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POLICE HAVE NEW EYES OUT ON THE STREET

PC Mark Murphy and CSO James Cooke with the new body-worn videos.

West Mercia Police have rolled out the use of body-worn video by front-line police officers and community support officers (CSOs), a groundbreaking development for the force. Following two years of trials in Telford & Wrekin, 120 head-mounted cameras have been purchased and 20 have been sent to each policing division with 20 being used by the force Operations Department.

The cameras will be used by police officers to gather evidence at fast-moving and complex situations, in particular domestic violence and public order incidents. CSOs will use them to counter antisocial behaviour and incidents of abuse from members of the public.

Inspector James Ashton, who works in Herefordshire and led the roll-out of head-cams across the force said, 'West Mercia Police is willing to look at using all types of technology if it means we can tackle crime and make sure West Mercia remains a safe place to live. Use of body-worn video at domestic violence incidents provides much more graphic evidence for magistrates and juries of the distressing nature of violence than the words of a police officer ever could. They are useful for evidence gathering, immediately recording victims’ injuries and damage caused, and the victims’ statements.

Body-worn video is very useful while policing town centres at night and other public order situations where there are large numbers of people and crowds; where officers would find it impossible to remember and note down everything they saw.

It also helps reduce pressure on the courts – when offenders are confronted with footage of their offending they are more likely to plead guilty. This also means a reduction in the time spent on paperwork and an increased chance of successful victimless prosecutions, which is particularly important when officers are dealing with domestic abuse incidents.

CSOs also find the head-cams very useful. They do not have the powers of police officers and certain members of the public take advantage, thinking they can get away with abusing them. Body-worn video stops this immediately if the offender knows they are being filmed.

The cameras are not recording all the time, so if a member of the public sees an officer using one they will most likely not be recording. Officers and CSOs must only use them for a specific reason, to gather evidence. They must also inform any member of the public when they are recording, if it is practical to do so.

West Mercia Police has had a bespoke download and storage programme designed for managing any footage that is taken. There are 16 locations at stations across the force. Everything recorded must be kept for 31 days, by law. If marked as evidential, it will stay on the system. We must abide by data protection and other laws when we use the kit, so there is extremely tight control over the way we can use the footage we collect.'


YOUNG DRIVER SERIOUSLY INJURED IN ACCIDENT AT ST OWENS CROSS

Police in South Herefordshire are appealing for witnesses after a single vehicle collision left a young driver with serious spinal injuries. The incident happened at 7.35am on Sunday, 5th July 2009 on the A4137 at St Owen's Cross near Ross on Wye.

A black Renault Clio left the road to the offside following a right hand bend and collided with a stone wall, causing the vehicle to overturn. The 17-year old driver sustained serious spinal injuries in the crash and was taken by Air Ambulance to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol for further treatment. He underwent surgery yesterday evening and is believed to be in a stable condition.

All the emergency services attended the scene, whose work was made more difficult by the fact that the vehicle had come to rest in a courtyard that was overgrown with brambles. Initially, police were unsure whether there had been a passenger in the vehicle at the time and searching the brambled area around the vehicle was challenging. It was established after a while that the driver had been alone.

As a result of the crash, the A4137 was closed, between the junctions of the B4521 and the A49, whilst police collision investigators examined the scene to determine the cause. Police are keen to anyone who may have witnessed the collision or who may have seen the black Renault Clio travelling along the A4137 around 7.30am on Sunday morning.

Anyone with information should contact PC Steve Broom of the Roads Policing Team at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 as soon as possible.


A PROMISE PARTY FOR A RAINBOW

1st Ross-on-Wye Rainbows welcomed their newest member, Felicity, with a Promise Party outside the Scout & Guide HQ. Watched by her fellow Rainbows and family members, Felicity made her Rainbow tradition, by a sausage sizzle and sing song!

For information about Rainbows please contact Jules on 01989 568941.

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Felicity makes her Rainbow promise in front of Guider Jules King and the rest of 1st Ross Rainbows.

OVER 40 ODD OBJECTS TO BE FOUND

The ever popular 'Odd object' competition will be running during Carnival Week again this year, with over forty shops taking part by displaying either an object not normally sold there or an 'out of place' item in a display in their shop windows.

The competition, which runs from Saturday, 18th July until 4pm on Wednesday, 29th July is really aimed at children, but people of all ages enjoy rising to the challenge. Entry forms for the Odd Object competition are available from Ross Heritage Centre, Ross Library and Ross Tourist Information Centre, so why not pick one up and join in the fun? Winners will be announced on Carnival Day, Saturday, 1st August.

Parents are reminded that by allowing their child to take part in the Carnival or any related event, they have automatically consented to them being photographed. It would be impossible to prevent photographs being taken at an event such as this.


ROSS LIONS GIVE AWAY T-SHIRTS

When PGL, the outdoor adventure group based in Ross-on-Wye changed their logo, they gave the Ross Lions Club a quantity of high quality T-shirts to use to raise funds. In the first instance the shirts were sold at the town's Carnival and at a Lions fund raising event in the town but they were not selling quickly enough. However, when the Lions Public relations Officer, Lion Bernard Fowkes and his wife Jo, found out that the Heron Primary School in Gloucester, attended by their grandchildren was sending 60 pupils on an adventure course at PGL, they decided to offer the school some of the tee shirts which the young children could wear on the course.

