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Police say ‘we care’ during National Safeguarding Week

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is saying ‘we care’ during National Safeguarding Week (Nov 13-17) by highlighting the work it does day in day out to protect vulnerable children and adults.

Police officers and staff have teamed up with partner agencies to raise awareness of issues that affect vulnerable people in communities on behalf of the Regional Safeguarding Board for Children and Adults.

There will be themed days throughout the week where information will be provided to people in need of support or those who can help to protect people at risk of harm. Officers will also be promoting support services available to people such as Llamau missing persons debrief workers who liaise with children are have been missing and at risk of CSE, Independent Domestic Violence Officers (IDVA) officers who support those at high risk of domestic abuse Goleudy, an independent commissioned service for victims and witnesses of crime.

A Crucial Crew event will also be running in Pembrokeshire Monday to Friday, where police will give an input on cyber safety to all primary school children attending. There will also be focussed delivery of key topics in schools throughout the force area on topics including Child Sexual Exploitation, consent, grooming and safer relationships as well as a specific focus on bullying in schools where pupils get to discuss the difference between ‘banter’ and ‘bullying’ and look at the effect of bullying on children.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Claire Parmenter said: “Dyfed-Powys Police has dedicated teams who work with partner agencies to protect the most vulnerable including children, the elderly, people suffering domestic abuse and people with mental health issues. We care about our communities and we care about doing the best possible job we can to ensure we effectively look after those who are vulnerable. National Safeguarding Week is a perfect opportunity to strengthen our relationships with partners and to ensure the information people need to stay safe gets out there to the communities we serve.”

Detective Superintendent Anthony Griffiths said: “Safeguarding the vulnerable within our community is a priority for Dyfed-Powys Police. This week officers will be engaging with mental health teams, residential care providers, schools and the community to ensure that safeguarding is at the forefront of people’s minds and that everyone knows where support can be accessed.”

Themed activities for the week are as follows:

Monday – Child Sexual Exploitation
Officers and PCSOs will be out and about highlighting the signs of child sexual exploitation, particularly at hotels and guest houses where vulnerable children could be taken to be exploited. Officers and Llamau workers will also be visiting children highlighted as at risk of child sexual exploitation to ensure they are safe and understand the dangers of putting themselves at risk or going missing. They will also visit schools to ensure the messages get to the right people.

Tuesday – Modern Day Slavery
Raising awareness of the signs of modern day slavery within the police service to ensure officers recognise the signs and understand how to investigate effectively. Officers will also be on patrol distributing leaflets on the signs of modern day slavery.

Wednesday – Mental Health and Resilience
Officers and PCSOs will be visiting Mental Health Units promoting the services we provide that could be of benefit to people with mental health conditions, including how to report hate crime, encouraging people to talk about mental health, and raise awareness of the partnership safeguarding approach in place to protect vulnerable people. They will also be holding information roadshows in town centres and other locations.

Thursday – Cyber Security
Work will be carried out to raise awareness amongst the vulnerable of the potential harm of cybercrime and how they can become cyber secure. In Ceredigion, online safety information will be given at Coleg Ceredigion in the morning and Tesco in the afternoon. A Safeguarding conference will be held at Pembrokeshire College, bringing together professionals to find out more about cyberbullying, cyber fraud and exploitation.

Friday – Domestic Abuse
Domestic Abuse officers will be linking in with domestic abuse support services to offer advice on police responsibilities in domestic abuse cases and to encourage future reporting of cases and visit domestic abuse sufferers to ensure they are aware of the support available to them.

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One thousand march to save Withybush Hospital A&E services

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Over 1,000 people marched in Haverfordwest today (June 16) to show their support for the A&E department at Withybush General Hospital.

The protesters marched from Haverfordwest football club, leaving  at 11.30am and made their way via Bridge Street to Castle Square, and then around to the Riverside Shopping Centre, and back to the field behind the football club where a family fun day had been organised.

There were rumours that there would be inclement weather for the protest, but just on cue, the sun came out as the first walkers left the field for what many were describing as a “now or never” attempt to retain services at Withybush.

Conservative politicians joined the march including local MP’s Simon Hart and Stephen Crabb as well as Paul Davies AM. County Councillors and representatives from the Labour party were also at the protest, amongst others.

