Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wolfman - media hype?

It seems much of the Wolfman story is the result of media exaggeration. When I am back in Wales properly I will have to investigate I think. One aspect of the case which is intriguing is the use of a Police helicopter... it seems like a big waste of resources for the actual basis of what the case involved.

Police dismiss 'wolfman hunted' reports

WalesOnline - ‎Apr 30, 2009‎

Police dismissed reports today that they were hunting a “wolfman” vagrant over a mini-crimewave as just another “shaggy dog story.”

Sightings of a wildman living rough in woodland near Ammanford, were no more than “rumour”, an officer said. Police knowledge of the apparently elusive individual does not even extend to confirmation that he has a beard.

Initial reports of the “wolfman” first appeared in the Ammanford-based South Wales Guardian weekly newspaper last month.

It pinpointed woodland near the hamlet of Pantyffynnon as the area where a vagrant, dubbed the “wolfman” by local children, was living rough.

Residents were also reported as holding him responsible for a spate of doorstep milk disappearances and thefts from cars. The paper has carried several interviews with local officer Sergeant Charles Gabe who confirmed the police did want to speak to him.

“We think he catches rabbits and eats berries or whatever else he can get his hands on,” he told the newspaper.

He also said the Dyfed Powys Police helicopter, using heat-seeking equipment, had been used to locate him without success on one occasion.

He told the newspaper: “But we’re not talking a one-man crimewave here. While I don’t wish to minimise what’s been happening there are more serious things happening in and around Ammanford.”

That viewpoint was echoed today by a colleague after the story of a “wolfman” hunt was picked up by at least one national newspaper.

“There is no on-going police operation to search for someone that local children have apparently dubbed the ’wolfman,”’ an Ammanford officer said today.

“We have had a couple of incidents, going back 12 months, where someone’s fridge freezer was opened and food taken out. Whether it was this person or kids has never been proven. If he is ever found he will be spoken with in connection with this incident but there is certainly no crime wave.”

He added: “There is a rumour of a tramp or vagrant living somewhere in the community, and a den he apparently lived in has been found with some remains of food.

“Situations like this with people living on the periphery of a community do occur from time to time.

“He may or may not have a beard but as for being a wolfman, that’s just a shaggy dog story.


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