The school accepted the offer without hesitation and, although the T-shirts were being given to the school free, they said they would get the parents to give a small donation. At the Heron Primary School Morning Assembly one day last week, in front of over 300 pupils, the Head Teacher, Mr Coles, presented Lion Bernard with a cheque for £102. He said the children had enjoyed their adventure in the Ross area, looking smart in their new tee shirts and he thanked the Lions for thinking of them.

Lion Bernard thanked Mr Coles for the cheque, Secretary Sue Morgan and year six teacher Mrs Brooks for organizing and collecting the money before speaking to the children explaining just what the Lions did for the poor and needy, elderly and young and those who were in other ways disadvantaged.

Bernard is now looking for another school in the Ross area which would like to give its pupils new tee shirts. The Ross Lions can be contacted on 0845 8335786 or on their website www.rossonwyelions.org.

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DOG RUNS FROM THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT

Traffic officers from Hereford are anxious to trace a black and white Jack Russell dog who failed to stop at the scene of a road traffic collision, in which a car ended up on its roof. The incident happened at 9pm on Wednesday 1st July in Holme Lacy Road, Hereford, near the junction with Winston Road.

The driver of a silver Citroen Saxo car, travelling towards Hereford along the Holme Lacy Road, swerved to avoid the dog which had suddenly run into the road in front of him. In swerving, the vehicle collided with the verge and rolled over onto its roof. The driver of the Citroen received minor injuries in the crash. It is believed the dog may have also received minor injuries in the incident but as it did not remain at the scene to exchange details and instead ran off, police are unable to confirm this.

Officers would like to speak to anyone who saw the incident or who may know the owner of the black and white Jack Russell. Indeed, the owner themselves may have noticed the dog has returned home injured. Anyone with information is urged to call the Roads Policing Team at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000.


JESSE ENJOYS CLEHONGER SCHOOL CARNIVAL

Hundreds of local residents and parents came together last week at Clehonger School's annual Carnival. The school had additional cause to celebrate this year, since they have just emerged from special measures, a full term earlier than expected. As always, the school's creativity was everywhere to be seen, with each class taking up a theme in the village parade, from Bee Healthy to Village Bakery to Pirates. The carnival itself had a huge array of stands and fun and games, and even included a rodeo bull!

The carnival was opened by local campaigner Jesse Norman, a long time supporter of the school. He congratulated the staff, parents and especially the boys and girls on all their hard work, before leading everyone present in three cheers for the school. Then school head Sue Jones counted down the children in a huge launch of red and gold balloons.

Speaking afterwards, Jesse said, 'What amazing fun, and what a huge effort this has been for all involved. I was particularly honoured to be given the impossible task of judging the different competitions, from Best Radishes to Best Victoria Sponge (men)! We are lucky in Herefordshire to have so many wonderful schools like this one.'

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Up, up and away! Hundreds of red and gold balloonsa released at Clehonger School Carnival.

BUTTER MARKET TRADERS MUST BE SHOWN RESPECT SAYS SARAH

Sarah Carr, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Hereford and South Herefordshire, today called for long standing Hereford Butter Market traders to be shown the respect they deserve by being fully consulted on any proposed changes affecting their businesses. The two main changes currently affecting Butter Market traders are the proposed move of Hereford’s Open Market to the city centre, and the redevelopment of the Butter Market itself.

Sarah said, 'Whilst regrettable, it is understandable that the Butter Market traders have felt it necessary to take out a High Court injunction against the proposed move of the Open Market to Hereford city centre. To date, there has been no detailed impact assessment conducted on the likely impact on long standing Butter Market traders, who legally are also Council Tenants. This must be undertaken without delay.

Secondly, the proposed redevelopment of the Butter Market itself should fully involve the Traders to ensure that those who have helped to build up the history and provenance of the Butter Market remain integral to its future. I do not want to see long established traders some with businesses 20, 30 or even 50 years old replaced by fancy new businesses just to fit the flavour of the day. I will continue to support the Traders to ensure they are fully listened to and have a voice in the future of this historic trading centre in Hereford.'


THE KYMIN DASH

The Kymin Dash is a popular event with a long history which is now incorporated into Monmouth's free 9 day Festival and Carnival running from 24th July to 1st August 2009. This year, Gladiators Siren and Goliath will start the Dash race at 11:30am at The Leisure Centre before the runners circle the town, ascend and descend the Kymin, a local viewpoint at 850ft, by forest tracks, field paths and minor roads to end on Chippenham Mead, the town recreation ground, covering approximately seven miles of mixed terrain.

The course record was set by P. Wheeler in 1985, completing the dash in just 38 minutes, 54 seconds, a time that hopefuls this year will be keen to beat. All competitors must complete an entry form found on the Kymin Dash website (www.kymindash.co.uk). When the maximum of 200 entries has been reached, entries and cheques will be returned. Until the maximum has been reached, entries on the day can be accepted. Postal entries must arrive by 24th July.

