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South Wales Police officers cleared of misconduct

South Wales Police officers have been cleared of misconduct over the death of a man in prison - but the police watchdog says the paperwork system used to record a detained person's risk of self-harm is "not fit for purpose."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has today published the findings of its investigation into the death of Christopher Shapley last September and how police carried out risk assessments and passed information on.

The 43-year-old was found dead in his Cardiff prison cell three days after being arrested at home in Aberdare, and charged with common assault.

South Wales Police has accepted the findings of the IPCC's report.

The IPCC found "no evidence of any misconduct by officers", they complied with procedures for completing risk assessments on a person in custody, spoke to Mr Shapley and his family about the risk of self-harm, and followed up with appropriate care plans.

But it found issues with the Person Escort Record (PER) form, used by police forces across Wales and England to pass on concerns around a detained person's risk of self-harm.

South Wales Police ticked the box on the form to record concerns about a risk of self-harm, but had insufficient space to provide more information, so decided to use a separate sheet and staple it to the form.At some point, the stapled sheet was lost, and the extra information was not passed on.

The IPCC said that "the PER form, as designed currently, is not fit for its purpose and needs a fundamental redesign."

Appeal after tiny kitten found tied to a gatepost

The RSPCA is appealing for information about a kitten who was found tied to a gatepost in the Penywaun area of Aberdare.

The black and white kitten is around six weeks old. Credit: RSPCA

The black and white kitten was discovered tied to the front gate of a house in Brodawel with a blue rope.

Inspector Gemma Cooper said: “Although the kitten was physically OK and wasn’t injured, she would have been extremely scared.

“Abandoning an animal like this is totally unacceptable and if anyone has information about where the kitten came from I would urge them to contact us in confidence on the inspector’s information line on 0300 123 8018”


Plans for opencast mine near Aberdare approved

People have protested against the plan at Llwydcoed Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Plans for a new opencast mine near Aberdare have been approved by Rhondda Cynon Taf councillors.

Cwm Coke Works, Colliery and Tip, Tynant will be developed, as will Bryn Defaid Surface Coal Mine, Llwydcoed for the extraction of coal and associated ancillary activities.

However permission will not be granted until section 106 agreements are signed.

Some residents near the Bryn Defaid site at Llwydcoed say it will cause noise and environmental damage.

Celtic Energy says it's listened to concerns and that the scheme will create around 50 jobs.

Two homes evacuated as gas tanker bridge collapses

20 firefighters are on the scene, dealing with the incident.

Two homes have been evacuated after a bridge in Aberdare collapsed while a tanker carrying 16,000 litres of highly-flammable propane gas was travelling across it.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service says it is preparing to transfer the gas to another tanker, and remove the stricken lorry with a crane.

The fire service says a tree is holding the tanker in place.


'No leak detected' from crashed lorry carrying propane

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service says it was called at 9.13 this morning, after a lorry carrying propane gas crashed into a bridge near Nant Gwyn House, Werfa, Aberdare.

The tanker is carrying around 16,000 litres of liquid petroleum gas.

Its rear wheels have gone through a wooden bridge, and it has come to rest against a tree.

No gas leak has been detected.

A second tanker is being sent, so the gas can be transferred from the crashed tanker.

There are four fire appliances on the scene, and the fire service says crews will be there for a number of hours, which is likely to cause disruption locally.

Gas tanker crashes into bridge in Aberdare

A tanker carrying propane has crashed into a bridge in Aberdare this morning.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service says nobody has been injured in the incident, and no gas leak detected.

South Wales Police says two homes nearby have been evacuated.

Inquest opens into fire that killed teenager girl

Police and fire experts are investigating the blaze where Emily Harris died. Credit: WNS

An inquest has been opened on a teenage girl killed in a fire while housesitting for her grandparents at their home in Aberdare. Eighteen-year-old Emily Harris was trapped inside the five-bedroomed home when the blaze broke out overnight at Plas Draw.

Her grandparents Keith and Ann Harris were away on holiday at the time but flew home after being told of the tragedy last weekend. Police and fire experts are investigating the blaze which gutted the £450,000 house.

Glamorgan and Valleys coroner Louise Hunt adjourned the Aberdare inquest pending a police investigation of the cause of the blaze.

Woman killed in Aberdare house fire

A woman has died in a house fire this morning in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service says it attended a fire in Abernant, near Aberdare, at around 7.30am, where the house was well alight.

It says the building had partially collapsed and the fire was particularly severe.

Despite the tremendous efforts of the fire crews, the severity of the fire and the partial collapse of the building meant crews were faced with a very difficult incident and unfortunately a fatality has been confirmed at the scene.

I would first of all like to express my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased that has sadly lost their life during the house fire today.

The deceased has been identified and the family have been informed however we cannot give any further information on the identity of the person at this time.

– Andy Thomas, Assistant Chief Fire Officer of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

The cause of the fire is under joint investigation by the fire service and the police.

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