetable oil drums along with assorted rubbish were discovered discarded along a rural lane in Pembrokeshire, sparking outrage amongst local residents. The unsightly scene, strewn with 15l and 20l drums and accompanying cardboard packaging, was first noticed by Councillor Di Clements near her farm residence, spanning across the road between Martletwy and Minwear.

Upon the unsightly discovery, Councillor Clements undertook an immediate investigation into the debris, sifting through the detritus in hopes of uncovering any clues that might lead to the identification of those responsible. The presence of numerous black bin liners containing smaller containers suggested the waste originated from a food service establishment. It is believed that the rubbish was illicitly deposited sometime between 4 pm on Sunday, 25th February, and the early hours of 6:30 am on Monday.

Prompt action was taken by Councillor Clements, who reported the incident to Pembrokeshire Council. The council’s swift response was commended by Clements, as a waste advisor was quickly dispatched to the scene to further investigate the matter. By Monday afternoon, the council had successfully cleared the debris.

Councillor Clements is currently appealing to the public for any information regarding suspicious activities that could lead to the identification of the perpetrator, who she suspects may be a repeat offender in the area. Expressing her dismay, Clements remarked, “I am extremely disappointed to see this and I can’t believe someone would do this.”

The council and Councillor Clements extend their gratitude to those involved in the prompt cleanup and urges anyone with information to come forward.

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