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Missing girls found thanks to eagle-eyed police and digital enquiries

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TWO missing teenagers were found during the early hours of the morning thanks to digital enquiries and two eagle-eyed police officers.

Dyfed-Powys Police received a call reporting two friends – aged 13 and 14 – missing at around 11pm on Monday (May 31).

The girls were said to have missed the train they were expected to catch home from Carmarthen, and were no longer contactable by phone.

Officers immediately made their way to the train station to speak with staff in an attempt to establish if the girls were still there, or which direction they had left in.

Sergeant Stuart Davies said: “The parents’ concern was obviously growing for the girls, who were expected home at around 9.30pm and had not been seen or heard from an hour-and-a-half later.

“We tasked all available resources to look for them and ensure they were found safely – with searches carried out on the ground, as well as CCTV and phone enquiries completed.”

Initial enquiries at the train station gave officers a more clear description of the girls and what they were wearing, and the suggestion that they had arranged for a taxi to take them home.

Calls were made to taxi companies in the area, however it was quickly established that the girls had not been picked up.

Footage from the force’s CCTV cameras were reviewed from the control room, with the girls spotted walking towards the town centre at 9.30pm. Further digital work established that their phones had last connected to a mast near Tesco, giving a more focussed area for officers to concentrate on.

Sgt Davies said: “While these enquiries gave us more information to work on, the time that had lapsed since the girls were last seen in person or on CCTV was significant, and they were graded as high risk missing people due to their age.

“A number of other calls were also being received by the force control room during this time, which required immediate police responses. To ensure we were able to deal appropriately with the search, we called in colleagues from the Ammanford team to assist.

“At one point we had 15 officers either on the ground or in the control room carrying out enquiries to find the girls.”

At 2.30am, officers spoke with people in the town centre who thought they had seen the pair an hour earlier in Nott Square.

They were finally spotted by two PCs in the castle grounds at 2.50am – more than five hours after they had been due to arrive home.

“This was an excellent spot by our colleagues, who found the girls safe and well and took them home to their very relieved families,” Sgt Davies said.

“The way colleagues carried out this search was a superb example of teamwork, starting with very limited information, but showing how diligence and thorough investigation leads to a successful outcome.”

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LEADER: Call for new and innovative project ideas

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THE LEADER programme, which aims to support the regeneration of rural Carmarthenshire, has opened a new call for Expressions of Interest.

LEADER is designed to get local people, businesses and communities involved in delivering sustainable, innovative solutions to address some of the economic, social and environmental challenges facing rural Carmarthenshire. The Local Action Group – Grŵp Cefn Gwlad is managing the LEADER programme in Carmarthenshire.

This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

The programme can provide financial support of up to 80% towards a project’s costs.

The LAG can also support projects that cooperate with other geographical areas via inter-territorial or transnational working.

To request an application pack, please email rdpsirgar@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/business

The deadline for submission of the Expression of Interest is June 30, 2021.

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Have your say on the future of housing in Carmarthenshire

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RESIDENTS and businesses are being urged to have their say on the future of housing in Carmarthenshire.

Carmarthenshire County Council is developing a new 10-year Housing and Regeneration Masterplan and residents are being asked for their views.

Providing quality, affordable homes is a key priority for the council and it is investing millions of pounds in new housing stock; creating much-needed jobs and helping to grow the local economy and regenerate communities.

In 2015, the council became the first in Wales to suspend the Right to Buy to retain its declining housing stock, and built a number of bungalows – the first local authority housing to be built in Wales since the 1980s.

A year later, in 2016, it launched its affordable homes plan to deliver 1,000 additional affordable homes in the county by 2021 by building new, buying from the market and converting empty buildings.

Now the council is shaping its plans for the next 10 years which includes building over 900 new council homes and investing nearly £150million across the county by 2029.

It is important that the new homes are of the right type, size and tenure, and in the right places to build strong sustainable communities where people want to live and work.

The Housing and Regeneration Masterplan will also recognise the role of housing development and investment in stimulating the overall economic growth of the county – which is now even more critical as we recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents are being encouraged to take part in our online consultation which starts on Monday, June 14.

Cllr Linda Evans, Executive Board Member for Housing, said: “We are proud to be leading the way here in Carmarthenshire to deliver new, affordable, high quality and much-needed homes for local people.

“We have already achieved so much during the last few years, but we must now plan for the next 10 years and we need the views of our residents to help tell us where they think these homes should be developed, who should have them, and what type and size they should be.

“We are committed to making more homes available for those in highest need, and aim to deliver a plan that will provide homes in communities where people want to live, with a range of homes to suit specific needs.

“This includes our rural towns and villages, where we must help to make sure that local people are able to afford quality affordable homes and remain in their communities; as well as increasing the residential offer in our town centres, increasing footfall and helping businesses to thrive.

“Aside from providing much needed homes in the county, the investment will also boost the local economy creating jobs, training opportunities and apprenticeships in the construction industry.”

The council is delivering this commitment in a number of ways, including building more council homes and working with housing association partners to deliver more new build schemes, buying stock that suits our needs, working with developers to ensure a range of affordable homes are built as part of private developments and bringing empty homes back into use. 

It is also actively working with landlords to encourage them to make their properties available at affordable rent levels, including bringing more private sector homes into the management of our in-house social lettings agency.

To take part in the survey please visit the consultation pages on the council website carmarthenshire.gov.wales/consultations Paper copies are available from one of our customer service Hwbs. The survey closes on July 26.

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Community wardens hit the streets of Tyisha and Glanymor

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has appointed two new community wardens to patrol the Tyisha and Glanymor areas of Llanelli.

The community wardens will support the local Neighbourhood Policing Team and other agencies to provide a visible presence within the area and will have a varied role which will include:

  • Patrolling hot spot areas to deter crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Tackling vandalism and fly tipping as well as issues relating to communal areas and open spaces/parks
  • Supporting the introduction of a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
  • Organising the installation of crime prevention measures
  • Offering targeted support to vulnerable members of the community
  • Encourage wellbeing activities and community engagement with youth projects, schools and clubs including the promotion of volunteering opportunities.

Linda Evans, chair of the Tyisha steering group and executive board member for housing said: “I am delighted that Tyisha and Glanymor now have community wardens who will work closely with Dyfed Powys Police and other agencies to deliver a multi-agency approach to tackling issues of community concern. In response to community feedback they will prioritise tackling anti-social behaviour issues, reducing crime relating to drug and alcohol misuse and engaging with the community to make positive changes throughout Tyisha and Glanymor.”

Ann Davies, Executive Board Member and vice-chair of the Tyisha Steering Group said: “The work carried out by the community wardens will make a positive difference through helping to reduce fear of crime and incidents of anti-social behaviour as well as improving quality of life for those who live in these communities.”

The introduction of community wardens to the Tyisha area forms part of the council’s ambitious Transforming Tyisha project which looks to regenerate the area through increasing community safety, developing housing and community facilities and improving the environment.

To contact the community wardens or for more information on joining Tyisha and Glanymor’s Neighbourhood Watch Scheme please e-mail tyisha@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

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