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CCTV helped a vulnerable assault victim get justice

PROACTIVE use of new hi-tech CCTV cameras helped a vulnerable man who was assaulted in Ammanford town centre receive justice.

Last week two men were sentenced for their roles in the assault, which one of the men filmed on his phone and posted on social media. It happened in Ammanford town centre on July 2, 2019.

That footage cut off at the point where one of the defendants punched the victim.

What emerged through the public-space CCTV system was the assault continued for a further 30 minutes and that the victim was at one stage knocked unconscious.

When the video broke on social media one of Dyfed-Powys Police’s CCTV Operators immediately set about reviewing footage from the CCTV cameras to firstly identify the area where the incident had happened as it wasn’t clear from the social media footage and then to see if the incident had been caught on camera.

The CCTV Operator said: “As soon as I saw the social media video I set about trying to work out the location of the incident. Once I’d worked out it was Ammanford Town Centre it was then a case of trawling through hours of footage as we did not know what time the offence had occurred.

“I eventually located the people from the social media video and the incident itself. I sent the footage to the investigation team immediately.

“I felt ecstatic to be able to help a vulnerable person in this way.”

The officer investigating the case, Detective Sergeant Rebecca Thomas, said: “The CCTV was clear and of very good quality, from which it was possible to identify the two suspects.

“This footage was extremely important as it identified that the victim had been knocked unconscious, allowing us to charge one of the defendants with actual bodily harm. Without the CCTV footage, he would have been given a lesser charge of common assault, which would have resulted in a lesser sentence.”

The new hi-tech cameras have been installed in Ammanford as part of a project to reinstate CCTV in public spaces in key town locations throughout the Dyfed-Powys Police force area.

123 cameras have been installed in 17 towns. Seven further towns are to receive cameras in the coming months.

The project was a key election pledge from the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn.

He said: “This shows the effectiveness of having a CCTV system in place and most importantly, having a team of operators in place who are proactively monitoring the cameras and the footage that has been recorded to help catch criminals.

“I am really happy to see examples coming through the criminal justice system of how CCTV footage has assisted in criminal investigations. This already demonstrates the effectiveness of the system and the CCTV operators.”

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