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Crime

Crime Commissioner addresses the challenges of rebuilding trust and confidence in policing

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POLICING by consent was the topic of discussion at Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn’s annual St David’s Conference this year, which took place on Friday 3 March 2023 at Dyfed-Powys Police Headquarters in Carmarthen.

Policing by consent, which is the theory behind the Peelian principles that were designed to define an ethical police force, is heavily reliant on public confidence. Addressing today’s challenges of rebuilding public trust and confidence, is essential to safeguard a legitimate future for policing according to PCC Llywelyn.

Public confidence and trust in our policing services today is amongst its lowest ever. High profile cases, such as the murders of Sarah Everard here in the UK, and George Floyd in the U.S, to name but two, has cast a light on what appears to be a culture of misogyny, racism, and corruption within policing.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said; “I recently heard a highly regarded and dedicated senior police officer speaking publicly that he has never been so embarrassed and ashamed of working for the Police, despite some of the excellent work that is taking place is some areas of policing.

“Rebuilding public confidence in our policing service is essential if we are to safeguard a legitimate future for policing. This cannot be done overnight. It will take years, but it’s our responsibility, and we need to address the challenges, today.

“I was joined this year, by renowned national experts and academics as guest speakers, who will shine a light on these challenges and the work that is undergoing to address them”.

Guest speakers who were talking about today’s challenges included:

  • Professor Richard Wyn Jones and Dr. Robert Jones, who have recently published a book Criminal Justice in Wales: On the Jagged Edge’;
  • Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna, who worked with both Welsh Government and Criminal Justice in Wales Board on their Anti Racist Action Plans;
  • Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth, who is now working for the College of Policing and is the National Police Chief Constables’ lead on violence against women and girls;
  • Dr. Nerys Llewelyn Jones who was a Commissioner on the Law Commission which was chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgeidd – The Thomas Commission, which undertook a review of the justice system in Wales
  • This will be PCC Dafydd Llywelyn’s seventh annual St David’s Conference, with previous conferences focusing on Coercive Control (2017); Mental Health in Policing (2018); Cyber-Crime (2019); Rural Crime (2020), Victims (2021), Anti-Social Behaviour (2022).

The Conference, which took place at Dyfed-Powys Police Headquarters in Carmarthen, has over 130 guests attending either in person or virtual. PCC Llywelyn concluded; “I am looking forward to welcoming all to the conference this year, where we will face challenging and honest statements, as we consider, where do we go from here”.

Crime

Welsh Snooker star Michael White jailed for assaulting partner

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A WELSH snooker star has been jailed after assaulting his then-partner. Michael White, 33, of Penshannel, Neath Abbey, assaulted the woman, causing actual bodily harm, on two separate occasions. The first incident occurred on February 12, 2022, and the second on December 10, 2022.

White pleaded guilty to the charges. A further charge of intentional strangulation on December 10 was directed to lie on file. White, whose snooker world ranking peaked at 15 in 2016, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

He received a total jail term of 36 months – 19 months for the first incident and a consecutive 17 months for the second. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association has announced that White has been removed from the world ranking list and the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect.

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Crime

Man admits to threatening woman with deactivated firearms

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A WHITLAND man has admitted to threatening a woman with deactivated copies of an AK-47 and an M16 assault rifle.

Craig Woodworth, 39, appeared at Swansea Crown Court charged with two offences. It was alleged that Woodworth, previously of St David’s Avenue, threatened a woman with a deactivated copy of a Kalashnikov AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle and a deactivated M16-A1 semi-automatic assault rifle in Carmarthen on February 18 last year.

The prosecution alleged that Woodworth’s behaviour caused the woman to believe unlawful violence would be used against her.

He was also charged with sending communications conveying a threatening message, relating to a video, on that same date. Woodworth, now of Tarvin Road in Chester, pleaded guilty to using the firearms to make the threats but denied sending a threatening message.

Prosecutor Dean Pulling said these pleas were acceptable, as the threatening message “was the mechanism of the threat” in the charge Woodworth had admitted.

“The defendant is realistic about his position,” said defence counsel David Singh.

Judge Geraint Walters ordered a pre-sentence report to be prepared. “This case plainly passes the custody threshold,” Judge Walters said.

The defendant was granted bail and will return to court on August 7.

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Crime

Crime Commissioner Llywelyn launches of public consultation

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Dafydd Llywelyn has formally announced the launch of a public consultation for his updated Police and Crime Plan for 2025-2029. This consultation seeks to engage the community in shaping the future of local policing, reaffirming his commitment to creating safer communities and enhancing public trust in the police and criminal justice system across Mid and West Wales. 

One of the key roles of a Police and Crime Commissioner is to produce a Police and Crime Plan which sets out the direction for policing for the next four years. This is a legal document that the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) must produce under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. The Police and Crime Plan is a blueprint for local policing, developed through extensive public consultation, research, and assessments of local needs and resources. 

“Our communities’ safety and trust in our policing are paramount,” commented PCC Llywelyn. “This consultation is a crucial step in developing our updated Police and Crime Plan. By listening to the voices of our community through surveys and focus groups, we ensure that our strategy aligns with their needs and concerns. 

“My overarching vision for the next four years is to improve public trust and confidence in the policing service, making Dyfed-Powys a safe place to live, learn, work, and travel. To achieve this, I would like to focus on three key areas: supporting safer communities and preventing harm, supporting victims, and preventing victimisation, and delivering justice. 

“Every action taken by the police and justice services is geared towards providing the best support for victims. Preventing harm and addressing issues at their root is crucial. Through effective collaboration with public sector partners and leveraging specialised knowledge from our commissioned services, we aim to deliver a justice system that truly serves and protects the public. 

“Victims’ needs must be central to all our efforts and Your feedback is vital in shaping our policing priorities. By participating in the Police and Crime Plan Consultation, you have the opportunity to influence critical policing decisions, ensuring that Dyfed-Powys Police can continue to safeguard its communities with the highest standard of service available. 

“I am honoured to continue serving as your Police and Crime Commissioner. Together, we will build a safer, more resilient Dyfed-Powys.” 

The survey and its results will guide the PCC in identifying priority areas and proposing actions to address them in his Police and Crime Plan. To complete the survey, visit:

https://forms.office.com/e/JdTZThwawF?origin=lprLink
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