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Police reserves will be spent

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Uncertainty over future revenue: PCC Christopher Salmon

Uncertainty over future revenue: PCC Christopher Salmon

POLICE AND CRIME Commissioner Christopher Salmon is to use the Dyfed Powys Police reserves to meet ongoing revenue requirements.

In the Budget report, Mr Salmon says: “I have sought to act prudently and reflect the uncertainty which still remains in relation to future financial settlements for policing the Dyfed Powys area, whilst setting a challenging but achievable cost reduction target for the Chief Constable.”

While the reduction in the central government grant to the Police has gone down by 0.6%, the cut to the overall Police budget will be significantly higher following the Commissioner’s decision to freeze the Force’s Council Tax precept and taxation and national insurance changes.

The actual cut, in money terms, the Commissioner proposes is just over £3m out of a budget of £93m: just under three and a quarter percent

The Commissioner acknowledges that the introduction of a new funding formula, due to be introduced in 2017/18, will provide a period of uncertainty.

However, and notwithstanding such uncertainty, the Commissioner plans to use in excess of £24m of reserves over the next three years. That is as one with the Commissioner’s plans to PCC’s to use reserves to fund an element of the revenue budgets for 2015/16 to 2018/19.

At the end of 2015/16 total reserves are expected to be approximately £30.121m. The Police plans anticipate spending of £24.103m over the coming four years. At the end of 2019/20, the general reserve will remain at £4.5m. Other reserves will amount to £1.518m.

Some of that expenditure, £4m, is necessary to extract the Force from the ruinous PFI contract it entered into in respect of Ammanford Police Station. That contract is one for which Mr Salmon is not responsible and upon which he acted swiftly in resolution

It is the use of reserves to fund £4m of revenue expenditure, and effectively bankroll reducing and freezing the Force’s Council Tax precept is one that is unusual, not least as had the Police moderately increased its precept (as it could have done) the amount taken out of the reserves would have been reduced and operational flexibility maintained.

As plans currently stand, the whole of the capital reserve will be depleted by the end of 2019/20.

The Herald understands the position to be that the reserves constitute money the public have paid, and the plan is to spend the majority of it over the coming years, the Commissioner believes wisely, leaving a much more modest but workable reserve at the end of the process.

In view of the coming election, the issue of the financial prudence of such a move is likely to be a significant issue, alongside the vexed issue of the fate of the Force’s helicopter; a subject that still rankles with the public and is a subject all opposing candidates in the forthcoming election for the position of Police and Crime Commissioner seem likely to attempt to exploit.

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Pembroke Dock: Indian restaurant owner sexually assaulted teenager

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THE OWNER of a Pembroke Dock restaurant who sexually assaulted the same girl three times has been made the subject of a suspended prison sentence.

Riaz Miah, aged 42, had been found guilty after a trial of three indecent assaults all committed on the same day.
Judge Paul Thomas told Miah he should feel disgusted and ashamed of himself.
Miah, of St Marks Close, Merlin’s Bridge, was jailed for 12 months, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 15 sessions of a rehabilitation activity. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work for the community.
Miah was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and must register with the police as a sex offender, both for 10 years.
Swansea Crown Court heard how he had kissed the 17 year old, licked her face and touched her breast and bottom.
His barrister, Carina Hughes, told the court his business had failed in January because of financial problems.
The victim wrote in an impact statement she was still too afraid to out alone in Pembroke Dock for fear of bumping into Miah. She still suffered nightmares and sometimes woke in floods of tears.
Judge Thomas told Miah, a married father of two, his behaviour had been disgraceful and he found it disappointing that he still denied the offending despite the verdicts of the jury.
“She was disgusted and repelled by what you did. She was affected psychologically and has suffered a loss of confidence. You richly deserve a prison sentence,” he added.
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Carmarthenshire man admits stirring up racial hatred against Muslims

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A BRYNAMMAN man has this morning admitted 10 offences of stirring up religious hatred against Muslims by posting offensive messages on an Internet website.
Jonathan Damian Jennings, aged 34, admitted urging people to murder Muslims during a series of rants on the GAB site and boasting he would be first in line to “Jo Cox” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn should he ever become prime minister.
Jennings, of Heol y Gelynen, appeared before Judge Keith Thomas at Swansea Crown Court via a video link with Swansea prison where he is being held in custody on July 20.
During a plea and trial preparation hearing Jennings admitted posting messages saying it would be “a good idea” if there was a burn a mosque day and Muslims were placed on top of bonfires, that Hitler had been born 100 years too early and Muslims should be gassed and that they should be killed on sight.
Jennings also admitted advocating that EU remain campaigner Gina Miller should be hunted down and killed and in another message warning Jews that if they did not behave they would “get the same treatment as Muslims.”
His barrister, David Singh, said a psychologist had prepared a report on Jennings “which raised a number of concerns.”
Judge Thomas said he had read the report and noted that the psychologist had not diagnosed any particular mental disorder.
He said he would discuss the report with the probation service and would sentence Jennings on August 8.
He was further remanded in custody until then.
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London Bridge hero calls for Carmarthen’s bravest to be nominated

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Wayne Marques: Urging you to nominate a hero

THE HERO of London Bridge who was stabbed nine times as he fought off three terrorists armed with just a police baton has called on Carmarthen people to nominate an unsung hero of their own.

And British Transport Police Officer Wayne Marques said bravery and courage should be recognised because it is inspiring and encouraging to others.

He said: “Every tragedy has a silver lining and it is up to us to make sure that silver shines.”

Wayne, 39, who won the Against All Odds category in last year’s global hearing specialists Amplifon’s Brave Britons awards, was on patrol in the area of London Bridge Station when he heard screams on the evening of June 3 last year and then he saw people being stabbed in Borough High Street near the junction with London Bridge Street.

He charged at one of the terrorists lashing out with his baton. But soon he was being attacked by all three terrorists one stabbing him above his right eye which cause him to go temporarily blind in the eye.

More than 12 months on and Wayne still travels from his South London home to Harrogate, Yorkshire, where he receives rehabilitation treatment.

Seven people died in the attack and many more were badly injured.

Now Wayne is calling on people who know of acts of courage or bravery to nominate them for this year’s Amplifon – who have a store in Merlins Walk Shopping Centre, Carmarthen – Brave Briton awards.

He said: “I first felt surprised and then humble when I was nominated by a person I didn’t even know. The fact they had taken their time to fill in a form and nominate me made me feel very honoured. It would have been wrong for me to respond in any other way.”

Wayne added: “We need more people honoured in the way I was because there are a lot of people out there who go beyond what is expected of them for the sake of others.

“Even uniformed services personnel who do a job where they are expected to sometimes face danger go beyond that expectation and react to the highest magnitude.

“To nominate others and put them in the limelight is so inspiring and encouraging to others in their communities and around the country.

“Through adversity we as a nation tend to pull together. How we rally together makes this country great.”

There are six categories in the Amplifon Brave Britons awards: Against All Odds, Young Hero, Service To Their Country, Active Agers, Hero Pet, and Charity Champion.

Anyone who wishes to nominate a hero in any of the categories should visit http://www.amplifon.com

Finalists will be invited to an awards ceremony to be held at the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, London, on Tuesday, October 16.

A panel of judges including Falklands hero Simon Weston will also choose an overall Hero from the category winners who will win a trip to Italy.

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