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Beautiful mural appears on side of Newport house South Wales Argus
An INCREDIBLE mural celebrating Newport’s urban wildlife has appeared on the side of a house in Maindee.
The vibrant display can be found on the wall of a home on Corporation Road, along the walkway next to Maindee Primary School.
Painted by local street artist Andy O’Rourke, the piece was commissioned in partnership with the Maindee Unlimited project, which has won a huge amount of praise for its efforts to green the area.
It’s prompted plenty of positive reaction on social media from people living nearby with calls for similar paintings to be commissioned across the city.
Mr O’Rourke’s talent can be seen in various locations around Gwent, including murals at Marshfield Community Hall, Rogerstone Welfare Ground and The Grange Hospital in Cwmbran.
He’s said he takes inspiration from the popularity of street-art in nearby Bristol and its recent emergence in Cardiff.
“Murals in Newport are pretty thin on the ground,” Mr O’Rourke told the Argus, “So it’s a great opportunity to make use of space in the city.
“Back walls quite often get tagged by graffiti, so it was about putting an end to that and beautifying the area.
“It’s in a great location – right opposite Maindee school – and is definitely something for them to enjoy.
“We wanted to do something that showed off the species you’d find in the area. I did a bunch of designs and ideally wanted to get it painted in the summer but covid and the weather brought about a few delays. I finished it about a week ago.
“It’s been covered with a graffiti-proof glazing so it should be protected from any kind of vandalism.”
Mr O’Rourke, who’s originally from Manchester, is hoping that the work kickstarts a mural revolution in Newport – a view that’s shared by Maindee Unlimited committee member, John Stone.
The group created a thriving community garden by George Street Bridge in 2019 and has an orchard growing near the mural.
“We’ve got our eyes on a few other walls,” Mr Stone told the Argus.
“Much of our work has been trying to improve these lesser-loved bits of Maindee and make them a bit more appealing.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work to improve the walkway by the primary school through to Rodney Parade – including the creation of a community orchard.
“Murals like this really do make a difference to the community – they not only brighten up the place but give people a sense of pride in where they live.
“You never quite know how it will be received but the response to this one has been fantastic.”
Graham Potter thinks some Brighton fans may feel their booing was ‘over the top’ South Wales Guardian
Graham Potter has reiterated Brighton fans booing after Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Leeds was “confusing” to him and believes some may well now be feeling their reaction was “a little bit over the top”.
The contest at the Amex Stadium saw the hosts fail to make the most of a number of opportunities as their winless run in the Premier League extended to eight matches.
There was booing from some Brighton supporters at the final whistle, and Seagulls boss Potter afterwards said that had left him “a little bit perplexed” and that he disagreed with them “completely”.
Speaking on Monday at his press conference ahead of Wednesday’s trip to West Ham, Potter – whose side are ninth in the table – said: “Nothing’s really changed from my perspective.
“After a game there’s emotions, and I think people sometimes, when they reflect back, think ‘Maybe I got caught up in stuff’.
“The reaction was a bit confusing from my perspective. It wasn’t all of our supporters, it was a few, and as disappointing as it is, you have to accept that, that’s the world we’re in.
“I think it’s also important to communicate with supporters, because they’re the most important people at the club. So if you think they can maybe help a little bit more, then I think it’s important we’re able to communicate with them.
“When you look at the team we had, a lot of the young players, you look at the performance, at where we sit in the Premier League…I think if we want to achieve our goals, we have to maybe collectively be a bit better than we were against Leeds.
“I’m sure there’ll be people that maybe had that reaction that maybe now are going ‘OK, maybe that was a little bit over the top’.
“I just thought after that performance, it wasn’t the best. But it’s a minority. I’ve had loads of messages from supporters being really positive. It is what it is. I think it’s important to listen to each other. They’re entitled to their opinion, and I’m entitled to mine.”
Potter added: “I think a lot of our fans understand where we’re at, what we’re trying to do, the process.
“In any situation there’s always maybe a small minority that sometimes are louder than the majority. But I don’t doubt our support, I don’t doubt the majority of fans.
“I just think sometimes we need to communicate and say ‘Can we be better?’ If we want to be a top-10 team, can we be a top-10 environment at the Amex? And that is why I said what I said after the game.”
