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Seven houses raided for drugs during day of police action

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POLICE carried out seven drugs warrants in Carmarthenshire as part of a day of action targeting criminals intent on causing harm in their communities.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers in Llanelli, Ammanford and Carmarthen were among those tackling the use and supply of illegal substances across the county on Wednesday, March 17, while colleagues focussed on traffic offences, gathering information around dog thefts, and the use of the rail network for drug supply.

Llanelli Inspector Mike Ross said: “Officers from Carmarthenshire and various partner agencies took part in a day of action to tackle individuals committing various criminal activities, which cause our communities harm.

“The operation used an overt policing presence within towns and on roads across the county to provide reassurance through engagement, and a covert presence for enforcement.

“Not only did we see direct results throughout the day, but officers also gathered intelligence and information that will assist in planning future operations.

“I would like to thank all officers involved for their dedication, professionalism and the part they played in securing some very positive results.”

Seven warrants were carried out under the Misuse of Crime Act, with four people arrested.

The first took place at an address near Carmarthen town centre, where approximately £2,000 was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act. A 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class B drugs. He has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Llanelli response teams targeted two houses in the Hendy area simultaneously, where suspected controlled drugs were seized from both properties, along with a quantity of cash. Officers are progressing enquiries.

A fourth warrant was carried out at an address in the Tyisha area of Llanelli, where three people were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply and released under investigation.

A further three warrants were executed at addresses in Ammanford and Llandeilo.

Two people were referred for consideration for a diversionary scheme for cannabis possession, and enquiries are ongoing trace the occupant of an address in Llandeilo, where a cannabis hydroponic set-up and quantities of class A, B and C drugs were found.

Insp Ross said: “Follow-up patrols were carried out in the streets where these warrants took place, and we hope this offers reassurance to the community that we take the use and supply of illegal drugs very seriously, and will act on any information we receive about this activity.”

Llanelli Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) carried out joint patrols with representatives from DDAS – Dyfed Drug and Alcohol Service – which resulted in two referrals to the service, while a Safer Street initiative was launched in Ger y Llan.

Llanelli and Carmarthen NPTs joined forces with British Transport Police to focus on criminal activity around train stations and the rail route between Swansea, Llanelli and Carmarthen. This resulted in several stop searches, with one drug seizure, numerous intelligence logs submitted in relation to potential drug supply, and two fixed penalty notices issued for Covid regulation breaches.

Llanelli Rural NPT, along with Carmarthenshire Roads Policing Unit, Carmarthenshire Rural Crime Team, Natural Resources Wales, RSPCA and VOSA carried out an enforcement and intelligence gathering operation in support of Operation Rhinestone – the force’s operation into dog thefts – on the A484 near Trostre.

Insp Ross said: “Around 150 vehicles were stopped over the course of the day. Two vehicles were seized for having no insurance, several traffic offences were identified, and several prohibition notices were issued by VOSA.

“We would like to thank all our partners for their support during the day.”

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) officers checked for Registered Waste Carriers Licences and Duty of Care issues on drivers and vehicles pulled over by police.

A number of vehicles were offered advice and guidance on the need to register as a waste carrier.

One person was believed to be carrying waste without being registered to do so. NRW also visited a waste site with assistance by police. Both are being investigated further by NRW.

Jonathan Jones, Environment Team Leader, Natural Resources Wales, said: “We continue to work with our partner agencies at multi-agency days of action such as these and thank Dyfed-Powys Police for their on-going support.  

“NRW’s role at this day of action was to carry out checks and offer advice around preventing and detecting environmental crime. 

“I would remind those who carry or need to dispose of waste as part of their business to ensure that the person carrying the waste is registered and that the waste is taken to an appropriately authorised site. 

“Failure to do so could result in the owner of the waste being prosecuted, as well as the illegal waste carrier. 

“Information on who needs to register and how is available on the waste permitting section of our website, or by calling 03000 653000.”

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Ascona Group announces new Car and Truck wash facilities

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Charlie's Truck Wash

ASCONA GROUP, one of the UK’s fastest-growing forecourt operators, is pleased to announce two new vehicle washing partnerships as part of improvements to its unique roadside retail proposition across its forecourt estate.

As part of a new partnership with the American based PDQ Manufacturing, a leader for in-bay automatic vehicle washing facilities, Ascona Group will be the first in the UK to install the ‘Laserwash 360 Plus’, a touchless car wash system for its customers.

The partnership will initially expand the wash options at the Hinton Service Station, with a view to roll out the system to other sites under the Ascona Group’s brand, ‘Charlie’s Express Car Wash’ later this year. The partnership is a significant investment for Ascona and demonstrates its commitment to ever improving the experience for customers.

