Live updates


Drills 'to test flooding response'

"Like many emergency responders, fire and rescue services are accustomed to dealing with floods which can have far reaching effects such as trapping people in their cars, threatening livestock and, at worst, threatening homes, livelihoods and even lives. The exercise in Bala is designed to put the combined skills, resources and equipment of all the emergency responders to the test and ensure that we are fully prepared for such incidents in real life.

"The exercise scenario will involve dealing with rescuing trapped casualties, carrying out fast flowing water rescues and deploying an array of flood rescue equipment and highly skilled staff in the Bala area.

"Flooding exercises such as this provide vital experience for those involved in the emergency services to test their resilience during difficult times."

– Paul Claydon, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Exercise Berwyn to simulate severe floods

Volunteer casualties prepare top be airlifted from a submerged mobile home during a similar training exercise Credit: David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A large-scale flooding rescue exercise is due to be held in Bala today. The operation is called Exercise Berwyn and will see volunteer casualties rescued from fast-flowing water and aims to simulate some of the worst flooding conditions.

Major flooding rescue exercise in Bala

An RAF rescue helicopter airlifts volunteer casualties during a similar flooding exercise Credit: David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Emergency services from across Wales and the rest of the UK will descend on Bala today to stage a large-scale flooding rescue exercise.

The drills will see representatives from all three fire and rescue services in Wales, North Wales Police, the RNLI and RAF Search and Rescue stage flood rescues around the Bala area in Gwynedd.

They will be joined by teams from Natural Resources Wales, Gwynedd Council, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, the RSPCA, Severn Area Rescue Association, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Automobile Association, and North Wales Mountain Rescue Association.


Police increase patrols after Bala murder of Branislav Gula

After the murder of a Slovakian man in Bala, Gwynedd on November 10th, North Wales Police say they're putting more patrols in place to "reassure" the public.

Additional high visibility patrols by local Community Beat Managers, Community Support Officers and Special Constables will take place as well as consulting with local councillors and other members of the local community.

I would emphasise that we will reach out to all groups within the community, particularly those from Eastern Europe to reassure that we are here for everyone and will address whatever concerns they have.

– Inspector Mark Armstrong, North Wales Police

Branislav Gula, 42, died on Plasey Street in the town on Saturday. Fellow Slovakian Julius Hecko, 23, has been charged with his murder.

Gwynedd murder suspect appears in court

Julius Hecko a 23-year-old Slovakian will appear at Caernarfon magistrates today charged with the murder of Branislav Gula who was 42.

Police were called to Plassey Street in Bala on Saturday where they discovered the body of 42-year-old Mr Gula, also from Slovakia.

Despite charging an individual with murder our enquiries are still very much on going. I would like to appeal to anyone in the community who may have witnessed events leading up to the evening of Saturday 10th November, or in fact anyone who can assist us complete a full picture and background to contact Police on 101

– Senior Investigating Officer DCI Andrew Williams

Man charged with murder after Bala death

A Slovakian man has been charged with the murder of a fellow Slovakian man in Bala in Gwynedd. Branislav Gula, who was 42, died on Plasey Street in the town on Saturday. 23-year-old Julius Hecko will appear at Caernarfon Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Four other people arrested in connection with Mr Gula's death have been released on bail to give officers more time to 'conclude enquiries'. Police are still appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Load more updates