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National innovation honour for Commissioner’s office

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policecom

Christopher Salmon: Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyed-Powys.

THE OFFICE of Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon has been highly commended in a national study of innovation. 

It was the only Welsh office to be shortlisted for honours in the review of PCC teams across England and Wales by independent analyst CoPaCC. The Dyfed-Powys success comes six months after an award for public engagement and 10 months after an honour for transparency. Mr Salmon said: “Innovation is being used to put the public first across Dyfed-Powys. My office puts much effort into this and is eager to continue looking at improvements to reflect evolving public needs.” Bernard Rix, chief executive of CoPaCC, said: “Dyfed-Powys is among those most successfully demonstrating significant progress on the innovation journey.”

CoPaCC published a detailed innovation report this summer and today revealed that Mr Salmon’s office was one of three to be highly commended. The others were Northamptonshire and Surrey. Innovations by Mr Salmon include the Commissioner’s Fund, new links with academia and a mental health triage unit. Launched in summer 2013, the Commissioner’s Fund offers grants of up to £5,000 to community initiatives that develop ideas with a positive impact on the area they serve. Its first two rounds, in summer 2013 and spring 2014, saw £161,000 distributed to 46 projects. Round three is now open for bids. An example of linking with academics is the new Centre for Rural Policing and Justice. Mr Salmon said: “This combines the best of practice in rural policing (done every day in Dyfed-Powys) and the best thinking about rural policing (done every day in our universities).

Get it right and we’ll be able to support police decisions better, widen academic evidence behind policing and give opportunities to staff on both sides to improve their skills.” Meanwhile, the triage scheme will see two vehicles staffed by police and with facilities for mental health nurses. They will help those in mental distress when involved in an incident. Dyfed Powys Police said that there is a lot of positive news for the force contained in the report. Chief Constable Simon Prince said, “In Dyfed Powys we put the victim at the centre of all our decision making, they are our priority and we seek to do our absolute best for them, providing a high level of service that people have come to expect. “Through consultation and knowing what matters to our residents we have tailored the priorities of the force accordingly, focusing on the areas of work that are important to the communities within Dyfed Powys.

Unlike many forces in the UK we investigate every crime and do our best to provide a first class professional service throughout the investigation, seeking a positive outcome where ever possible. “Over the last year we have been restructuring and streamlining the way that we support our front line officers, reducing the level of bureaucracy and making things as straightforward and as easy as possible for information to be completed, shared and processed quickly, safely and effectively.A high percentage of our residents think we are doing a good job to safeguard our communities and are satisfied with the level of service that we provide. “We know that there are some areas where we can improve even further, and we have put plans in place to ensure that this happens. “I want people to be reassured that Dyfed Powys Police is a high performing police force and does it best to go the extra mile to safeguard our communities.”

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Marloes pensioner in child abuse images case

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A PENSIONER has been bailed to attend Swansea Crown Court by magistrates sitting in Haverfordwest Law Courts this week.

Derek Lister, 72, of Marloes is accused of making indecent photographs of children.

He appeared before the bench, on Tuesday (Apr 13).

Lister was represented by Redkite Solicitors.

The court heard that between June 2009 and November 2019 in Marloes, Pembrokeshire, Lister allegedly created 3 indecent category A images of a child, 14 indecent category B images of a child and 152 indecent category C images of a child.

He will now appear at Swansea Crown Court on May 11 at 10am for the next hearing after the local court declined jurisdiction.

Lister has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

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Primary school teacher described as ‘touchy-feely’ on day two of trial

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher, accused of sexually assaulting his pupils was “very touchy-feely”, Swansea Crown Court heard on the second day of his trial.

James Oulton, 34, of Haverfordwest would put his hands around students’ waists and touch their bottoms, an ex-female pupil said in a video interview played to Swansea Crown Court.

The defendant denies 30 charges of sexual assault at a primary school in Haverfordwest. The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

On the opening day of the trial, court heard that Oulton said the case was a “witch-hunt” and that he always behaved appropriately with children.

On Tuesday, the jury watched the video interview with one of Oulton’s former pupils, who said he was a “friendly person, very chatty and sociable and quite outgoing and wanted to know everything that was going on.”

She added: “Mr Oulton often wanted to know a lot of details on what we had done over the weekend, where we had been, and also who they had been with.”

“At the time I just thought he was trying to be really friendly but now when I look back at it now, it does seem odd.”

The witness also described the defendant as a “very touchy-feely teacher”.

She added: “If he was marking your work or if you approached him to ask him a question, he would put his hands around your waist or around your bum”.

“If he was standing by his desk, he would, like, motion to his knee, so he wouldn’t ask you directly to sit on his lap but he would tap his knee.”

Swansea Crown Court heard that the witness eventually came forward and told her parents parents after she heard them speaking about Mr Oulton being suspended from his job.

“Did you feel under pressure to say something had happened to you?” asked Mr Clee.

The witness answered “No”

Oulton, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, previously told the court he had behaved appropriately.

He also believed letters were sent by Pembrokeshire County Council to parents which encouraged “deliberately false evidence” and collusion between pupils.

The trial continues.

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‘We don’t want it’: councillors object to HGV tanker park plans

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PEMBROKE DOCK town councillors have objected strongly to plans to build a HGV tanker park in the town.

The tanker park would be located on the south-western side of Criterion Way, behind the ASDA petrol station.

However, at a meeting of the town council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday, April 13, councillors were in agreement that it would create more problems for the town.

Councillor Jonathan George said: “I’ve noted the public input on this and they don’t seem very happy about where it’s going to be put.

“It is close to a small park area and I don’t think it’s suitable to put this here. I won’t be supporting this.”

Cllr George Manning added: “There are many aspects of this which are totally inappropriate for Pembroke Dock. There are many other sites available but they haven’t looked at any of them.

“This does not do anything for the Future Generations act and it will bring more disruption to the town.

“This does not bring about any improvements to the existing transport infrastructure. There are lots of things about this, we don’t want it. I don’t think they have looked into it in enough detail.”

Cllr Gordon Goff said that the impact it would have on the public and wildlife would be ‘astronomical’.

He went on to say he was not happy with one of the statements in the application and said they ‘don’t want to be blackmailed’.

One of the documents submitted with the application states that if the development was not approved it would mean that the applicants, Certas, ‘will either have to find a different site’ or ‘will have to cease operating in the area’.

Cllr Terry Judkins said that the Port Authority wanted to ‘use Pembroke Dock as a dumping ground’ and added that he could not support it.

Cllr Maureen Colgan added that she was ‘totally against’ the application and said that the area should be kept for leisure and be developed as an area where people can sit and enjoy themselves.

The application is due to be decided by Pembrokeshire County Council at a later date.

Cllr Paul Dowson has already called in the application for it to be debated by the County Council’s Planning Committee.

In his request he states that it is too near habitation, it is within the Pembroke Dock conservation area and that children have been using the area near the bandstand as play area for over 20 years.

The area had also previously been the subject of an application for a marina and other leisure facilities but that investment was written off in 2017.

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