Ascona Group is also delighted to announce a strategic partnership with WashTec UK that will see Ascona introduce a ‘First of its Kind’ truck washing facility at the Tenby Road site on the A40 Eastbound in Carmarthenshire, which offers the very best technology available to HGV drivers.

The truck wash employs a fully ‘closed loop’ total water recycling system, the first of its kind in Wales, which recovers all water used within the wash process, filtering it for reuse with little or no water entering the mains drainage system. This system ensures Ascona not only has the best commercial wash in South Wales, but also offers customers one of the more environmentally friendly approaches in operation.

Commenting on the announcement, CEO Darren Briggs said: “From the very beginning, we knew that our sites must present our customers with a unique and compelling offer which is why we are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to improve our roadside retail facilities.

“These two new partnerships further demonstrate our focus on creating industry-leading propositions and we are really excited to be working with PDQ Manufacturing USA and WashTec UK. Together, we are keen to continue to build on the success of these new operations and we are actively reviewing multiple opportunities across the Ascona portfolio to roll out more units such as these.”

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Community

Nearly £50,000 of National Lottery funding for community groups in Carmarthenshire

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FIVE local community organisations across Carmarthenshire are celebrating after being awarded a share of £49,575 of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund over the past month.

One successful project was MolTân Makers who will use their £9,820 grant to provide metal working workshops for people wishing to improve their mental health and well-being. The group will reach out to mental health groups and the wider community and also allow people to reconnect with the community following the pandemic.

One participant with MolTân Makers explained, “ The course was professionally run by four hard-working people who helped us with one to one tuition when needed. They were so welcoming and adaptable to individual needs and allowed me to attend the course at different hours due to health reasons.

“They were great company and created an interesting and positive atmosphere to help people with mental and physical health problems feel included and understood and we all took home what we made in the course.”

The Hangout received £10,000 and will help young people improve their mental health and wellbeing through structured outdoor activity programmes. The project will build on a previous pilot project that led to more young people becoming re-engaged in school following the pandemic and continuing to volunteer with the group after the initial sessions finished.

The Alternative Learning Company in Llanelli were awarded £9,955 and will recycle plastic bottles to build full size greenhouses. They will propagate plants for growing schemes in local schools and communities. The project will reduce the levels of plastic sent to landfill or polluting open spaces, and give young people an understanding of the impact of climate change.

Newcastle Emlyn Town Council will build an outdoor structure in collaboration with the community, to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Jubilee. This £10,000 grant will fund building and design materials, and a water harvesting kit.

Messy Projects will use their £9,800 grant to run the activities and events they missed due to the pandemic. Activities will include celebrating the Queens platinum jubilee, a BBQ, and a Bonfire party.

John Rose, Wales Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said “These groups play a vital role in supporting their communities and these grants will allow them to continue being there for people in future. 

 ”National Lottery players raise more than £30 million each week for good causes across the UK and the projects funded over the past month show the crucial difference players make through their tickets. I look forward to following all of their progress.”  

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Family of power station worker calls on former colleagues to help with asbestos claim

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THE WIFE of a Carmarthenshire man, who was just 66 when he died of an asbestos-related cancer, is calling on colleagues who worked with him in the 1970s to help understand where and how he contracted the disease.

Peter Colton, from Llanelli, died in July 2021 after being diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma.

He worked as a conveyor and weighbridge operator for the CEGB at Carmarthen Bay Power Station. During his time at the power station, his duties included offloading coal wagons and conveying coal to the boilers.

It is possible that Mr Colton was exposed to asbestos during those years and now his family has sought the help of local asbestos specialists J.M Parsons, to investigate a claim for compensation.

Ann Colton, Mr Colton’s wife, wants answers. She said: “Peter was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died just six weeks later. He had been suffering from shortness of breath and just had no quality of life.

“It was devastating to see someone who had been so healthy and active slowly get worse and worse. We just want to know where and how he was exposed to asbestos and hope someone out there can help us.”

According to data from the Health and Safety Executive, annual mesothelioma deaths in Britain increased steeply over the last 50 years, a consequence of mainly occupational asbestos exposures that occurred because of the widespread industrial use of asbestos during 1950-1980.

Amanda Jones is one of the specialists at J.M Parsons, which is owned by Thompsons Solicitors. Thompsons has paved the way for asbestos litigation in the UK ever since it brought about the first successful asbestos disease claim to the House of Lords in 1972, 50 years ago.

She said: “We would be grateful to hear from anyone who remembers working with Peter Colton in Carmarthen Bay Power Station in the 1970s or anyone who worked in the same field as Peter beyond the 1970s.

“Such individuals will be invaluable to Mr Colton’s family as they may be able to add important information that will assist us in building a civil claim. We hope that we will then be able to answer questions about the conditions that Mr Colton worked in during his working life.”

Anyone with information should contact Amanda Jones on 01554 779940, or via email at amanda@jmplaw.co.uk.

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