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Council defends ordering lynx killing

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FOLLOWING the killing of Lillith the escaped Lynx from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom on Friday night (Nov 10), Ceredigion County Council has defended the actions.

The lynx had missing from the zoo since October 29 and had been spotted in populated areas before the decision to kill it was made.

In response, Borth Wild Animal Kingdom said they were ‘truly devastated and outraged’ by the decision.

A spokesperson for Ceredigion County Council said: “The decision to authorise the putting down of the Eurasian Lynx that recently escaped from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom was an operational one taken after receiving expert advice, based on the level of risk to members of the public. All options for dealing with the escaped Lynx had been considered prior to the decision being taken on what was agreed to be a proportionate, reasonable and swift course of action.

“The decision to proceed was taken with the support of Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police, the Welsh Government and the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales. The Lynx had been on the loose for more than two weeks, was known to have moved away from the proximity of the zoo. The Lynx has also encroached on a populated area, but was not afraid of humans.

“It was not possible to assess the condition or temperament of the Lynx but there were concerns about its likely behavioural response if it was startled or inadvertently confronted by a member of the public, especially by a young child. It must be remembered that the Lynx is classified in legislation as ‘dangerous and wild’ and the authorities were dealing with an unmanaged, escape situation.

“When the operational arrangements were being considered, the issue of tranquilising the creature were specifically discussed. Due to the nature of the terrain and vegetation in the area, the time it would take for the sedative to take effect and the uncertainty of how the Lynx would react, the expert advice was that tranquilising the Lynx was not an option. On other occasions and in different circumstances it may be fitting to attempt to tranquilise an escaped animal but, based on the factors involved with this incident, it was decided that it was not appropriate.

“The advice of the Council’s expert veterinary practitioner and the position of the Chief Veterinary Officer was certain in this regards. While the Council would have wished for a different outcome to this incident, to protect public safety, the Council had no option other than to take decisive action.

“An investigation has commenced into the circumstances surrounding the escape of the Lynx, to establish whether there have been any breaches of the operating licence and other related matters. While enquiries are ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further on the circumstances surrounding this matter.”

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Cardigan: Welsh language nursery’s treasurer stole £16,336 from coffers

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A FORMER treasurer of Cylch Meithrin Penparc in Cardigan has been jailed today for a fraud that brought the Welsh language nursery to its knees.
Catrin Davies, a 33 year old single mother of two daughters, cheated the organisation out of £16,336.
After she left the post the nursery struggled to pay debts and at one stage was left with £1.84p in its bank.
Davies, of Bwthyn Lleine, Ferwig, admitted fraud and was jailed for eight months.
Judge Geraint Walters, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, told her the offending was too series for the sentence to be suspended.
Craig Jones, prosecuting, said Davies was appointed treasurer in September, 2015, and left the post in December 2016.
The new treasurer noticed discrepancies in the accounts. Davies tried to cover them up by sticking pieces of paper onto bank statements to blank out figures, photocopying them, and then carefully typing in new and bogus figures.
By then Davies had failed to pay money into the account and withdrawn some herself.
Mr Jones said that at one stage the nursery had to pay a roof repair bill. Davies knew there wasn’t enough money in the account but to keep the fraud going and to avoid detection she actually paid the bill out of her own money.
Mr Jones said after the true financial situation had been established Cylch Meithrin Penparc was at risk of closure. Internet access was cut off because the telephone bill could not be paid and staff found themselves buying essential items out of their own money.
And there was still a fear, he added, that the nursery would struggle to overcome the blow and to recover the confidence of parents.
Janet Gedrych, representing Davies, said she had suffered a devastating fall from grace.
Davies ran the Pink Orchid florists in Priory Street, Cardigan, for nine years and had a good reputation in the town.
But her partner left her and his debts behind and ran up more and she owed £30,000 in personal and business debts. By October, 2015, debt collectors were knocking on her door and she defrauded Cylch Meithrin Penparc to pay them off.
Judge Walters said the nursery provided a hugely valuable service to parents who wanted their children to learn Welsh and Davies had helped herself to money they had paid in.
“Your activity has reduced its ability to operate. It has not closed but it’s hanging by a thread.”
Judge Walters said he accepted that Davies had found herself squeezed financially, but many people struggled under similar circumstances.

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Police appeal for information about Cardigan crash

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CARDIGAN police are appealing for information about an RTC involving two cars, on the A487 Cardigan to Tanygroes, at around 5:45pm on Monday (Nov 13).

A white Mitsubishi Shogun and a blue/silver Fiat Bravo were involved in the collision, on the bypass near Cardigan Tesco. The two drivers were taken to hospital; one has since been released.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, or was driving along the road around the time, is asked to contact Ceredigion Roads Policing Unit by calling 101.

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908, quoting Ref: 326 of 13 November.

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Police reaffirms commitment to a safe working environment

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has pledged to maintain its ongoing work to provide a safe working environment for all its staff.

Following the high profile accusations against members of the entertainment industry and reports that have subsequently followed from all corners of society, the force has taken action to ensure its staff and officers are aware of the existing support and mechanisms available to them.

While much work has already been – and continues to be – undertaken to tackle and eliminate unacceptable behaviour within Dyfed-Powys Police, chief officers are actively developing a culture where all members of staff are confident in speaking out.

An open letter has been issued to all employees, in which Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Claire Parmenter has reaffirmed that ensuring all staff can work in a fair and safe environment remains a key priority.

In it, she says: “The chief officer group wants to reassure you all that in Dyfed-Powys Police we hold our staff at the heart of our service and we will do everything we can to provide a safe working environment where everyone has the equal right to respect and dignity.

“The #MeToo Campaign was re-launched in the wake of the early allegations and has since been used by millions of women and men as an instantly recognisable method of removing the stigma that surrounds sexual harassment, by both victims and supporters of the campaign.

“While much work has already been undertaken to tackle and eliminate harassment, bullying and discrimination, work in this area is never done. Therefore, ensuring a fair, safe and equitable working environment for our staff in Dyfed-Powys Police remains an absolute priority.

“I have pledged my support to ongoing work aimed at reminding all officers and staff of the existing support and mechanisms available by which Dyfed-Powys Police encourages the reporting of wrong-doing. We will be reviewing policy, procedure and practice to ensure they remain current and that they are both supportive of victims and alleged perpetrators.

“We will also engage with staff associations and networks, the Police Federation and Unison to better understand staff concerns, embed high standards of conduct and reduce fear experienced by victims.”

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