Stephen Crabb MP told The Herald that all of the University Health Board’s proposals for Withybush Hospital included a “downgrade”, and that this was not acceptable for the people of Pembrokeshire. In a passionate interview with Herald TV he said that today was the day that “local people fight for the services that they deserve.”

Mr Crabb said that he knew that recruitment of staff was a “challenge across the whole of the UK” but the Health Board need to be told they need to do more for Pembrokeshire.

Just before the protest, the admin of the Save Withybush Group on Facebok posted: “Over 22,000 have joined this group and almost 23,000 have signed the petition so we know there is massive support among the people of Pembrokeshire to save our hospital. Now we just need everyone to turn out this Saturday and show Hywel Dda Health Board that we mean business and that they will not get away with closing our A&E or any of the vital services at Withybush.”

Drivers of vehicles honked their horns as they drove past the protest which was led by musicians from the Saint City Jazz Band from St Davids.

Many people told Herald reporters that they felt that the hospital had been “deliberately undermined” ans that uncertainty created by the Health Board themselves in relation to hospital services was having a negative effect on the recruitment of staff.

This large march and fun day is described by organisers as the first stage in a summer of action to fight for services at Withybush Hospital.

Those who have not already done so are urged to fill in the consultation document published by Hywel Dda University Health Board.

  • Photography by Mike Hillen and Aad Oostermeijer.
  • Additional reporting by Matthew Roberts

 

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Pembroke Dock: Dog in black bag found dead in water

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A SHOCKING image of a dead dog which was found in the water at Pembroke Port, wrapped in a black bag, has been sent to The Herald.

The image was sent to us by a local man who pulled the bag out of the water.

Once on the dry land, he realised that tragically the remains of a dog was inside.

The shocking uncensored image is below.

WARNING: Upsetting imagery follows.

A witness at the scene told the Herald that police were called to the scene following the discovery.

The man who made the discovery told us: “The bag was down floating by the tugs, Pembroke Port, it looked like a tent bag at first.

“We pulled it up and took it on the walkway to cut it open – we didn’t know what it was.

“Once it was opened, we could see there were stones inside, and then as we opened it more it was obvious the dog was inside.

“To be honest, it looked like it had been in there a while.”

The man then told us that as he left the scene, a member of the tugboats called the police.

“It’s not nice, horrible to see, not nice at all. It didn’t look like a young dog but you don’t have any idea really with it in that state,” he added.

The Herald has contacted Dyfed-Powys Police for more information.

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Judge halves jail term for man convicted of fraud

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A FIRST CLASS honours graduate who targeted stores in Haverfordwest for fraud will soon be free after senior judges halved his jail term.

Siphosenkosi Hutton Maplanka was jailed for 12 months at Swansea Crown Court on March 22.

The 31-year-old, of Ger Yr Ysgol, Burry Port, near Llanelli, admitted three counts of fraud.

Maplanka targeted Debenhams and Tesco branches on July 12 last year, Judge David Stockdale QC told London’s Appeal Court today.

His mode of operation was to take clothing from displays and put it in a bag and then seek to exchange it.

He would claim to have bought the items previously from another store in the same group.

Using this method, he got Debenhams to refund him £260 and Tesco to shell out £140.

He came unstuck when he returned to Debenhams on July 23 last year and tried to repeat the scam but was recognised by staff.

Maplanka had been before the courts on 13 previous occasions for 22 offences, including 10 frauds, said the judge.

His barrister, John Tarrant, argued that his jail term was far too harsh and should be reduced.

Maplanka’s crimes were not sophisticated, nor the result of significant planning, claimed the barrister.

While he had ‘similar’ previous convictions, they dated back several years – and he had won a first class honours degree since then.

Judge Stockdale, sitting with two other judges, said Maplanka’s crimes were ‘not in our judgment sophisticated’.

The frauds ‘did not require significant planning’ and the loss to the stores was ‘modest’.

Maplanka’s previous convictions were ‘a significant and potent aggravating factor’, said the judge.

But he added: “In view of the absence of offences in the last five years and, allowing for all we have heard and read in mitigation, we do consider the sentence is manifestly excessive.”

Judge Stockdale reduced Maplanka’s jail term from 12 months to six months.

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