Potter had also on Saturday made reference to Brighton’s position in the Premier League – in which their highest finish has been 15th – as he said: “Maybe I need a bit of a history lesson at this football club”.
In the eight-match winless sequence, featuring six draws, the team have scored five times, including two penalties.
Saturday saw Neal Maupay and Jakub Moder miss good chances, while Leeds’ woodwork was rattled via efforts from Leandro Trossard and Solly March.
When asked about possibly signing a forward in January, Potter said: “The job of the club is to always look to improve, but just because you identify something, it doesn’t mean to say there’s a person out there that fits, that is available, that makes a difference.
“We’ve got Danny (Welbeck) coming back from injury (in the coming weeks), Neal has played 82 games for us, scored 22 goals, one in four as he is adapting to the league, and he’s getting better with experience.
“I think it’s too easy to look for an external solution, but I understand when we’re not scoring, that’s the question and what people want. But I’d like to think they trust (owner) Tony Bloom and the club.
“If we can spot any player we think can improve us, we’ll do that. But at the same time it’s really important we understand the players we have and the journey they’re on. There’s a lot to be happy and excited about at this club – it’s not all doom and gloom.”
Youngest victim of arena terror attack asked ‘am I going to die?’, inquiry hears South Wales Guardian
The mother of the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena terror attack has urged the emergency services and MI5 to admit their “failings”.
Lisa Roussos, 53, made the plea as the public inquiry into the May 22 2017 bombing that killed 22 people heard her eight-year-old daughter Saffie-Rose asked an ambulance crew: “Am I going to die?”
Saffie-Rose suffered massive blood loss from shrapnel wounds to her legs, caused by the 10.31pm explosion in the City Room foyer of the venue after an Ariana Grande concert.
She was tended to initially by a member of the public and later an off-duty nurse who, with British Transport Police officers, carried her outside on an advertising board.
A police officer had to flag down a passing ambulance and the youngster finally arrived at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital more than 50 minutes after the explosion, and was pronounced dead at 11.40pm.
Giving evidence on Monday, Mrs Roussos said: “I want to thank those who tried to help Saffie that night and for being with her.
“I also want to say to the professionals like the emergency services and MI5 that this inquiry is not about your job, your reputation or your uniform.
“We understand the sheer panic and fear you were faced with that night, but until you admit the failings how can there be a positive change?”
The inquiry has heard only three paramedics from North West Ambulance Service ever entered the City Room on the night, and one of them briefly leaned over Saffie-Rose before, seconds later, he moved on.
MI5 witnesses have given evidence in closed sessions at the inquiry, but a parliamentary committee found in 2018 that MI5 and counter-terrorism missed a number of potential opportunities to prevent the attack in their handling of bomber Salman Abedi’s case.
Saffie-Rose’s father, Andrew Roussos, told the inquiry: “The response of the security services on this atrocity should go down in history as one of the worst failures from start to finish, and that is what we should learn from this.”
He said the family was enduring a “living nightmare”, adding: “The response on that night was shameful and inadequate.
“Everyone in that City Room was let down and the people who excuse it should feel ashamed.
“What Saffie went through I will never forgive.
“That poor little girl hung in for someone to come and help her. What she received was a bloodied advertising board and untrained people doing the best they could.”
Mrs Roussos said her daughter was “jumping for joy” when she received the ticket as a Christmas present, and she counted down the days to the concert.
On the night she said Saffie-Rose was “dancing all the way through”.
She went on: “She did not sit down once. She was so happy.”
The schoolgirl, from Leyland, Lancashire, was just five metres away from Salman Abedi as he detonated his device, as she walked across the City Room with her mother and elder sister, Ashlee Bromwich, both injured in the blast.
Mrs Roussos tearfully recalled: “I can remember Ashlee ahead of us. Saffie got my left hand and my arm was outstretched and she was like pulling me because she wanted to go outside and see her dad and (elder brother) Xander. And then the next minute…”
She said she heard a “big thud” followed by “muffled white noise” and was then lying on the floor unable to move before someone approached and asked her name.
She said “I was really breathless and all I managed to say was Saffie.
Mrs Roussos told the inquiry: “I wanted to keep my eyes open and stay alive just so I could make sure somebody was taking care of Saffie, but I felt so tired and just wanted to go to sleep.”
Mr Roussos did not know where their daughter was until the following lunchtime, on May 23, when a police officer said she had died in hospital the night before.
