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  1. John Willats

Home Office on PCCs: 'Reforms working; crime falling'

Police reforms are working and crime is falling. Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales have been an integral part of this by announcing a series of innovative projects since taking office.

Last November’s elections marked the biggest democratic reform in policing in our lifetimes with more than five million people voting. This gives PCCs a far greater mandate than the unelected and invisible police authorities they replaced.

– Home Office spokesperson

In response to criticisms of PCCs, the Home Office has also given more details of the progress made so far by the four Commissioners in Wales:

  • South Wales PCC has announced a force-wide roll-out of the Cardiff violence reduction model, in which A&E staff share information about violent incidents with police. He has also launched a new initiative to tackle online bullying and online crime, including child abuse.
  • In Gwent, the PCC has introduced his own app to help residents track his initiatives. He is the first PCC to do so.
  • The Dyfed Powys PCC launched a six-week consultation on rural crime in July to inform a rural policing strategy. The force is making increased use of the internet and social media to communicate with the public, inlcuding a bilingual smartphone app.
  1. John Willats

Home Office rejects PCC concerns

Police and Crime Commissioners are now making strategic decisions on policing and setting budgets Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The Home Office has rejected criticisms over the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales.

The Labour MP for Newport West, Paul Flynn, has told ITV Cymru Wales the new system is 'not going to work'.

The Home Office says police reforms are working and crime is falling.

Police and Crime Commissioners were elected in November last year Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The Electoral Commission has since told the British Government that mistakes over last year's PCC elections must not be repeated.

It found only 20% of people felt they had enough information about the candidates, with turnout for the elections at a record low.

L-R: Christopher Salmon (Dyfed-Powys), Ian Johnston (Gwent), Alun Michael (South Wales) and Winston Roddick (North Wales) Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Salaries for the four Welsh Commissioners range from £65,000 to £85,000, and each has a total office budget around ten times that amount.

In Dyfed-Powys and South Wales that is less than it was before, while in North Wales the budget has stayed the same.

Wales This Week: Feeling the Force is on at 8pm tonight on ITV Cymru Wales.

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Rural crime falls by 17 per cent

Rural crime cost the country nearly two million pounds in 2011 Credit: ITV News Wales

Rural crime has fallen by 17 per cent in Wales. New figures from insurance company NFU Mutual estimate that rural crime cost the country £1.9 million in 2012 - that compares to £2.3 million in 2011. Thefts of quad bikes, livestock and fuel are the most common rural crimes.

NFU Mutual say that farmers are now taking simple measures to try and make their farms more secure. More of them are keeping geese to scare off trespassers and introducing louder and more aggressive animals such as llamas into their flocks.

Some are also installing fog machines to disorientate intruders.

Farmers are trying to deter thieves from raiding their properties Credit: ITV News Wales

Mother jailed for stealing dead woman's identity

Newport mother Catherine Kyie, 33, was jailed for 15 months. Credit: Wales News Service.

A woman has been jailed at Cardiff Crown Court for stealing a dead mother's identity to enter Wales illegally. Catherine Kyie, 33, was found impersonating a mother who died after childbirth to get from Ghana into the UK. The court heard she had defrauded taxpayers out of more than £100,000.

Mother-of-three Kyie claimed family tax credits, child benefit payments and was paid by the NHS as a cleaner for the eight years she lived in Duffryn, Newport. Kyie pretended to be deceased Joyce Pokuaa - another Ghanaian woman who had married a Dutch man and started their own family.

Prosecutor Roger Griffiths said, "But she died after giving birth to her son in 2003. Kyie stole her identity and took on her name." Kyie's then allowed fellow Ghanian Kenneth Boateng, 45, to pretend to be her husband so he could illegally gain entry into Britain in 2005.

Cardiff Crown Court heard they were discovered when relatives of the dead mother's 10-year-old son wanted him to come to the country. Mr Griffiths said, "He was unable to travel because it was discovered his passport had been renewed by Boateng and a woman claiming to be his mother."

The couple pleaded guilty to 14 charges of fraud by misrepresentation to enter and remain in the UK illegally.

Kyie was imprisoned for 15 months and Boateng for 12 months. Both were told they would be automatically deported after serving their sentences.

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Welsh woman's body found in Cornwall

A 34-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the discovery of a woman’s body in a car in Cornwall.

Police were called to a layby close to West Wayland Caravan Park on the A387 between Polperro and Looe at 5.30pm on Friday 28 June.

Devon and Cornwall Police say they discovered the body of a 28-year-old woman, from Wales, in a Ford Mondeo car.

Detectives have launched an investigation into the death which is being treated as unexplained at this time.

A post mortem examination has been carried out but police await the results of further forensic tests to determine the cause of death.

The man, from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, was arrested at the scene and taken to Newquay police station. He has been released on police bail.

Concern over the scale of unwanted doorstep calls in Wales

Fresh evidence has been revealed of the shocking scale of scams and unwanted doorstep calls that are being targeted at families across Wales.

Trading Standards received 1,600 reports of mail, phone and internet scams in just a year.

There were also at least a thousand unwanted doorstep calls - many of then targeting older people.

Megan Boot reports

Advice: how to deal with unwanted doorstep callers

Thousands of scams and unwanted doorstep calls were reported throughout Wales in the last year, new figures show. Age Cymru says that could be the tip of the iceberg, with just five per cent of scams reported.

How to stay safe and cope with unwanted callers

The Royal Mail says it works closely with the Advertising Standards Authority, Trading Standards and with the police, to identify and stop scam mail. It has a system for postmen and women to report complaints that they receive from customers so that they can be quickly investigated.

Have you had a bad experience with a doorstep caller? ITV News would like to talk to you. You can contact us on wales@itv.com

Elderly more likely to be scammed on doortstep

Age Cymru says there could be as many as 50,000 scams and unwanted doorstep calls in in Wales a year and many of the victims will be elderly.

It's called on the Welsh Government to create more No Cold Calling Zones.

There are over 1,500 zones covering almost 40,000 residential households in Wales. In our Programme for Government, we made a commitment to supporting the extension of No Cold Calling Zones and we are determined communities should be able to make clear their desire not to be subject to cold calling.

Work to fulfill our commitment so far includes establishing a baseline of the number of zones in Wales and we are continuing to work with the police and local government to help them to create more areas, informed by the experience of the existing zones.

– Welsh Government spokesperson
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