A NUMBER of lethal homemade traps, which could cause serious injuries to walkers, runners and cyclists, were recently found in Lampeter.
Several of the homemade hazards, which are made up of a length of wooden board with a number of sixinch rusty nails sticking out of the top, were found on the woodland cycle paths at Upper Forest.
The first terrifying trap was found, luckily before it caused any serious damage, by Elen Page whilst she was out running along the Upper Forest path.
The spikes had been disturbingly concealed with leaves and twigs to blend in with the natural environment, in what appears to be an effort to injure people using the path or to puncture the tyres of cyclists’ bikes.
Elen said: “I just happened to look down as I was about to step on it and I stopped myself just in time.
She believed that the trap had been set in a bid to deter cyclists, but that it could have easily caused “serious harm” to not only cyclists, but walkers, runners, children and dogs who all frequent the popular path.
Elen took the device directly to Lampeter Police Station to report the incident, worrying that there could be more lying around concealed.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW), who are currently investigating the incident, are encouraging footpath users not only in Upper Forest but in nearby areas to remain alert as it is clear that attempts have been made to conceal these devices.
Steve Cresswell, Operational Resource Manager at Natural Resources Wales, said: “Forests are a fantastic resource to the nation and are used by residents and visitors for leisure, which benefits their health.
“We have been alerted of the presence of these spikes by residents walking these paths and staff have been out to investigate.
“The police have been alerted to this matter and warn people who use these paths to be vigilant and report any further sightings to our incident hotline on 0800 807060.”
Sadly, Elen’s fears were confirmed when local man Grenville Evans and his two sons found more of the homemade traps at the Upper Forest site.
Grenville managed to collect a further four traps from a variety of different locations on the footpath hidden under moss and leaves, immediately reporting this to the police.
PC Damon Watmough of Dyfed- Powys Police said: “Police in Lampeter can confirm a member of the public handed in wooden logs with nails sticking out of them. He informed officers that they were found on a path in forestry on the outskirts of Lampeter.
“Police and Community Support Officers (PCSOs) have carried out house-to-house enquiries to make local residents aware of the items and asking them to be vigilant if using the paths in that area.
“We have issued a warning to local residents to be vigilant when using the paths in that area and to report anything suspicious to us at Lampeter Police Station by calling 101.
“If anyone finds more items of a similar nature I would urge them to hand them in at the police station to ensure the safety of the public.”
Councillor Robert ‘Hag’ Harries, Deputy Mayor of Lampeter, said that the discovery of the homemade rusty nail devices was both disturbing and wholly unexpected.
Cllr Harries continued: “Obviously we are very disturbed by these events. The traps could cause serious injury to anyone treading or falling on them.
“As a runner myself I have never heard of any such event in this area during the the last 40 years.
“I would ask anyone who sees anything to report it to the police and Natural Resources Wales.”
Lecture considers the future of war
INTERNATIONALLY renowned war scholar and military conflict expert, Professor Christopher Coker delivered this year’s Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture on Thursday (Nov 16).
Christopher Coker, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is a prolific author on all aspects of war. He is a former NATO Fellow, a former twice serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, US, Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo.
In his lecture entitled ‘Still ‘The Human Thing’? Thucydides, Waltz & the Future of War”, Professor Coker discussed war as a feature of what we call ‘human nature’ or ‘humanity’ in general, while focusing on urgent contemporary issues such as possible changes in the nature of war by the blurring of the distinction between humans and machines.
He also considered how, as Artificial Intelligence becomes ever more a fact of life, the traditional functions and forms of war could change, discussing such questions as: will we still need war and will war still need us?
Talking ahead of the the event, Professor Ken Booth of Aberystwyth University said: “Chris Coker is a very imaginative, interesting, and controversial thinker. Intellectually ambitious, he always addresses the biggest questions. The titles of some of his most recent books attest to this: Future War, Can War be Eliminated?, Warrior Geeks: how 21st Century Technology is Changing the Way We Fight and Think about War, The Improbable War: China, the US, and the Logic of Great Power Conflict and Men at War: what Fiction tells us about Conflict. We can be sure of a fascinating and challenging lecture about a supremely important area of human behaviour.”
The Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture brings distinguished scholars to Aberystwyth to talk about issues that were central to the concerns of the late Ken Waltz, the leading theorist of international relations over many decades.
Hosted by the David Davies Memorial Institute and the Department of International Politics, this year’s lecture was held in the Main Hall in the International Politics Building on the Penglais Campus.
Youth Service invited to international training event
TWO Youth Workers from Ceredigion Youth Service have been selected to represent the UK on a week’s training opportunity in Horažd’ovice in the Czech Republic.
‘The danger of a Single Story’ is a training course funded by Erasmus+, that combines stories, media, global education and active citizenship to empower trainers, educators and youth workers with the tools to educate young people on issues such as cyberbullying, hate speech, and online harassment.
Elen James, Head of Youth Engagement and Continuing Education, said: “We are extremely proud of both Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton, 270 people had applied, for 24 places, 2 were allocated for the UK and both places have been assigned to Ceredigion Youth Service staff.
“This is an excellent training opportunity for them, which will inform them and encourage them to reflect on the evolution of media and the consequences that it has on the formation of stereotypes and prejudices. We wish them all the best in Prague!”
Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton will join 22 other Youth Workers from Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey. The week will be hosted at the PROUD Environmental Centre approximately 120km from Prague, from Sunday (Nov 19) for a week.
Rebeca Davies, School Based Youth Worker said: “I’m really looking forward to visiting Prague, and meeting other Youth Workers from across the World. It will be a fantastic opportunity to learn new tools and techniques to encourage and empower young people back here in Ceredigion.”
Guto Crompton, School Based Youth Worker added: “I’m looking forward to learning more about different Youth Work methods and approaches. I’m also eager to develop a greater awareness around education, active citizenship and democracy.”
Cabinet member for Learning Services, Children and Young People’s Partnership, Councillor Catrin Miles, commented: “As a Council, we are very proud of the hard work of our Youth Service to the young people of the county. This will be a very important and worthwhile opportunity for Rebeca and Guto to represent Ceredigion and Wales and we wish them all the best at the event.”
Pot Noodles bought with theft proceeds
ON WEDNESDAY (Nov 15), Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court heard that a 23-year-old man stole an HDMI cable from a store and sold it for a tenner to buy ten Pot Noodles.
Joel Alexander Owens, of Portland Street in Aberystwyth, pleaded guilty to stealing alcohol to the value of £24.96 belonging to his hometown’s B&M Bargains on June 29. He also admitted stealing an HDMI cable to the value of £14 belonging to Tesco in Aberystwyth on September 24.
Prosecuting, Helen Tench said a staff member at B&M was notified by a member of the public about a male who left the store without paying for items.
CCTV footage was checked, which showed Owens select a number of alcoholic items and leaving the store without making any payments.
Police officers later viewed the footage and identified the defendant.
On October 14, a member of staff at Tesco was informed of the incident at B&M. The Tesco CCTV footage was viewed as a result and the defendant was seen removing an HDMI cable from its box on September 24 and leaving without paying.
Ms Tench said Owens was interviewed on October 19, where he admitted committing the offences in his personal statement.
The defendant also admitted he sold the HDMI cable for £10 in order to buy ten Pot Noodles.
Defending, Katy Hanson said Owens pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and admitted to stealing beer and cider from B&M.
Probation officer Julian Davies stated that the defendant was currently serving a 12-month community order for two previous offences of theft and a breach of a conditional discharge.
Aberystwyth magistrates revoked Owens community order and imposed a 12-month community order with 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a four-week curfew.
Owens was told to pay prosecution costs of £85, compensation of £14 to Tesco and compensation of £24.96 to B&M Bargains.
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