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Police Officers Pride at being assigned her late fathers force number

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A serving South Wales Police officer has spoken of her pride at being assigned her late father’s force number – saying it is like having him with her on duty.

Tributes poured in for well-loved Mark Dicks after he died suddenly at the age of 53 in January. He had spent almost three decades in the police, initially in South Wales before transferring to Gwent in 1996.

His daughter Jemma, 25, fulfilled a childhood ambition by following her father into serving with the police, and the duo used to joke about having the same force number – he in Gwent and she in South Wales.

Following the tragedy, in which Mark died after falling ill while racing motorbikes around a track in South Yorkshire, Jemma decided to ask whether that would be feasible.

Such requests are usually not possible, but South Wales Police made an exception in Jemma’s case.

It has meant that, since May 1, Jemma has been PC 1115, having had Mark’s Gwent force number assigned to her. She says she is “chuffed to bits” with the honour.

Jemma joined Gwent Police as a special constable in 2013 at the age of 21, and was based close to her father, who served in the force’s roads policing unit and as a force driving instructor. As well as being her inspiration to join the police, he was now also her colleague and mentor.

She moved to South Wales Police and became a full-time officer almost a year ago – on May 31, 2016 – and serves as a constable in Eastern BCU, based at Cathays Police Station.

After former Merthyr, Ebbw Vale and South Wales Police rugby player Mark’s tragic passing, Jemma enquired about turning what she and her father had previously joked about into reality.

“My dad passed away earlier this year. He worked in Gwent Police as a traffic officer, and his collar number was 1115,” Jemma explained.

“Seeing as I followed my dad’s footsteps into the police force, I just thought it was worth asking if there was any chance of having his collar number reallocated to myself.

“We always joked about having the same number, and so in the circumstances I thought it would be worth asking.”

Chief Superintendent Belinda Davies, commander of Eastern BCU, supported Jemma’s request, but initially she was informed that it might not be possible.

“I didn’t think HR would be able to do it,” admitted Jemma, from Merthyr Tydfil.

“I was told it would be unlikely, but to leave it with them. Three weeks later, I had a phone call to say that there was no news – but that no news could be good news. Then I was told at the start of April that it had been agreed.

“I was chuffed to bits. It’s not something that might mean much to many people but it means so much to me.

“One day I was 5891 and the next day I was 1115. It does feel like my dad is with me, in a sense. What has happened is never going to go away, but this does help.

“My mother has never been in the police, but she understands just how much it means to me to have this collar number.”

Jemma added: “I’ve now been able to change from 5891 to 1115, and hopefully follow in his footsteps all the way through my career.
“I’m completely chuffed. It just feels amazing, to be honest, to be able to wear his collar number on my shoulder.

“I wear it with pride, knowing how well he did with his job, and hopefully I’ll go on to do exactly the same as him.”

Jemma added that, because of her father’s influence, she has never had eyes on any way of life other than joining the police.

“Since I was really little he came home with all these stories,” she explained.

“I have never thought about doing anything else. Everything has always revolved around the police.”

It was also the thought of her father that helped her when she returned to work following his passing.

“I wanted to come back to work straight away, because I know that’s what my dad would have wanted,” she said.

“It was what pushed me into coming back to work, knowing how proud he was of me working for the police.”

Jemma has also thanked her BCU commander, Chief Supt Davies, for her support.

“She rang me on the first day I was off and sent me a few texts to see how I was, and was just really supportive,” Jemma explained.
“I really want to thank her, and HR, for what has been done.”

Chief Superintendent Belinda Davies said: “Being a police officer really is a vocation, not just a job. Jemma is a promising young officer who is very worthy of her father’s collar number.

“Mark was a popular police officer, a real professional who led by example, so I am encouraged to know that Jemma is following in his footsteps and continuing the proud family tradition.

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Man hunt as women attacked by stranger in London believed to be suffering mental health crisis

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Update: Arrested on suspension of attempted murder.

Police urgently want to speak to Joe Xuereb who is wanted after a stranger attacked two women, they are both fighting for their life.

Joe Xuereb must not be approached he is highly dangerous, after an unprovoked random attack on two women in the street.

The two women are fighting for their lives after being attacked in the street by a stranger, and Joe Xuereb is currently a suspect and wanted by police in relation to the incident.

Xuereb is believed to have been suffering from serious mental health issues and members of the public should not approach him he is aged 27 and from Greenwich, southeast London.

The women were targeted in a “horrific” attack in Adderley Gardens in Greenwich on Sunday.

Officers were called at 12.10pm to find the victims, aged 30 and 64, suffering from injuries “consistent with a violent assault”.

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Dangerous prisoner fails to return after attending family funeral

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Police are appealing for help in tracing a Hollesley Bay prisoner who has absconded.

34-year-old Aaron Johnson was reported missing to police at 11.15pm  last night, Friday 17 August,.

Johnson had been granted a special purpose temporary licence to attend a funeral yesterday but failed to return to the prison as arranged. He was last seen in West London.

Johnson is serving a 9 year sentence for robbery, wounding and assault.

He is described as black, 6 feet tall, of medium build, and had a beard. He was wearing a black jacket,  blue jeans, white t-shirt and trainers.

Members of the public are advised not to approach him.

Anyone who believes they may have seen Aaron Johnson or who has any information regarding his whereabouts, is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting CAD 480 of 17 August.

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Scott Findlay subjected young mother to harrowing sex attack & punched her while she cradled 6-week-old baby

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A MAN who raped a young mother and repeatedly punched her as she cradled a six-week-old baby in her arms has been jailed.

Scott Findlay subjected his victim to a “prolonged and harrowing” attack in front of her two young children.

Today, at York Crown Court, Judge Simon Hickey sent the 27-year-old, from Ferryhill, in County Durham, to prison for 15 years for offences including rape, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and threats to kill.

The court heard that the victim pleaded with Findlay, who was armed with a kitchen knife, for her children to be prevented from seeing the attack.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Constable Katrina Meisuria, of Durham Constabulary’s Safeguarding Unit, praised the victim for her courage in giving evidence.

She said: “Scott Findlay subjected his victim to a prolonged, harrowing and violent attack in front of her two young children.

“It took great bravery by the victim to provide evidence at court reliving those events again.

“There is no doubt these crimes have had a life-changing effect on the victim and her children, but the conviction will provide the family with the opportunity to move forward”.

In a statement released through the police, the victim said: “This has been an extremely difficult time for me and my family.

“The incidents occurred only six weeks after the birth of my daughter who was in my arms as Scott Finlay repeatedly punched me about the head and my seven-year-old looked on in terror begging for him to stop hurting his mammy.

“No child should ever have to witness such an attack”.

She added: “My family and I are pleased with the outcome and relieved it is finally over and we can move forward to rebuilding our life”.

After a four-day trial at Durham Crown Court in May, a jury found Findlay guilty of three counts of rape, one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one count of making threats to kill.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and criminal damage.

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