DYFED-Powys Police officers and staff have been rewarded for their bravery, professionalism and commitment to duty.

A commendation ceremony was held at police headquarters on Friday, November 3, where Chief Constable Mark Collins and Deputy Chief Constable Darren Davies presented more than 60 commendations and 20 certificates of appreciation to colleagues across the force.

Haverfordwest Detective Constable David Thomas and temporary Detective Constable Ben Staniforth were commended for their response to a serious assault against a lone female by an offender armed with a knife who threatened to kill her. The offender left having stolen the victim’s mobile phone.

After analysing CCTV footage T/DC Staniforth spotted the offender while carrying out enquiries into a separate matter.

The offender was wearing make-up to conceal his injuries and was evasive when challenged. T/DC Staniforth arrested the subject, resulting in vital evidence being seized.

DC David Thomas was the investigating officer who worked tirelessly to gather evidence through protracted CCTV enquiries, forensic submissions, high tech referrals and Interpol enquiries.

Searches of the suspect’s home address resulted in the victim’s mobile phone being recovered.

The quality of the investigation by both officers resulted in the offender being convicted of burglary, threats to kill, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He was jailed for four-and-a-half-years.

The Digital Communication and Cyber Crime Unit (DCCU) and Protection of Vulnerable Persons (PVP) team received a commendation for their joint investigation into a disclosure by a three-year-old child that she had been sexually assaulted.

PVP officers interviewed the child with the use of an intermediary where she disclosed serious sexual offences.

Following a planned arrest, numerous electronic devices were seized and examined by DCCU officers. Footage of the offender sexually abusing the infant were found, and further scrutiny of the phone proved without doubt attribution to the offender.

Due to the team’s efforts, the suspect was charged with eight offences and remanded in custody. The defendant was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Detective Chief Inspector Ifan Charles , Police Constable Gary Cutler, Police Constable Kelly Jones:

Detective Chief Inspector Charles, Police Constable Jones and Police Constable Cutler are awarded the Chief Constable’s commendation for their contribution to Operation Tasman the investigation of a stranger sexual assault.

DCI Charles was the designated Senior Investigating Officer with responsibility for all aspects of the investigation, identifying and steering enquires; which included CCTV, fast-track forensic submissions, deployment of house to house teams, execution of warrants, all of which culminating in the positive identification and resultant successful prosecution of the offender. Who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with a further 7 years on extended license upon his release as dangerous offender.

PC Cutler and Jones were an instrumental part of the house to house team, and their tenacity and attentiveness whilst conducting this vital line of enquiry helped to identify the offender and key evidence linking him to the scene. Information gathered by these two officers enabled the investigation team to trace and arrest the offender. Were it not for the persistence and attentiveness of these officers, a dangerous offender may well have successfully evaded capture and prosecution.

Chief Constable Mark Collins said: “The officers and staff being awarded with Certificates of Commendation and Certificates of Appreciation have displayed bravery, professionalism and a commitment to duty. The police service has always been a vocation requiring dedication from those entrusted to serve within it and I would like to extend my gratitude on behalf of the communities of Dyfed-Powys for the courage and commitment shown by each of the recipients.

“I have great pleasure in awarding them with their commendations and certificates, as their achievements are a reminder to us all of the level of work, effort and support provided to the public that they service.

“Furthermore, I am well aware of the tremendous support given by both family and friends and I recognise the important part that they play in the lives of officers and staff to enable them to continue to provide a first class service to the wider community. For this, I would like to extend a personal thank you.”