His wife had been airlifted to hospital and placed in an induced coma, as he was told her chances of survival were “remote”, but she awoke weeks later.
She said: “I remember waking up and Andrew was sat next to me and he held my hand. I don’t remember exactly what he said but it was something like ‘are you all right?’
“Then I thought why he is not mentioning Saffie? Because Saffie was my last thought before I went into the coma, and I just knew.”
She said at that moment she just wanted to be with her daughter and look after her.
The inquiry heard she remained at Wythenshawe Hospital until the end of August 2017, after treatment for multiple injuries to her limbs and body. She underwent numerous operations and will face more surgery in the future.
Earlier the inquiry was told that North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) paramedic Gillian Yates recalled Saffie-Rose asked her in the back of the ambulance: “Am I going to die?”
She said: “That was all Saffie-Rose said. She was not engaging in conversation with us.
“I tried to reassure her, but when people ask this question it is a bad sign as it is usually asked by people who are really ill, and the fact she was asking it concerned me greatly.”
This week the inquiry is looking into the circumstances of the death of Saffie-Rose, with a number of experts in disagreement about whether she could have survived her injuries.
Newport’s contact centre industry heroes celebrated at national awards South Wales Argus
Newport’s contact centre heroes were front and centre at the 23rd annual Welsh Contact Centre Awards ceremony held at Cardiff Bay’s Coal Exchange, as the industry reunited to celebrate their achievements over the past year.
More than 350 guests saw gold and silver winners presented in 21 categories, with Lloyds Banking Group in Newport picking up a silver award for Best Covid Strategy.
Lloyds Banking Group’s Georgette Loring was also crowned the Advisor of the Year.
Shared Services Connected Limited in Newport was declared Shared Service Centre of the Year and The Office for National Statistics took silver for Small Contact Centre of the Year.
Caerphilly-based not-for-profit, United Welsh, was recognised as the Best Public Sector Helpline.
Judges chose John Hall, of PHS Group, (Caerphilly) and Crina Pentiuc, of Deloitte, as joint gold winners in the Support Person of the Year category.
With the support of headline sponsors Jomo People, the awards hosted by comedian, Russell Kane, honoured all who overcame pandemic adversities to dedicate themselves to providing a lifeline to businesses and individuals across the UK and beyond.
Organised by the Welsh Contact Centre Forum, this year’s awards went further than simply recognising an industry that contributes £650m annually to Wales’ economy and employs more than 32,000 people.
Managing director of the Welsh Contact Centre Forum Sandra Busby said contact centre teams had been at the heart of pandemic responses and the provision of essential services to millions of people across Wales, the UK, and the wider world.
In a message shared with the those attending the awards, Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething, said: “On behalf of businesses and people across Wales, I want to thank every member of the Welsh contact centre industry for keeping services going at over the past 18 months. And the roles you are all play are as vital today as they were at the height of the Covid pandemic.
“The contact centre industry has been making a major contribution to Wales’ economy for over 20 years. The work of your 32,000 workforce is crucial to many Welsh industry sectors that rely on you to enable their own growth, and you continue to rise to those challenges. I applaud the collaborations that see companies and the Welsh Contact Centre Forum work together to ensure that the opportunities they create are available to everyone. Those collaborations includes the pioneering Welsh Graduate Programme, which I have recently referred to in the Senedd.
“As we look to the future, I am excited to see how the teams represented here today will lead other industries to embrace challenges and moves to new hybrid ways of working, while always ensuring the wellbeing of those around you.”
New Covid stats show one more death in Gwent South Wales Argus
ONE person has died in Gwent over the weekend according to the latest coronavirus stats from Public Health Wales.
In Wales, 10 people including the person from Gwent have died, taking the toll for Gwent to 1,105 and for Wales 6,401.
Newport has the fourth highest amount of new cases with 224, but has the second highest case rate with 144.8 people testing positive for Covid out of 100,000 people.
However, Cardiff has 144.7 cases per 100,000 people while Gwynedd has a high 228 cases per 100,000 people.
All areas of Gwent have a higher case rate than the average for Wales, which is 121.6.
Blaenau Gwent has the fourth lowest amount of cases in Wales with 90, but still has a higher case rate than the Welsh average with 128.8 – though this is the lowest in Gwent.
