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Plaid launches commissioner manifestos

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Critical of Christopher: Dafydd Llywelyn did not pull his punches

Critical of Christopher: Dafydd Llywelyn did not pull his punches

PLAID CYMRU candidates and members gathered in Carmarthen to launch the party’s national manifesto for the upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner election on May 5 – the same day as the Assembly election.

The Party of Wales ‘ candidates for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in the four policing forces are Arfon Jones (North Wales), Linet Purcell (South Wales), Darren Jones (Gwent) and Dafydd Llywelyn (Dyfed Powys).

The candidate for Dyfed Powys, Dafydd Llywelyn, who is the former Principal Crime and Intelligence Analyst for Dyfed Powys police force, said that the manifesto was designed to create ‘a strong, just and safe Wales’ and that this ambition would be fulfilled with three main priorities.

He added that Plaid Cymru Police and Crime Commissioners would focus on creating strong neighbourhood policing teams to cut crime in communities, protecting vulnerable groups and supporting victims, and breaking the cycle of crime to reduce future offending.

Speaking at the launch, Dafydd Llywelyn added: “Our manifesto for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections is designed to secure a strong, just and safe Wales. At the heart of our proposals lie a commitment to community safety, victim support and breaking the cycle of reoffending.”

The former police analyst went on to say: “If elected, Plaid Cymru Police and Crime Commissioners would work to ensure that all parts of Wales have strong neighbourhood policing teams that will cut crime in our communities, that vulnerable groups and victims are protected and supported so that they’re not just statistics, and that the cycle of crime is broken as often as possible.

“Plaid Cymru puts the best interests of Wales first – nationally and locally. Our PCCs would champion the needs of communities as well as continue to campaign against further Westminster cuts which have led to severely depleted frontline services.”

Looking at local policing priorities, Dafydd Llywelyn published his 10 personal pledges under the themes of Trust and Efficiency and Security and Safety as his platform to be elected as the new Police Commissioner for Dyfed Powys.

Following his address to the gathered audience and members of the press, he spoke to The Herald.

We began by asking the Plaid candidate why he had put himself forward for election.

He told us: “As many people will be aware I used to work for Dyfed Powys for thirteen and a half years. When Police and Crime Commissioners were put in post I did feel that there was a change in the way that the police were being run. I found frustrating working under that set up. As a result of that I thought perhaps I needed to be looking outside in terms of employment.

“I now lecture in criminology at Aberystwyth University. Plaid Cymru hadn’t put anyone forward the first time round, so I felt that I wasn’t represented on the ballot paper. It was a chance discussion last year when I heard the decision had changed and that Plaid Cymru were going to field candidates. I decided then to put my name forward. My background in the Police stands me in good stead.”

Dafydd Llewellyn was very direct in his criticism of the current Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon: “We have a police commissioner who has zero policing experience and that was very apparent in his first tenure.

“While I haven’t served as a police officer I did work as a support staff member in the Dyfed Powys force. Being a lecturer I am able to look at it in a critical way. I very often do research and I look at the issues of crime. I think my former colleagues appreciate that my experience does give me an insight into real policing issues.”

Given the financial difficulties facing local authorities and the Dyfed Powys- Police force we asked the Mr Llywelyn how he planned to tackle drug and alcohol related crime in the area.

He responded by identifying the range of stakeholders that a PCC needs to work with: “Drugs and alcohol-related crimes are issues you can only tackle in partnership with unitary authorities. The authority here in Carmarthenshire has called time after time for CCTV and he (Christopher Salmon) has not fulfilled that requirement. As far as social economic issues, which are often seen as the causes of crime, they are issues the Police Commissioners cannot deal with in isolation. They have to work with partner agencies, with charities and unitary authorities themselves.”

He added that it was time for Wales to be in control of its own policing policy and priorities: “We would like for recommendations in the Silk report two years for the devolving powers of policing to Cardiff to be followed through.”

The Herald asked Dafydd Llywelyn if there was a greater role to be played in crime prevention rather than crime busting.

He said: “Community work and work within the community is critical in terms of prevention and intervention. There are good examples of crime prevention undertaken by people like the youth service. I mentioned in my speech that there is a fragmentation of funding in terms of youth services. We can address that and give for the five and ten year period a strategy in terms funding for some of these agencies. It would give them a stronger footing in terms of some of the activities they want to carry out.”

With an implied criticism of a decision reached by Mr Salmon, Dafydd Llywelyn continued: “The prevention aspect is very important. I mentioned CCTV as preventing incidents from happening because they are spotted. CCTV doesn’t work as a deterrent if people understand that it isn’t being monitored. For town centre violence in particular alcohol related violent crime the deterrent is there: especially if you understand it is being monitored.”

He went on to announce further plans as Police and Crime Commissioner if elected saying that he would include investment in a modern CCTV infrastructure, road safety and ensuring victims are properly supported.

We suggested that some people might believe that the cost of employing Police and Crime Commissioners would be better spent on front line policing services.

Without hesitation the candidate explained: “If you tot the cost of their offices up it amounts to around £3m. I would agree with you that it would be better spent on front line policing. My first course of action would be to scrap the role of Deputy Police Commissioner – an unelected role which costs tens of thousands of pounds a year.”

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Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened

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ON MONDAY, November 28, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, unveiled a specially designed plaque to commemorate the official opening of the brand new Carmarthenshire Archives building.

The official opening was attended by year 6 pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, along with their Headteacher Mr Dylan Evans, who designed the plaque by compiling various artwork and sketches that are housed at the Archives.

Established in 1959, Carmarthenshire Archives is the local authority archive service for the County of Carmarthenshire and the new building is located at St Peter’s Street, Carmarthen. 

The service is home to our extensive collection of historic documents that date from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes archives, maps, books, photographs, videos and sound recordings. It is the Archives’ mission to preserve and make its documents available for general study and research.

Admission to Carmarthenshire Archives is free and open to anyone who wishes to use the Council’s records. Most of its services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John commented:

“Congratulations to the pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, they have designed an excellent and appropriate plaque that is inspired by the treasure troves of our archives. It was wonderful to welcome them to the official opening so that they can see their work take pride of place at a building that holds great significance to us in Carmarthenshire. 

“This is a brand new and modern building that is fit to keep and protect our county’s most precious historical documents. 

“But of course, these documents are meant to be viewed and studied by school children, students, academics and anybody who has an interest in Carmarthenshire’s rich history; and this excellent facility provides the perfect space for people to come and view these treasures.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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