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Number of drink-driving convictions 'alarming'

Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives says the conviction rate for drink driving is 'alarming'.

Figures from an insurance company show four Welsh communities dominate the top five worst areas for drink driving:

  • Crewe
  • Llandrindod Wells
  • Cardiff
  • Newport
  • Swansea
  • Aberdeen
  • Blackpool
  • Darlington
  • Telford
  • Plymouth

Although conviction rates across the country continue to fall, it is alarming to see Welsh cities such as Cardiff featuring so prominently on the list.

It’s clear that more needs to be done to drive home the message that getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs is completely unacceptable and puts lives at risk.

The fact drivers in Cardiff are more than 15 times more likely to have a drink or drug-drive conviction than counterparts in London is very concerning and more needs to be done to educate individuals and warn of the dangers involved.

– Andrew RT Davies AM, LEader, Welsh Conservatives
Credit: John Giles / PA

Today Welsh police forces launch their anti-drink/drug driving campaign.

Gwent Police will lead the month-long campaign, running from 1st December 2015 to 1st January 2016.

Last year in Wales a total of 30,718 motorists took part with 488 returning either positive results or failing/refusing to take the breath test.

We are committed to making the roads in Wales safer and year on year we raise awareness of the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs through campaigns such as this one.

Christmas and New Year are a time for enjoyment and social events, and whilst I would encourage everyone to have a good time, it is important to reiterate our key message; if you drink, don’t drive and if you drive, don’t drink – it’s that simple!

– Julian Williams, Assistant Chief Constable, Gwent Police


Hain demands explanation of MP surveillence

On his last day in the House of Commons, Neath MP Peter Hain has demanded an explanation of why he and other MPs allegedly had police surveillance files kept open on them. He said it was hardly a revelation that the special branch had a file on people like him, dating back 40 years to his time as an anti-apartheid activist. But he was concerned at the suggestion that the file remained active after he became an MP in 1991.

Surely the fact that these files were still active for at least 10 years while we were MPs raises fundamental questions about parliamentary sovereignty and privilege—principles that are vital to our democracy. It is one thing to have a police file on an MP suspected of crime, child abuse or even co-operating with terrorism, but quite another to maintain one deriving from campaigns promoting values of social justice, human rights and equal opportunities that are shared by millions of British people. Surely that means travelling down a road that endangers the liberty of us all.

– Peter Hain MP

The claim about files on MPs was made by a former undercover police officer, Peter Francis. The minister responsible for the police, Mike Penning, said this was the kind of allegation that had led the Home Secretary to set up an inquiry under a senior judge.

Undercover policing is an essential tactic in fighting crime. However, we have known for some time that there have been serious historical failings in undercover policing and its practices. To improve the public’s confidence in undercover work, we must ensure that there is no repeat of these failings. That is why the Home Secretary established a public inquiry earlier this month -to investigate thoroughly undercover policing and the operation of the special demonstration squad

– Home Office Minister Mike Penning MP

Taser guns for all 'would be a mistake', says Welsh PCC

Offering Tasers to all front-line police officers would be a mistake, according to the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner.

Christopher Salmon says he is against to the proposal by the head of the Police Federation who argues police need better protection from acts of terrorism.

Credit: PA Images

“Routine arming with Tasers would be a mistake and counter to the traditions of British policing.

“Strong community relationships, not weapons, are the key to fighting terrorism - just as they are to fighting crime", Mr Salmon argued.

Citing the killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby near Woolwich Barracks in 2013 as an example of how lone wolf-style attacks could be carried out without guns, Steve White, Head of the Police Confederation, said all frontline police officers should have the option of arming themselves with Tasers in future to help them deal with the UK's heightened security threats.

Police name road accident victim

Police are appealing for witnesses. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Archive/PA Images

Police say 85 year-old John Roberts, who lived locally, was involved in an accident at Mill Road, Ely, Cardiff on Saturday.

He was admitted to the University Hospital of Wales where he died from his injuries.

'The cause of the collision is being investigated by the Roads Policing Unit, and the appeal for potential witnesses continues.' - South Wales Police


Armed officers deployed to 'incident' in Cardiff

Armed officers have been deployed to an "incident" on Colum Road in Cardiff.

Police were called to the scene just after 7am this morning. South Wales Police said armed officers were deployed to "ensure the safety of the public and officers in the area."

A 27 year old man has been arrested and is in police custody.

The road was closed for a short time but has now reopened.

Armed police at incident in Llanelli

A map of where the incident in Llanelli is taking place Credit: ITV Wales

Armed police are at an ongoing incident on Station Road in Llanelli. Sgt Justin Evans said: "We are acting on information and we need to track down a suspect. It's an ongoing incident on Station Road armed officers are in attendance and the road is closed off."

Police say there is no more information available at this time.

Police appeal after 12-year-old boy assaulted in Cardiff

Police are appealing for witnesses after a 12-year-old boy was assaulted in the St Mellons area of Cardiff.

The assault happened on the grassy area near Tesco outside the St Mellons Community Centre at around 8pm on Tuesday 10 December.

Two local boys aged 14 and 12 have been arrested and are on bail while officers continue to make enquiries including checking CCTV.

The victim, who has learning difficulties, was punched and kicked causing bruising and swelling to his face.When the assault started on the Tesco field a number of youths ran out of the nearby community centre and gathered in the area.

These young people are potential witnesses and we would ask them or their parents to make contact with South Wales Police.

– PC Alun Nevett, South Wales Police

Man arrested in connection with sexual assault

Police have arrested a 21 year-old man in connection with a serious sexual assault which happened near Swansea Civic Centre at around 5.40pm on Wednesday.

The female victim, who is aged in her 50s, was walking from her work place to her car when she was threatened before being sexually assaulted.

The man was arrested in the Swansea area and is currently in custody at Swansea Central Police Station.

South Wales Police say the investigation is continuing.

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