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Woman guilty of selling counterfeit goods

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A WOMAN who was selling counterfeit goods on Facebook was sentenced last month.

Kirsty Marie Baker pleaded guilty at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on April 24 to 20 offences relating to the sale of counterfeit goods.

Barker, currently residing at Llanon, was investigated after being spotted offering a wide range of cheap branded goods for sale on Facebook just before Christmas last year.

The Trading Standards Service of Ceredigion County Council searched her premises and found a variety of fake Nike, Adidas, Boss, Gucci, The North Face, Ellesse and Ugg clothing and footwear stored in her home. A list of customers, orders and her expected profits was also found.

Barker was summonsed for offences contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The offences related to the exposure and possession for sale of counterfeit goods, and obstructing an officer executing the search warrant at her home on December 14, 2016.

Barker was sentenced to a curfew order monitored by electronic tag requiring her to remain at home for three months between 7:30pm and 7:30am, and 15 days of victim awareness and thinking skills training. She was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85 and the council costs of £750.

A forfeiture and destruction order was made for the goods seized. The notes seized from Barker at the time of the search indicated that the counterfeits had cost £1,200 to buy.

The Chair of the Bench of Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court told Barker that the exploitation of trade marks is a serious offence, so serious that a custodial sentence could have been imposed. However, the community order sentence was given taking Barker’s early guilty plea into consideration.

A spokesperson for Ceredigion County Council said: “Aberystwyth and the county of Ceredigion is an area which generates intellectual property, being the home to two universities and numerous creative industries. It is an area that prides itself on provenance and any commerce that undermines the value of intellectual property and creativity also undermines one of the foundations of trade in the county.

“Trade in counterfeit goods creates an unfair playing field for reputable traders selling genuine goods, as well as threatening jobs and livelihoods. Anyone thinking of selling counterfeit goods risks financial loss, an appearance in court and punishment.”

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Training company enjoy successful open evening

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HYFFORDDIANT CEREDIGION TRAINING (HCT) enjoyed a successful open evening on November 7 as it opened its doors to the public.

Opening HCT’s doors gave people the opportunity to see the fantastic range of training opportunities available for them. This included opportunities for young people who are interested in seeing what apprenticeships HCT has to offer.

Mark Gleeson, Manager for Post 14 Vocational Learning said, “It is important that HCT holds open evenings to showcase different learning opportunities that are available to all learners. HCT offers a large number of apprenticeships which ensures that the next generation of skilled workforce is being trained and employed by local companies. This is very important to the economy of Ceredigion.”

There was an opportunity to have a tour of the building, to speak to tutors, to have a look at the workshops, and to see trainees and apprentices in action. This gave a flavour of the kind of work that is done daily at the training centre.

Traineeships and apprenticeships, but also evening classes, are taught at HCT, as Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member for Learning Service and Lifelong Learning explains, “If studying towards a full qualification in a given trade is not what you are after, but you want to gain some of the basic skills in the various routes HCT specialises in, why not join an evening class? The next round of evening courses are beginning now. So, what are you waiting for? Contact HCT to see what it has to offer you.”

Evening classes run for six weeks and HCT offers these 2-3 times per year. HCT offers a range of vocational courses for people of all ages, including Hairdressing, Childcare, Business Administration, Information Technology, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrics, Blacksmithing, Agriculture, Motor Mechanics and Welding.

For more information, find ‘Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training’ on Facebook, or visit the website, http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/public-it/hct/index.html

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Vandalism at coastguard lookout point

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POLICE are investigating vandalism at the old coastguard lookout point at Bird’s Rock.

A council spokesperson said: “We’re very sad to see vandalism to the old coastguard look out at Bird’s Rock on the coastal path a mile to the west of New Quay last week.

“All five windows was smashed – some even had their wooden frames ripped out.”

Melanie Heath, Ceredigion County Council’s Marine Protected Area Officer, added: “This act of vandalism is so distressing to see. The look-out was restored thanks to a special grant from the Crown Estate. It is used by our Dolphin and Porpoise Watch volunteers throughout the monitoring season. It is also a special place for many local people and visitors alike to sit for a while and take in the spectacular views of Cardigan Bay.”

If anyone has any information, contact Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police on 101

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Police report finds no ‘major shortcomings’ in use of force

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, has conducted a review of police officers’ use of force, and is assured that there are no major shortcomings.

The full report on the review of the use of force will be shared with local Police and Crime Panel members at their public meeting today (Nov 16).

This scrutiny review signifies a new, enhanced approach to the Commissioner’s continued commitment to holding the Force to account, for the delivery of an efficient and effective police service for the residents of Dyfed-Powys.

Sparked by national requirements to improve transparency around officers’ conduct, recent controversy around the introduction of spit and bite guards, and feedback from the inspectorate, the review involved consultation with the public, officers and staff, independent scrutiny of incident footage and a detailed review of available data.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I have been encouraged by the Force’s response to my office undertaking this work, and thank all those who contributed honestly and thoroughly to the review. I would also like to thank the members of the public who were willing to share their views with us, through my online survey and in person at the various events my team and I have attended over the summer months.”

Whilst the review found no significant concern to suggest that force is being used inappropriately by officers, it was identified that under-recording and limitations in the current systems require some improvement.

A series of recommendations have been accepted by the Chief Constable, Mark Collins, who has detailed the Force’s planned course of action in a formal response to the Commissioner.

The Commissioner’s office will use this action plan to review the Force’s progress over the coming months.

Superintendent Craig Templeton, Head of Operations, said: “We welcome this scrutiny by the Police and Crime Commissioner and accept there are improvements to be made. Work has already started to address the recommendations, including changes to the Use of Force recording system and introducing Body Worn Video, to make scrutiny easier. We are confident force is used legitimately in Dyfed-Powys Police and will continue working towards achieving accurate recording.”

The Commissioner is committed to continuing this approach and will be looking for the public to get involved in future engagements and consultations, details of which will be available on the Commissioner’s website, or through contact with the office.

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