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Two arrested as firearm is recovered from siege scene

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE sealed off a large section of Carmarthen town centre on Wednesday night (Aug 1) after reports of a male suspect with a gun.

Lammas Street, Catherine Street and Water Street were cordoned off during the incident. There were eight police vehicles at the scene, as well as a fire engine and ambulance. Some of the officers responding to the incident were armed and carrying helmets and shields.

BBC reporter Aled Scourfield has described the incident as ‘some kind of siege’.

A 24-year-old man, Hafod Jones, was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm and affray, and a 35-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of attempting to commit arson with intent to endanger life. Both will appear in Llanelli Magistrates’ Court today (Aug 3).

A firearm was also recovered from the scene.


The action was caught on camera by a resident in a flat across the road, who filmed the incident on his mobile phone for over an hour and posted it to Facebook. The video has been watched by nearly 30,000 people.

Armed officers were seen speaking to a man through a window and the negotiations went on for over an hour and a half. An officer kept repeating: “Just come to the window please so I can see you are okay, I want to try and help you.”

Then referring to a female who was also inside the property, the officer shouted: “Can you get her to show her face at the window please. Can you let me know that she is okay too.”

He added: “We just want to know that she is alright. Can you ask her to come to the window to show me that she
is okay as well please?”

At 8:40pm loud bangs were heard coming from the street, which many assumed were the police discharging stun grenades.

About 45 minutes later, a person was brought out of the property on a stretcher to the waiting ambulance and taken to hospital. The ambulance was followed by a police van under blue lights.

A police spokesperson told The Carmarthenshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police received a report of a man in possession of a firearm at the Blue Boar public house, Water Street, Carmarthen shortly after 5pm yesterday (Aug 1).

“Officers attended the scene within a few minutes and a search commenced to locate the man. A short time later officers established the man was inside a flat at Water Street, with a woman.

“When officers tried to engage, threats were made to officers and the door was subsequently blocked. Specialist armed response units were deployed, along with fire and ambulance.

“A cordon was set up and the road was closed to keep members of the public safe. Around 30 houses were evacuated to the leisure centre as a precaution.

“At 8.25pm a 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm and affray. He remains in police custody.

“At 9pm a 35-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of attempting to commit arson with intent to endanger life. She was initially taken to hospital last night (Aug 1), but is now in police custody.

“Nobody was injured during the incident. A firearm has been seized and the investigation is ongoing.

“Police are appealing for witnesses, anyone with information that can help officers with their investigation is asked to report it by phoning 101. If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number: 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org. Use reference: DPP/0078/01/08/2018/01/C”

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Recovery efforts underway in aftermath of floods

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A HUGE clean-up operation is underway to deal with the aftermath of the worst flooding Carmarthenshire has seen in decades.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s operational team has now switched its efforts from emergency response to recovery and supporting affected communities and businesses.

Additional resources have been put in place to collect ruined carpets, furniture and other waste, with cages and skips being dispatched to worst hit areas. People are advised to check with their insurers before disposing of any items.

Dehumidifers have been provided to as many homes as possible.

A hardship fund has been established for residents most in need of financial support, and housing officers will be visiting homes and helping people to complete and submit insurance claims.

Business support officers are also making contact with retailers and businesses to support them, and rate relief is also being sought from Welsh Government.

Highways, cleansing and refuse crews continue to sweep and clean debris left by the receding floods, and inspections will take place on all affected road surfaces, verges and bridges.

Specialist teams are being drafted in to support crews, including divers to inspect underwater structures and areas that have experienced land slide.

The council continues to urge people to take extra care and to allow extra time for their journeys as a number of diversions will remain in place.

Carmarthenshire County Council Chief Executive Mark James said: “Our staff have been working hard to respond in extremely difficult conditions. Now that the flood waters have subsided we have shifted our focus from response to recovery and we are doing all we can to support everyone affected.

“A full assessment of the damage is underway, and, as well as working with partner agencies, we are also speaking with Welsh Government to ensure appropriate resources are in place.”

· Follow updates on the council’s Newsroom, Facebook and Twitter

· Anyone in need of assistance should call 01267 234567 or email direct@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

· Apply for support for flooding recovery: https://myaccount.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/en/service/Support_for_flooding_recovery

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Llandysul: Fire service cordoned off gas cylinders

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ON SUNDAY (Oct 14) at 11:45am, firefighters from Llandysul were called to a flood-related incident in Station Road, near the Tyweli River.

On attendance to the incident, firefighters were confronted with a strong smell of gas, where approximately 60 gas cylinders had entered the river and accumulated in a culvert. Western Power were also in attendance to make safe a live electrical wire, from a three-phase electrical pumping station.

The Fire Service evacuated 12 properties from either side of the river and cordoned off Station Road for public safety.

Firefighters retrieved approximately 40 cylinders from the river and monitored the incident until the level of the flood water dropped.

The Police Service were also in attendance.

The cordons have now been lifted and business owners and residents have returned to their properties.

The Fire Service received the stop message at 09:02am this morning (Oct 15).

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Police say ‘stop protecting’ murder suspect Steve Baxter

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JUST over two weeks ago Simon Clark, aged 54, was found dead at Grove Caravan Park in Pendine, Carmarthenshire.

Dyfed-Powys Police is continuing its manhunt for Steve Baxter, who is wanted on suspicion of Simon’s murder.

Baxter also known as Steve Tidy, Steve Rowley, Wayne Tidy or William Tidy, is aged 52, 5’5” (1.65cm) tall and has tattoos on his forearms – the name Chez and entwined circles on his left arm and a serpent on his right arm.

He has connections in the West Wales, South Wales, South West and North England areas of the UK.

Officers and staff are working round the clock to follow all possible lines of enquiry.

The independent charity Crimestoppers is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to the arrest of Steve Baxter and he has been added to the Most Wanted section of their website. Information would be taken by the charity anonymously.

Detective Superintendent Huw Davies said: “It’s over two weeks since Simon Clark was murdered at Grove Caravan Park, Pendine.

“The manhunt for Steve Baxter is ongoing and I must stress to the public that officers and staff are working round the clock to investigate all possible lines of enquiry that could lead us to him.

“I urge anyone with information of Baxter’s whereabouts to come forward. If you do not want to speak to police directly, you can speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, which is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to his arrest.

“Someone knows where he is or has been in the last two weeks. Please stop protecting him. Simon Clark’s family deserve to see all those involved in his death brought to justice.”

Four people have been charged in connection with the murder: Jeffrey Stephen Ward, aged 40, from Pendine, has been charged with murder; Linda Mary Rowley, aged 52, from Pendine, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder); Kirston Macklin, aged 52, from Newport, Gwent, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder) and Julie Louise Harris, aged 46, from Tonypandy, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder).

If you see Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 999. Do not approach him.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 101 immediately.

To pass on information anonymously, contact Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the non-traceable anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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