Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

Police investigate alleged bribery at Swansea University

Published

on

POLICE have carried out searches at eight addresses in south Wales and Kent as part of a “complex” investigation into alleged bribery offences following a complaint by Swansea University.

Officers from the regional organised crime unit seized documents and electronic equipment during the raids, which police said related to a complaint to the Serious Fraud Office made by the university in late 2018.

A statement from South Wales police said: “Officers from Tarian, the regional organised crime unit for southern Wales, have this morning executed a number of warrants as part of an investigation into alleged bribery offences.

“Eight addresses in Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Kent are being searched with the assistance of colleagues from South Wales, Dyfed-Powys and Kent police forces. The enforcement action was carried out in relation to a complaint made by Swansea University to the Serious Fraud Office in late 2018, which was subsequently referred to police.

“No arrests have been made during the searches, however a number of documents and electronic equipment have been seized. The investigation is complex and remains ongoing.”

A university spokeswoman confirmed a formal criminal complaint had been made about the conduct of a number of individuals from both inside and outside the university, as a result of evidence uncovered during an internal investigation.

“In accordance with the university’s ordinances, four employees were suspended and the university appointed an external and independent barrister to conduct an independent investigation into the alleged conduct.”

Last week the university dismissed the vice-chancellor Richard Davies and the dean of the school of management Marc Clement with immediate effect for gross misconduct, following a lengthy internal investigation and disciplinary process. Both deny any wrongdoing and have said they will appeal.

A decision is still pending on a third employee who has been the subject of a disciplinary investigation, while a fourth has resigned. It was not clear which – if any – of the employees suspended or dismissed are being investigated by the police.

“As the university has not completed its disciplinary process, it would not be appropriate to comment further,” the university spokeswoman said. “We continue to cooperate with the authorities in relation to this matter.”

Davies, who was suspended eight months ago, issued a statement last week expressing disbelief at his dismissal, which he described as unjust. “Swansea University has been my life for the past 16 years and I have served the university to the best of my ability with honour and integrity throughout.

“I will be appealing this decision and will thereafter take such formal action as is open to me to clear my name and seek to restore the reputation that individuals within the university have sought to tarnish.”

Clement said: “I am both devastated and immensely saddened by the news of my dismissal as dean of the school of management at Swansea University. I feel wholly let down by the institution I have strived so hard to support and progress over the last decade.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Headline News

Seven injured as bus hits bridge

Published

on

A BUS heading to Swansea University has struck a bridge and, as a result, seven people are being treated for injuries one of which is in a serious condition.
Emergency Services arrived at the scene on Neath Road shortly after 9:40am this morning (December 12).
A 63 year old man has been arrested and a full investigation has been launched by the bus company First Cymru.
Four of the injured were taken to Swansea’s Morriston Hospital, two were taken to Neath Port Talbot minor injuries unit and another was taken to University Hospital of Wales in a serious condition.
The bus was travelling between Swansea’s Singleton campus and the Swansea Bay campus when, according to reports, a fallen tree caused the bus driver to seek an alternative route to its destination.
The road remains closed and railway lines to Swansea are also blocked while authorities attempt to assess the damage done to the bridge with members of the public being asked to avoid the area.

Continue Reading

Community

Welsh Rugby star Ryan Jones backs NSPCC Cymru

Published

on

A NEW NSPCC Cymru/Wales service that aims to help children and young people keep safe in their digital worlds and prevent online sexual abuse, has been praised by former Welsh Rugby captain, Ryan Jones, during a visit to the children’s charity’s base in Swansea.

During a tour of the service centre on Friday 29 November, the Wales Rugby legend met with NSPCC Cymru/Wales service practitioners who deliver direct work with local children and their families.

They shared with him their work, through their Protect and Respect service, to support children and young people who may be experiencing exploitation, as well as how they are helping parents who are at risk of mild to moderate anxiety and depression during pregnancy with their preventative mental-health service, Pregnancy in Mind.

