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Dyfed-Powys Police numbers at record low, say Labour

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POLICE officers based across the Dyfed-Powys area are now at their lowest levels in the last decade, with over 300 officers being lost across the region, claim Carmarthenshire Labour.

According to a freedom of information request by Carmarthenshire Labour, police officers based across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion are down 42% and are at record lows in both Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

The figures published by Dyfed-Powys Police show that Carmarthenshire has lost 160 officers in the last ten years, Pembrokeshire is down 107 officers and Ceredigion has lost 56 bobbies on the beat.

These figures come off the back of a poor report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary that shows the force has gone backwards in the last year, with crime also on the increase.

HMIC’s recent PEEL (Police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) report noted concerns about Dyfed-Powys Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime and specifically warned of failures to assess all incidents of domestic abuse.

Carmarthenshire Labour Leader Cllr Rob James claims that the figures show that the current Police and Crime Commissioner is now performing worse than their predecessor.

Rob James stated: “These figures that show a dramatic decrease in police numbers are extremely worrying and reinforce what communities are saying across Dyfed Powys – there are simply not enough police officers in our areas.

“The fact that we now have lower police numbers in the three counties compared to the end of the last Police and Crime Commissioner’s term with crime now on the rise illustrates that the Plaid Cymru Commissioner is failing in his duty to protect our communities.

“We need urgent action to make our communities safe once more, as there is a clear link between the loss of youth provision and cuts to officer numbers, and the rise of crime in our communities.

“There is little evidence that our Commissioner has grasped the nettle over the last three years in tackling this important issue.”

These claims however, have been slapped down by Police and Crime Comissioner, Dafydd Llewellyn. He said that said that Cllr James had misunderstood or misrepresented the information provided to him.
The Carmarthen data have a significant rider attached to them.

The explanatory note reads: ‘It should be noted that the figures for Carmarthenshire police division between 2008 and 2018 are not comparable as the structure of Carmarthenshire division in 2018 has altered to that of 2008 which has impacted upon the figures provided’.

That explanation is expanded upon concerning the Ceredigion data. Regarding them, an explanatory note warns that: ‘[T]he structures between 2008 and 2019 are not comparable as some sections that were recorded divisionally now come under the HQ remit, e.g. the Road Policing Unit, CID, etc.’.

Dafydd Llewelyn pointed out that note in his response to The Herald: “As outlined in the response to the Freedom of Information request, structures between 2008 and 2019 are not comparable as some sections that were recorded as divisionally based are now recorded under the HQ remit, for example, Roads Policing Unit, CID.”

Dafydd Llewelyn continued: “Since taking up my role as the elected person to represent the many communities across the four counties served by the force, I have increased the overall resource available by 4%. I have ploughed funding into dedicated teams to support front line officers and have invested in resources to support the most vulnerable in our communities.

“I have commissioned services specific to their needs – be that as victims of domestic abuse or young people choosing to leave their homes for reasons unknown to authorities. I will continue to do this. I will not be held to account by numbers on paper alone, but by the difference I can make to individuals’ quality of life.

“I will also use the opportunity I have to campaign for services appropriate to the very specific needs an area the size of Dyfed-Powys Police has and will work with the force to adapt according to those needs.”

He concluded by pointing out: “Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys remain the safest counties nationally and I’m proud to be driving a service that is willing and able to flex and respond, despite the financial challenges faced day-in-day-out.”

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Cruise Culture returns to Carmarthen this Sunday

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WALES’ biggest modified and performance car show is returning to the Carmarthen Showground this Sunday, August 25.

Cruise Culture is a static car show with modified, performance, classic and standard cars. The annual show attracts thousands of visitors each year.

On Sunday August 25, the ultimate indoor show hall will have some of the best modified cars from all over the UK on display, as well as an outdoor show and shine section.

Growing year on year, Cruise Culture now welcomes over 40 club stands. The entertainment stage will have DJs playing all day. Competitions throughout the day will include: Club of the Show; Car of the Show; Show and Shine Winner; Best Club Stand Car; Best Show Hall Car; Best Wheels of the Show and Best Install.

Prizes and awards will be handed out for each of the various competitions. There will also be inflatables and fair attractions, meaning Cruise Culture is a great family day out.

