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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."

Police appeal following armed robbery in Swansea

Police in Swansea are appealing for information following a robbery which occurred shortly after 10:30am this morning on Nyanza Terrace in the Uplands area of the city.

A 39-year-old woman was walking along the street when she was approached by a man with a knife who demanded money from her. After a scuffle the man made off.

The man is described as a white man in his 20s with short hair and was wearing a light grey top with a blue pattern on the front and his hood raised.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crimestoppers on 101.

This was a very distressing incident for the victim who suffered a cut to her hand which required hospital treatment. We have increased our patrols in the area and would like any witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

– South Wales Police spokesperson


Welsh MP questions appointment of South Wales Police assistant chief constable

Elfyn Llwyd has written to the Home Secretary Theresa May Credit: PA Images

Questions have been raised over the appointment of the assistant chief constable of South Wales Police.

While working for Merseyside Police, Nikki Holland was given the job of leading an investigation into the Welsh force's role in a miscarriage of justice.

Three men from Cardiff spent a decade in jail after being wrongly convicted of killing newsagent Phillip Saunders in 1987.

Plaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd has written to the Home Secretary asking if it was appropriate that Ms Holland was given the job as the report into the case she led has not yet been published.

Mr Llwyd said he is 'rather concerned' about the situation.

Deputy Chief Constable Matt Jukes of South Wales Police said:

“Following a thorough and robust investigation, this work was completed in April 2012 around two years before Ms Holland applied for her current position.

"In November 2012, the CPS independently reached the conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to bring charges against anyone in this matter."

Police appeal after serious crash in Merthyr Tydfil

The crash happened earlier this afternoon.

South Wales Police are appealing for witnesses following a serious crash that happened at around 4:50pm this afternoon in Gurnos Road, Merthyr.

The collision involved a blue Skoda Roomster which was travelling from Acacia Avenue, when it collided with a parked unattended Mercedes Flatbed van.

The driver and the passenger in the Skoda were taken from the scene by ambulance to the Prince Charles Hospital where they remain.

The carriageway was closed for five hours whilst the police conducted initial investigations. Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to contact South Wales Police on 101.

Police appeal following 3am attack on 73 year-old

The attack took place near the tennis courts on Dyfed Road at 3am. Credit: Google Maps

Police in Neath are investigating an unprovoked assault which happened near the tennis courts on Dyfed Road at 3am on Wednesday 18th June.

A 73 year old man was assaulted and sustained facial and arm injuries which required hospital treatment.

Local policing Inspector Huw Griffiths said, “This was a very distressing incident for the victim. I am appealing for anyone who may have seen two men acting suspiciously in the area to contact us. I also want to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incident."

Anyone who may have witnessed this assault or who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time in question is asked to contact Neath police station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

South Wales Police make domestic violence a priority

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Over two thousand people are at risk of harm in south Wales Credit: Press Association Images

South Wales Police say they are taking action on violence against women and girls with a plan published today by the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable.

Many women talked about going to hospital for emergency treatment several times before calling the police. The plan aims to strengthen links between emergency healthcare workers and the police to encourage women to report the crime at an earlier stage.

Domestic abuse accounts for over a third of all violent crimes handled by the force and over two thousand people are thought to be at high risk of serious harm or even murder. An average of six women a month are killed by a current or ex-partner in the UK.

Last week the police watchdog, the IPCC, severely criticised South Wales Police for it's handling of the attack on Charmaine Lewis. The report found the force did not treat the case with sufficient urgency and Charmaine and her children were put at 'serious risk'.

The new plan aims to increase the confidence of victims in reporting incidents to the police and to provide the best possible service to them when they do come forward.

Alun Michael, the PCC for South Wales, said "Change will not come about overnight because we need to reach a point where nobody in south Wales is prepared to tolerate violence against women and girls.

It's a police priority to help victims promptly and effectively but the real success will be in stopping abuse happening in the first place."


Patients now returning to UHW after gas leak fears

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board says clinics this afternoon will now go ahead as planned while the fractured gas main is dealt with.

Patients are now safely returning to our Women’s Unit following the earlier evacuation.

Our clinics this afternoon will go ahead as normal and we continue to work closely with South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, South Wales Police and the utilities to manage the position appropriately and safely.

– Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Two University Hospital of Wales wards evacuated after gas leak outside Children's Hospital

The wards have been evacuated as a precaution

A gas leak outside Phase 1 of the Children's Hospital for Wales in Cardiff has led to two wards being evacuated.

The ground floor of the maternity unit and the antenatal clinic have been evacuated as a precautionary measure, a spokesperson said.

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