A more recent service to be offered to children and young people in South Wales is In Ctrl, a group work programme for children and young people that aims to help them stay safe online.

Ryan said: “It’s been really interesting to find out more about the direct services the NSPCC delivers in South Wales, and how their prevention work with local schools through the In Ctrl service is helping to keep children and young people safe both on and offline.

“It’s reassuring to know that children are being empowered to ask themselves those really important questions when they go online, and increase their confidence in knowing what to do or who to speak to if they come across something that makes them feel uncomfortable.”

NSPCC Cymru/Wales Service Centre Manager in Swansea, Tracey Holdsworth added: “We were thrilled to be able to welcome Ryan to our service centre, thank him for all of his support, and share the work we are doing to help local children and their families.

“Ryan took a particular interest in our InCtrl programme that helps to prevent abuse online. In taking a trauma informed approach, it is designed to offer a safe space to children, young people and their parents to promote learning, build understanding of risk and increase resilience, in their online and offline worlds.

“Our practitioners visit local primary and secondary schools working with pupils who are aged between 9 and 13, exploring issues such as healthy relationships and friendships online, and enabling them to develop skills that will help protect them from grooming and exploitation.”

The work compliments the work of the charity’s Schools Service team in Wales, that visits local primary schools delivering free Speak out Stay safe assemblies and workshops that help children know about the different types of abuse, how to recognise the signs, and explore trusted adults they can speak to if they ever have a worry or concern.

In the 2018/19 academic year trained staff and volunteers delivered the free safeguarding sessions at 12 primary schools in Swansea reaching more than 3,000 children.

Ryan added: “I have attended a Speak out Stay safe assembly, and they are a great way to ensure children with a worry understand they can speak to Childline or a trusted adult about it and know they will be listened to.

“The InCtrl service offered by the NSPCC gives children the confidence to speak out if they come across something that concerns them online – and that’s so important.

“It’s great that parents are getting involved too. Giving them a safe space to talk, and helping them understand the issues facing their children online can help them feel assured talking to their child about their online use and how to keep them safe online.”

Online sexual abuse can happen anywhere that allows digital communication, such as social networks, text messages and messaging apps, email, online chats, voice chat in games and comments on live streaming apps.

Tracey added: “Too many children contact Childline not knowing where to turn having been exploited online. We want children and young people to have a happier and safer life, knowing that whenever they talk to a trusted adult, in school or at home, their concerns will be addressed.

“InCtrl is for children who might be going through lots of exciting changes – moving up to secondary school, getting a first mobile device, and using social media profiles for the first time.

“As exciting as all this can be, it can also be hard to know what to do sometimes and for some children, things can easily feel quickly out of their control, especially if they have had a worrying online experience.”

In Ctrl is carried out mainly in groups and covers themes such as healthy relationships, boundaries, pressure and expectation online, self-care, body image, pornography, and sexting. There is also an option for one-to-one work too, if needed, and anyone wanting to find out more about the service can contact the NSPCC in Swansea on 01792 456545 or SwanseaServiceCentre@nspcc.org.uk. The service is also offered out of the charity’s Cardiff base – CardiffServiceCentre@nspcc.org.uk or 02920 108080.

Children can contact Childline for free 24/7, 365 days a year on 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk.

Continue Reading

News

Teaching assistant dies after being ‘hit with chair’

Published

on

A Teaching Assistant from Ysgol Bryn Castell in Bryncethin, Bridgend has died just days after being hit by a chair thrown by a pupil.
Ysgol Bryn Castell is a special school for 147 pupils aged seven to 19 is closed whilst police investigate.
South Wales Police said: “Police in Bridgend are investigating the unexplained death of a 31-year-old man who was found dead at a property in the Brackla area on Sunday morning.
“A post-mortem examination is due to take place later today to try and establish the cause of death.”

Continue Reading

Trending

© 2019 Herald Newspapers PLC. All content is correct at the time of publication.