In Wales, 3,969 positive cases have been reported including residents outside of Wales while Gwent has 771 new cases.
All data is correct up to 9am on November 28.
CARDIFF Blues rugby team are isolating in South Africa after members of the team tested positive for Covid.
Two members of the squad tested positive for Covid, with one of the cases suspected to be the new Omicron variant.
The Omicron variant has caused concern, with the new variant being the reason why travel restrictions have been imposed between the UK and South Africa.
A statement from Cardiff said: “The travelling party had hoped to depart Cape Town this afternoon after a charter plane was secured, however PCR tests undertaken last night have returned two positive results.
“As a consequence of one of these results suspected of being Omicron, the entire travelling party have returned to their hotel to isolate.
“Cardiff Rugby continue to work with the South African Rugby Union, the Welsh Rugby Union and public health authorities both at home and abroad to decide the next course of action.
“The club are also continuing to work with all relevant authorities to secure the travelling party’s return to Wales when safe and appropriate.
“Everybody concerned in this highly challenging situation would like to thank their families, friends, colleagues and the wider rugby family for their many messages of concern and well wishes.”
The South African isolation rules mean that the team will have to isolate for 14 days from the day of developing symptoms, putting the fixture against Toulouse on December 11 into doubt.
Lllanelli-based side the Scarlets were also in South Africa at the time, but have been able to return to Europe as no members of the squad tested positive after tests in the past 48 hours.
The team have arrived in Ireland and are due to isolate in a hotel in Belfast, as per the rules for people returning from red-listed countries in Africa.
Irish team Munster are also stranded in South Africa, after a member of the travelling party tested positive for Covid, though it is unclear if it is the new Omicron variant.
Travellers returning from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia will have to isolate for 10 days after returning to England and Wales.
NSW sets critical minerals pathway Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly
PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (Amec) has welcomed the Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Strategy launched by New South Wales Deputy Premier Paul Toole.
The strategy details the vision to realise the economic potential of critical minerals investment and delivery through four key actions, including establishing Australia’s first critical minerals hub in the Central West, promoting exploration for critical mineral resources, activating the industry through proactive development of supply chains, and attracting investment for critical mineral resources, downstream processing and recycling.
The strategy includes further geological surveys to deliver more quality pre-competitive data for explorers, investigating the potential for copper production and other downstream processing opportunities for critical minerals, and providing assistance to mining projects to navigate planning and approval processes.
Toole said critical minerals and high-tech metals, such as cobalt, nickel and copper, will play a vital role in making New South Wales the number one investment destination for mining and advanced manufacturing.
“Critical minerals are just that – minerals that are critical to the manufacture of everything from electric vehicles to solar technologies and for which there are no ready substitutes,” Toole said.
“This strategy delivers a clear vision to provide a key source of economic growth, diversify the New South Wales royalty base and create the advanced manufacturing jobs of the future in regional New South Wales.
“There is a global race on to locate, develop and establish secure supply chains of these minerals and metals. This strategy will ensure New South Wales is in the box-seat to meet this demand.”
Toole on Monday announced the establishment of Australia’s first critical minerals hub, near Dubbo, saying it would set New South Wales apart as a premier destination for investment in antimony, cobalt, copper, titanium, rare earths and zirconium projects as demand for critical minerals increases exponentially in the next 40 years.
“The hub in the Central West will be a focal point for the development of this industry, including value-added processing, and located close to existing, approved and potential mining developments,” Toole said.
“The hub could accommodate domestic e-waste recycling for eastern Australia, as well as the importation of e-waste from the Indo-Pacific region, so we can recover and recycle critical minerals alongside the exploration and mining of new resources.
“It will build on existing investments at the Parkes Special Activation Precinct as well as the A$3-billion investment in Australia’s first Renewable Energy Zone, which is centred around the Dubbo, Wellington and Mudgee regions.
“This demonstrates the commitment by the New South Wales government to support mining and advanced manufacturing as we diversify the state’s economy towards a lower carbon future.”
Amec CEO Warren Pearce on Monday welcomed the strategy, noting that critical and high-tech minerals were the minerals of the future.
“These are the minerals that will be needed to manufacture batteries, power electric vehicles, and construct wind turbines and solar panels that will support a low carbon future.