There will be a wide variety of food stalls, not just burger vans but hog roasts, BBQ, pizza and much more. The Jamie Squibb Freestyle Motocross Stunt Show will also take place, as the team of riders perform breathtaking jumps and stunts.

Pre-sale tickets have now ended. Tickets are now only available at the gate. Gate price is £7 per person. Under 12’s get in free.

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Rubbish dumped in lane lands woman in court

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DUMPING a rubbish bag containing a kitchen mop, a children’s scooter and wood has cost one Kidwelly woman nearly £400.

Sarah Louise Leach-Davies was ordered by Llanelli magistrates to pay the costs after the blue recycling bag belonging to her was found by council enforcement officers in a lane behind her home in Parc Pendre in March this year.

The 32-year-old had already received two previous warnings and a Fixed Penalty Notice for depositing other unsuitable waste in the lane including glass, shoes and a wooden table top.

Leach-Davies was also given a recycling calendar and easy recycling guide following the first incident, but still continued to bag and dump rubbish unsuitable for kerbside collection.

A second FPN was issued on Friday, March 1 after further waste belonging to her was again found in the lane and was unsuitable for kerbside collection.

The notice remained unpaid and the case taken to court by Carmarthenshire County Council.

Leach-Davies did not turn up to court. She was fined £150 in her absence, and must pay £271.21 costs and £30 Victim Surcharge.

The council’s executive board member for public protection, Cllr Phillip Hughes said: “This was a blatant act of total disregard for the environment. It was the third occasion that this woman has been caught dumping rubbish in her lane. She was also well aware of what acceptable waste for kerbside collection was, and what was unacceptable. There are no excuses for what she was doing and we will continue to take action on anyone caught abandoning rubbish illegally in Carmarthenshire.”

If you see someone littering, fly-tipping or abandoning waste you can report it online at Carmarthenshire.gov.wales (recycling, bins and litter section) or call 01267 234567 during office hours.

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More litter louts left out of pocket

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MORE people have been left out of pocket after carelessly or purposely littering our county.

During July 2019, Carmarthenshire County Council enforcement officers handed out more than £1,600 in fixed penalty notices (FPNs).

They were for a range of offences, including larger fines for the worst fly-tipping offences, for failing to clear dog poo and littering at community recycling sites.

· Two £300 FPNs (£600 total) were issued to a Llanelli business owner who tried to dispose of his business waste at the Llanelli Household Waste Recycling Centre. He was also issued with notices requiring him to produce relevant documentation allowing him to transport waste, but he failed to do so within the specified time

· A £350 FPN was issued to a Llanelli resident for dumping several black refuse bags on the ground at a recycling facility in Dylan, Llwynhendy

· A £300 FPN was issued to a Llanelli resident for failing to check that man he’d paid to remove his waste was licenced and authorised to transport waste. The waste was illegally dumped in the Penygraig area of Llanelli. Enforcement officers are still trying to track the illegal waste carrier

· A £100 FPN was issued to a Carmarthen town centre resident for breaching a Section 46 notice requiring her to properly manage the waste she puts out for collection

· A £100 FPN was issued to a Llanelli man for failing to pick up his dog’s poo. He was reported by a member of the public and was tracked down by officers

· A £75 FPN was issued to a Llanelli woman for leaving a black refuse bag on the ground at Cefncaeau recycling facility

· A £75 FPN was issued to a Llanelli resident for a leaving a cardboard box on the ground at Cefncaeau recycling facility

· A £75 FPN was issued to a man for fly-posting in Carmarthen town centre

Cllr Philip Hughes, Executive Board Member for enforcement, said: “There is absolutely no excuse for littering. There are plenty of waste disposal facilities, including weekly kerbside collections, community recycling sites, business waste collections and household waste recycling centres.

“People know it is wrong to litter, or not pick up after their dog, yet there are those who clearly have no regard for our environment and prefer someone else to pick up after them.

“It is simply not acceptable. We all have a part to play in keeping Carmarthenshire clean.”

Residents are reminded to put their waste and recycling out for collection after 6pm on the evening before their collection day, and to ensure they carry out their duty of care by checking they are using a licensed waste carrier to take away any waste on their behalf.

People using community recycling sites are reminded that they should not leave items on the ground, and are asked to report full containers to the council.

Anyone who has witnessed a littering or dog fouling incident, or has information about fly-tipping offences, can contact the council online 24/7 at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales or during office hours on 01267 234567.

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