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Police launch Operation SANTA

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IT’S the start of December, which marks the start of the countdown to Christmas and also the launch of Dyfed-Powys Police’s Christmas campaign Operation Safe and Nice to All (SANTA).

‘Presence not presents’ is the message the force is sending to people in the Dyfed-Powys area this Christmas.

Sergeants Steve Glynn and Andrew Oxley, Llandeilo Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), Donovan Kerr, and Police Dogs (PDs) Jazz and Aly launched the campaign at rural Carmarthenshire village, Bethlehem.

The seasonal campaign emphasises the force’s commitment to the community and reminds people how to enjoy themselves safely by providing a mix of ingredients of safety advice, reminders of the consequences of committing offences, an insight to life behind the scenes at Dyfed-Powys Police at Christmas and a sprinkling of fun and surprises along the way.

Police officers will be increasing their patrols throughout the festive period to deter anti-social behaviour and crime as well as offer reassurance and advice in their communities to help people to feel safe.

T/Assistant Chief Constable Claire Parmenter said: “Christmas can be a difficult time for some, particularly for those who are lonely or vulnerable. Our focus this year is on presence not presents, so nobody feels they are without help over the festive period.

“We take pride in being a police force of and for our communities, and will take a strong stance against those who cause misery for others at this time of year.

“We’re very fortunate in Dyfed-Powys to live and work in a safe place with low crime, but at Christmas time it is easy to forget to take the sensible safety steps we would usually take. Through Op Santa we will be reminding people of the things they can do to keep themselves, their loved ones and their property safe and secure.

“Our crime figures show the offence we tend to see the most significant spike in over Christmas is common assault. We know this is often fuelled by excessive alcohol. While we don’t want to dampen people’s Christmas spirits, part of our policing duty through Op Santa is to remind people of the very real consequences of committing this type of offence.  They include: permanently damaging or even killing a victim; a criminal record or prison sentence, which could affect future career and travel plans and being banned from participating pubs, bars and clubs. The best thing to do when faced with confrontation or aggression is to walk away.

“I hope everyone enjoys our Op Santa campaign and also finds the information provided of use in keeping them safe during the forthcoming festivities.”

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A digital future for Ceredigion

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STARTING from today (Dec 15), we are excited to announce that The Ceredigion Herald will be a digital only publication.

Our website and social media pages have always been an important outlet for delivering news to Ceredigion, and with the re-launch of Herald Radio this year, and the launch of our news channel Herald News 24 next year, the methods in which we deliver news to Ceredigion is only going from strength to strength.

Put simply, what this means for our readers is more content, delivered quicker, and with all the benefits that only an online platform can provide – such as picture galleries and video content.

Since the first edition, The Ceredigion Herald has gained a reputation for tackling the tough stories which others ignored, reporting on local news and events, and being a voice for the communities across Ceredigion.

This is not changing.

Over the coming weeks and months we will be rolling out new additions to the website, launching our online news channel, and much more.

We hope you look forward to the evolution as much as we are, and if you have any comments, feedback or ideas, we’d love to hear them.

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FUW holds open meeting to discuss bank closures

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​IN LIGHT of the announced NatWest bank closures in Ceredigion, affecting the Lampeter and Cardigan branches, the Farmers’ Union of Wales is holding open meetings with Plaid Cymru to discuss a way forward with local MP Ben Lake and AM Elin Jones.

The meetings will take place on Thursday ​(​Dec 21​)​ at Lampeter Rugby Club and Thursday, January 18 at the Guildhall, Cardigan. Both meetings will commence at 7.30pm and are open to all.

Speaking ahead of the meetings, ​​FUW Ceredigion CEO Mared Jones said: “The closure of those banks will have a detrimental effect​ on​ our local towns, as they serve not only villages close by but many of the neighbourhoods in surrounding areas, as well as providing employment to local people.

“We are therefore holding two open meetings with our local elected representatives to discuss a way forward and I hope many of you will be able to join us.”

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Farmers warned of targeted fraud attacks

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​DYFED-POWYS POLICE is warning the farming community to be extremely wary of any suspicious calls, texts or emails as a scam specifically targeting the agricultural sector has been identified.

During December farmers start to receive payments through the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy).

Information about the payments, including the recipients’ names and the amount paid, is publically available, meaning criminals are able to directly target victims making their approaches appear more convincing.

The scam communications will typically claim that fraud has been detected on the farmer’s bank account and that urgent action is required to safeguard funds.

The victim is then persuaded to divulge personal or financial information, or even to transfer money directly into a so-called ‘safe account’.

With some grants worth thousands of pounds, in past years fraudsters have stolen significant amounts of money from their victims.

Paul Callard, Financial Crime Team, Dyfed Powys Police said: “If you receive such a call or message, hang up the phone and do not reply directly. Instead, wait five minutes and ring your bank to alert them to the scam, using a phone number that you trust – such as the one from the official website.”

Be wary of:
• Any calls, texts or emails purporting to be from your bank, the police, a Government body or other organisation asking for personal or financial details, or for you to transfer money.
• Cold callers who suggest you hang up the phone and call them back. Fraudsters can keep your phone line open by not putting down the receiver at their end.
• Any request to check that the number showing on your telephone display matches an organisation’s registered telephone number. The display cannot be trusted, as the number showing can be altered by the caller.

Remember:
• You will never be asked for your 4 digit PIN or your online banking password, or for you to transfer money to a new account for “fraud reasons”.
• If you receive a suspicious call, hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line, or where possible use a different phone line, then call your bank or card issuer on their advertised number to report the fraud.

Never disclose your:
• Four digit card PIN to anyone, including the bank or police.
• Your password or online banking codes.
• Personal details unless you are certain you know who you are talking to. People are not always who they say they are.

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