“The Critical Minerals Hub will be the first of its kind in Australia, demonstrating the New South Wales government’s commitment to ensuring the state becomes a major player in the fast-growing critical minerals industry.
“Establishing Australia’s first Critical Minerals Hub in the Central West will provide not only a strong signal to the market but also the important infrastructure support to make this a reality.”
Pearce said that the demand for critical minerals would only grow stronger as Australia and the world worked to decarbonise and develop new renewable and clean energy technologies to deliver on these commitments.
“The Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Strategy will support New South Wales in a new era for the industry. New South Wales was the site of the first gold discovery in Australia and is well-positioned to lead a new critical age for the minerals sector,” said Pearce.
Nov 28 (Reuters) – Australian shares are set to plunge at the open on Monday, extending losses from Friday, as investors are likely to exit riskier assets on the threat to economic recovery from the Omicron coronavirus variant cases detected in New South Wales.
The local share price index futures fell 1.43%, a 113.3-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index (.AXJO) close. The benchmark fell 1.73% on Friday.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index (.NZ50) dropped 1.14% by 2129 GMT.
Reporting by Harshita Swaminathan; Editing by Daniel Wallis
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Australia Ensemble launches its 2022 season Limelight Magazine
The University of New South Wales-based Australia Ensemble has announced its 2022 season, Time is a River, with concerts taking place in the Sir John Clancy Auditorium on UNSW’s Kensington campus. Currently comprised of clarinettist David Griffiths, violinists Dene Olding and Dimity Hall, violist Irina Morozova, cellist Julian Smiles and pianist Ian Munro, the ensemble has also announced its new Layton Emerging Composer Fellow for the new year.
“With a sense of renewed hope, the Australia Ensemble UNSW returns to the stage in 2022 in a series of concerts with a sumptuous feast of music, ranging from the very new through to the highest pinnacles of established repertoire,” said Artistic Chair Paul Stanhope.
The season commences on 12 March with Time is a River. German-born violist Tobias Breider joins the ensemble for a program beginning with Dash by American composer Jennifer Higdon, followed by Argentine composer Carlos Guastavino’s Clarinet Sonata. The title of the concert (and overall season) comes from the third piece in the program, Graeme Koehne’s meditative Time is a River, which is followed by Mozart’s String Quintet in E flat, one of the classical master’s final works.
Australian horn player Robert Johnson joins the ensemble on 9 April for An Anniversary Bouquet, celebrating the 160th birthday of Debussy, 200th of Franck, 150th of Vaughan Williams, and 100th of Greek composer Iannis Xenakis. The evening opens with Debussy’s Première rhapsodie, showing off the full capabilities of the clarinet, followed by avant-garde composer Xenakis’ Dhipli Zyia. Vaughan Williams’ early Quintet in D follows, and the program concludes with César Franck’s highly-charged Piano Quintet in F Minor.
“Many of the concerts are themed around cycles of time and nature with the associated themes of regeneration and vitality: true themes for the age!” said Stanhope.
On 21 May, the ensemble will present Cycles, with Australian bassoonist Andrew Barnes and Emeritus artist Geoffrey Collins joining to perform Beethoven’s elegant Trio for flute, clarinet and bassoon. This is followed by Melbourne-based composer Stuart Greenbaum’s Easter Island, written for the Australia Ensemble in 2008, and Peggy Glanville-Hicks’ crystalline and witty Concertino da Camera. The evening comes to an end with Brahms’ emotionally resonant Piano Quartet No 3 in C Minor.
On 27 August, The Roaring Twenties takes a look at music written in the 20s across four centuries, beginning with Bach’s Flute Sonata in E Minor from 1723, followed by Sydney composer Harry Sdraulig’s Speak (2018, revised in 2020). Collins, Johnson and Barnes return, along with oboist Shefali Pryor, to perform the program, which also includes Hindemith’s Kleine Kammermusik and Felix Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in E flat.
On 24 September, young Australian composer Holly Harrison’s Slipstream will finally receive its premiere after being postponed twice due to cancelled performances. The concert, The Spirit of Youth, also includes Schubert’s Sonatensatz, Ernō Dohnányi’s Serenade in C, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s colourful Quintet in B flat. Collins, Barnes, and Johnson return to join the ensemble.