Running numbers will be issued at Registration on Race Day, from 10am to 11:15am at Monmouth Leisure Centre, Old Dixton Road, where there are also showers and changing rooms. The start is 100 yards from the Leisure Centre opposite The Nag's Head public house. The Minimum age for entrants is 16. Prizes will be given for the first male and female runners in separate age categories and separate prizes are given for the fastest local male and female of permanent residence living within 5 miles of the town of Monmouth.

The results of the race will be posted on the Kymin Dash website after the event, however for first hand experience of this popular and exciting race spectators are welcome to come along and cheer on the participants. Event organizers would like to thank this year's sponsor Robert Price Builder's Merchants.

For further information, please contact Maureen Vandervelden on 01600 714310 or go to www.kymindash.co.uk.

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Participants in this year's Kymin Dash will be keen to baet the record set in 1985.

PLANS FOR NEW LIVESTOCK MARKET APPROVED

After ten years of consultation, plans for Hereford's new livestock market - designed to safeguard the future of farming in the county and protect the rural way of life - have been given the go ahead. The council's main planning committee approved the plans on Friday, 3rd July and work on a new, environmentally friendly market is planned to start later this year.

The planning committee asked for more landscaping to the site and more consideration to the access to the site from the main road and this work was delegated to council officers. This news now means the livestock market, which is noted for its high quality produce, can move from its current dilapidated 7.0-acre site near the centre of the city. This will release prime development land for the city's new retail and leisure quarter, which will see the city get its first multi-screen cinema, as well as a range of high-quality, household name stores. The new site of the livestock market will be along the Roman Road to the north west of Hereford, between the Bobblestock area of the city and the village of Stretton Sugwas.

Despite the economic slowdown, the planning committee heard from the farming industry that Hereford's livestock market is experiencing its best trading for over ten years and that a modern and well designed facility was crucial to the county's farming heritage and the local economy. Herefordshire Council also has proposals to restore and promote Hereford's Butter Market as a centre for locally produced food and drink and is promoting farmers' markets and a campaign to put more local produce on menus and dinner plates across Herefordshire.

Herefordshire is traditionally a prime livestock area and its farming heritage includes the world famous Hereford cattle breed. Livestock farming supports 25 per cent of the country's landscape, providing attractive pasture and a rural way of life that also supports a £400 million a year tourism industry. In one of the most exhaustive consultations undertaken in Herefordshire, the council investigated the need for a new market over ten years and set up regular public meetings and discussions with residents, farmers, businesses, parish councils and county marketers in 2005 and 2006. Six possible sites were put forward and there was detailed evaluation of location, traffic impact, environmental factors and amenity, following which the chosen site was announced in late 2006, and further scrutinized by a cross party group of councillors in 2007.

The community services scrutiny committee, after three meetings of formal questioning and investigations deliberated that the site for the new market was right and recommended the relocation, releasing valuable development land for regeneration. The new market will contain a 7,250-square-metre covered building with a sheep ring and cattle ring, with loading docks, over 300 car or car and trailer parking spaces, an additional 44 articulated or trailer lorry parking and nine lorry wash stations. There will be offices, a café, welfare areas and toilets, with landscaped areas of decorative native trees, a wildflower meadow and wildlife conservation area. A parliamentary bill was passed in 2003 to move the historic market out of the city centre, as a charter of 1597 decreed it must be within the city boundary.


NEW SERIES OF LEAFLETS FEATURING FIFTEEN WALKS

Walkers in Herefordshire are to benefit from a new series of leaflets which more clearly signpost a series of 15 circular walks in the county. As well as leaflets giving clear information about the walks, new notice boards have also been installed to give maps of the areas covered. Funded by Severn Waste Services through the Landfill Communities Fund, the venture will also include putting new and clearer signage on all of the routes.

The completion of the Circular Walk Promotion project, which started in March 2008, was celebrated during the annual Herefordshire Walking Festival when members of the public were led around the Mordiford loop by representatives from Herefordshire Council's public rights of way, Severn Waste Services and Welcome to our Future, the community-based charity that manages LCF projects for the Company.

Councillor Sebastian Bowen, chairman of Welcome to Our Future, addressed the walkers before setting out and said, 'The new leaflets are very informative, giving a description of surface types and the location of steep gradients, stiles, ditch crossings and other obstacles which people may wish to know about before they set out en route. The project is of great benefit to attract tourists to the county as the new leaflets will be available to potential visitors to the county. Local people will also benefit as the notice boards clearly show all paths in their parish and provide space for community notices.'

Vincent Playdon of Herefordshire Council's public rights of way service added, 'The project has taken almost a year and a half to complete with many hours spent surveying the routes in order to make the new leaflets much more informative. With the help of Herefordshire Ramblers all of the routes are in the process of being waymarked with the new clearer signage.'

The new leaflets are now available in Tourist Information Centres throughout the county.

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Representatives from 'Welcome to Our Future, Herefordshire Council Parks and Countryside department and Severn Waste Services
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