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Lifeguards offer safety advice

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CEREDIGION’S lifeguards have completed all their training and will start their seasonal service on New Quay and Llangrannog beaches on Saturday (May 27), offering safety advice and assistance to people venturing to the coast.

The two beaches are the first of eight across Ceredigion where lifeguards will be on duty this summer, with patrols on Borth, Clarach, Aberystwyth north and south, Tresaith and Aberporth beaches starting in June and July.

Last year was a busy one for lifeguards in the county. As well as a number of water rescues, the lifeguards also dealt with a high number of first aid incidents and provided safety advice and assistance to thousands of beachgoers

Incidents responded to by RNLI lifeguards in the county in 2016 included the rescue of a woman and two children who were swept out in a rip current in big surf at Llangrannog and a young girl unable to swim who fell off an inflatable out of her depth at Borth.

This year lifeguards will be on duty every day on New Quay and Llangrannog beaches between this Saturday (May 27) and Sunday, September 3.

Michael Vincent, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, said: “It’s always an exciting time of year when our lifeguards begin their safety service and our team are trained and ready to go.

“Beaches in the area are beginning to get busier as the summer weather arrives, but we urge people to respect the water and visit a lifeguarded beach, where there are trained professionals to help keep you and your group safe.

“Even though the weather is warming up, the water temperatures at this time of year remain cold, so anyone thinking of venturing into the water should remember to properly equip themselves and be aware of the dangers of cold water shock.

“Remember to swim between the red and yellow flags, where our lifeguards are on hand to help, and please do come and talk to one of our team if you have any safety queries.”

The lifeguard service is operated in partnership between the RNLI and Ceredigion County Council.

Ann Eleri Jones, Ceredigion County Council Tourism Services Manager said: “Ceredigion County Council is very pleased to be working in partnership with the RNLI on its beaches again this year. New Quay and Llangrannog beaches have just been awarded Blue Flag and Seaside Awards and we look forward to a busy but safe season.”

RNLI lifeguards will patrol 38 beaches across Wales in 2017. Last year lifeguards across Wales responded to 1,271 incidents and rescued or assisted 1,436 people.

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Man denies £7,000 burglary

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A MAN from West Sussex has today denied carrying out a £7,000 burglary in Lampeter.

Kurtis Poat, aged 23, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.

Poat, of Osborne Crescent, Chichester, denied breaking into a house in Nantyglyn, Cwmann, in May, 2017, and stealing a tin containing £7,000 in cash.

Poat faces a two day trial scheduled to begin on April 11 and was granted bail until then.

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Campaigners urge air gun licensing following cat shootings

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CATS PROTECTION is urging the UK’s cat lovers to join a call on the Westminster government to introduce air gun licensing in Wales and England, following in the footsteps of Scotland and Northern Ireland where it is illegal to own air weapons without licence.

The government is currently holding a public consultation into air weapon regulation, including licensing, which closes on February 6, making this the ideal time for cat lovers to make their voices heard by sending an e-mail to the Home Office.

To take part people should visit www.cats.org.uk/airgunsconsultation where they can adapt and send the e-mail. People can also watch a video showing some of the feline victims of air gun shootings, which some may find upsetting.

Victims of air gun shootings include Jalapeno, a black-and-white cat from Bridgend who was shot in the eye, and Chaos, a black-and-white cat from South Wales who was shot between her eyes, shattering the bones in her nose.

Luckily both Jalapeno and Chaos survived their injuries after receiving emergency veterinary care.

However, in March 2017, a cat from Barry was fatally shot, as was a cat from Llanell in August 2017.

“Shocking air gun attacks like the ones on Jalapeno and Chaos are by no means rare,” explains Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations.

“Our monitoring of UK press reports shows that three cats are killed or injured by an air gun each week and this is likely to be an underestimate because most attacks are never witnessed or reported. Worse still, over 90% of these shootings take place in Wales and England where it is legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air gun and ammunition without the need for a licence.

“These attacks cause immense pain and suffering to cats as well as anguish for their owners and fear in their local communities for the safety of people and pets.”

Cats Protection believes that if licensing were introduced, it would be easier to track down culprits who use these weapons to inflict harm on cats.

The charity wants to ensure that cats in Wales and England are fully protected. Those who have a legitimate reason to purchase, possess and use an air gun will be able to retain ownership and would simply need to apply for a licence.

Jacqui added: “Last year over 90,000 people signed an online and paper Cats Protection petition calling for the licensing of air guns in Wales and England, showing the depth of public feeling on the issue. Our hope is that as many people as possible email the government in support of air gun licensing so that we can make the whole of the UK a safer place for cats, animals and human beings.”

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 190,000 cats each year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.

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Police crack down on drink and drug driving

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NEARLY 100 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police for drink and drug driving in December, as a result of the All Wales Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign.

The month-long operation against driving under the influence ran from Friday, December 1, and police forces across the country used intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the festive period.

98 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police.

Supt. Huw Meredith, Specialist Operations, said: “We adopt a proactive, targeted and intelligence-led approach to drink and drug driving, using specialist Roads Policing resources and response officers.

“The number of arrests indicates that sadly some are prepared to risk the lives of others and themselves by driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Our message is the same all year round – don’t drink/take drugs and drive.”

In 2017 Dyfed-Powys Police arrested 452 people for drink and drug driving.

Operation Snap also launched in December, allowing members of the public throughout Wales to submit footage and images showing traffic offences being committed – from driving dangerously or carelessly to contravening solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving or ignoring traffic lights.

To submit footage to any of the four Welsh Police Forces, visit https://gosafesnap.wales/ or https://gosafesnap.cymru.

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