For the final concert of the of the season, Delicioso on 22 October, Barnes returns yet again, along with violinist Lerida Delbridge, cellist Timothy Nankervis and trumpeter David Elton, to perform an energetic program beginning with Mozart’s sparkling Piano Trio in B flat and Brahms’ nostalgic Clarinet Sonata. Once-neglected American composer Amy Beach’s songlike Romance follows before the evening concludes with Bohuslav Martinů’s exuberant La Revue de Cuisine.
In addition to its concert season, the Australia Ensemble has also announced young Australian composer Elizabeth Younan as the Layton Emerging Composer Fellow for 2021-2022. Younan, who is also part of SSO’s 50 Fanfares Project, will receive a $10,000 stipend and will work to compose two new pieces during the year, one for small ensemble and one for large ensemble.
“On behalf of the entire ensemble, we sincerely hope you will join us in the Sir John Clancy Auditorium at UNSW for this season of truly glorious music,” said Stanhope.
More information about the Australia Ensemble’s 2022 season can be found here.
On November 23, 2021, a 31-year-old father was fatally stabbed outside the Huggard homeless shelter in Cardiff.
This was the first time somebody had been killed by a blade in the city since December 2019, almost two years earlier.
But while deaths at the hands of knives are seemingly few and far between in the capital, scarcely do weeks go by where somebody has not been wounded by such a weapon.
This month alone, there has been an almost weekly occurrence of a violent disorder involving a knife.
On Friday November 5, armed police responded to a disturbance involving around half a dozen people at around 4.30pm in St Mary’s Street, Cardiff near the Central Market. Two males had suffered stab wounds.
Five days later on November 10, police were called to an alleged large fight in Royal Arcade at around 8am. Five people were arrested. One male was treated for stab wounds.
This week, father Jordan Cody-Foster was the latest victim to such a crime.
His family described the heartache of the “sudden, brutal murder of our son, nephew, cousin, brother and father” who was “deeply loved by everyone”.
While official figures provided by South Wales Police show knife crime in the city is down on this time last year, the problem has never had more of a high profile.
Like all cities across the UK, knife crime in Cardiff is an ongoing problem. But 2019 was different. It woke the city up to the problem that would marr it for years to come.
In the summer of 2019 alone there were three knife murders. Fahad Nur, 18, died after being stabbed 21 times near Cathays train station . Asim Khan, 21, died after being stabbed in St Mary Street in July . Harry Baker, who was 17 and from the city, died from stab wounds in a brutal killing in Barry the following month .
The people of Cardiff – and Wales as a whole – watched on in horror as the city was scourged by blades. No longer was this violent crime alien, it was present, claiming lives of youngsters in our city.
Behind each of these brutal murders were a distraught family, forced to sit through court cases, reminded of the atrocities which had taken away their loved ones.
While most of 2020 was spent at home, several high profile incidents involving knives in Cardiff served as a reminder that the problem had not gone away.
On November 21, six people were hospitalised after a “violent incident” in Queen Street in the heart of Cardiff city centre.
Four days later, on November 25, a 17-year-old boy was stabbed in Canton at 10am in broad daylight as astonished parents finished the school run.
South Wales Police connected the incidents. They said they were “not random attacks” and lay at the hands of groups of “teenage boys targeting each other”.
Nine days later and the violence hadn’t stopped. A 21-year old was stabbed in Grangetown on December 4.
Three days before Christmas, on December 22, a man from Ely was hospitalised with stab wounds. On January 15 this year a man was treated for puncture wounds after an attack in Splott.
Understandably, people in Cardiff are concerned.
In August alone WalesOnline reported that there were three incidents of people being stabbed in the city.
On August 7, police were called to the Ibis Hotel in Cardiff Gate to reports that a man had been stabbed.
On Bank Holiday weekend August 28, an 18-year-old man was admitted to hospital with serious wounds in Callaghan Square in the early hours of the morning.
Just a day later on August 29, a large part of Castle Street in the city centre was closed off for hours after two people were stabbed in an early morning assault. Police said the incidents were not connected.
In October there was another, and in November there have been three – one of which proved to be fatal.
However, South Wales Police say stranger knife crime in Cardiff is still rare, with around 70% of both offenders and victims of the offence already known to police.
And while knife crime is undoubtedly one of the crimes marring the city, violent crime in general is consistently the top offence dealt with by the force.
Data from the website police.uk shows that there were 1,219 reports of violence and sexual offences in October 2019 in Cardiff.
In September , five people were hospitalised after a substance – believed to be ammonia – was sprayed in an assault on City Road. The victims used milk on their faces, eyes and bodies after being splashed with the unknown substance in broad daylight in the busy street.
As well as this, the city’s sacred Bute Park became a crime scene for two serious violent incidents.
On July 20, Dr Gary Jenkins was found unconscious in the park, the victim of an alleged assault. He died of a severe traumatic brain injury almost two weeks later.
Five days earlier a woman was raped in the park in the early hours of the morning — a 20-year-old man has been jailed for the attack.
South Wales Police say that the level of knife crime in Cardiff is down 18% on a year ago, and down 21% on two years ago. They say that the levels across the South Wales force area has decreased around 28% compared to two years ago.
According to a House of Commons Report published in September 2021, in the year between 2020 and 2021, there had been 811 instances involving a knife in South Wales. This equates to 61 offences per 100,000 of the population.
To compare, North Wales had the equivalent of 38 per 100,000, Gwent had 40 and Dyfed Powys Police had 28.
Looking at the UK-wide picture, Greater Manchester had around 107 instances per 100,000 population and West Midlands force area had 156 per 100,000 people.
Between April 2020 and April 2021 police took 228 weapons off the streets of Cardiff and Swansea.
Since then, South Wales Police confirmed that their Operation Sceptre team have recovered drugs worth £3.7m and £157,000 cash, arrested 284 people, seized a further 84 weapons and carried out 1,143 stop searches.
Launched two years ago, Operation Sceptre is the operational name for South Wales Police’s in-your-face approach to tackling knife crime and the problems of serious violence and drugs that are associated with it.
The force also confirmed that an ongoing knife surrender scheme, which runs from October 20 to December 20, has already seen 124 knives handed in.
South Wales Police also said that during 2020/21 the NHS Violence Prevention Team have treated 496 patients in the city.
The Wales Violence Prevention Unit was established through funding from the Home Office in 2019. The core team comprises members from police forces, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Public Health Wales, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), Home Office Immigration and the voluntary sector.
The aim of the unit is to take a public health approach to preventing violence though understanding the causes of violence based on evidence and use this to develop interventions.
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Assistant Chief Constable David Thorne said: “Levels of knife offences in the UK have risen over the last few years, and South Wales is no different to anywhere else in that respect.
“Thankfully, levels of those offences remain lower here than many other parts of the UK, and, generally, South Wales is a safe place to live, to work, and to be.
“But even one instance of knife crime is one too many, and tackling the harm that knife crime causes is an absolute priority for South Wales Police. The effects using a knife can have are devastating, and those who carry a knife need to remember the impact their actions could have for themselves, for others, for their family and friends, and for the wider community.
“We are here to keep people as safe as possible, and – under the banner of Operation Sceptre – our teams are working hard every day to reassure our communities and to disrupt the small minority who are intent on carrying knives, especially where the most vulnerable are put at risk. Our dedicated Op Sceptre teams are having a really positive impact, and we are also using stop-search in a fair and proportionate manner to ensure our streets are as safe as possible.
“However, we are also determined to address the root causes of knife crime, and are working closely with the Wales Violence Prevention Unit and other partners – including education services and trading standards – as part of a public health approach to the issue of knife crime, to prevent people from carrying knives in the first place.
“We also engage with members of the community, including young people, to emphasise the fact that picking up a knife is always the wrong choice. Not only will carrying a knife not protect you, but it will actually make you much less safe. If someone gets involved in an incident and pulls out a knife, that knife could be used against you. Instead, the right decision is not to carry a knife in the first place.
“Please think about this if you carry a knife. Please think how you would feel if someone you care about saw you carrying a knife, copied you, and something later happened to them. Please think about how your future could be ruined if you are caught carrying or using a knife.
“If you have concerns about knife crime, or you think someone might be carrying a knife, please have a conversation with them. Please also speak to us if you think someone is carrying a knife – it can be difficult, but it will help ensure that that weapon can’t be used to cause serious injury, or worse.
“If you prefer, you can contact Crimestoppers, completely anonymously. Crimestoppers never ask for any personal information, and won’t track your device. But passing any information to police or to Crimestoppers could help take a knife off the street – and, ultimately, could save a life.”
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