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Police urge victims of sextortion and online blackmail to report crimes

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is urging victims of sextortion and online blackmail to feel empowered to come forward and report incidents without feeling embarrassed.

The force has recorded seven reports of blackmail over the past three weeks, with victims being threatened that intimate photos or videos will be shared online unless they pay in cash or Bitcoin.

In some of these cases, victims have been contacted by strangers on social media and have been asked to share intimate photos or videos of themselves. They have then received threats that these images will be posted on social media unless they pay a certain amount of money to the blackmailer.

One victim reported being asked to pay £6,000 after initially being contacted through Instagram.

In other instances, victims have received emails from unknown people who claim to have sexual photos or videos of them. They threatened to share these with friends and family unless they are paid.

In light of recent reports, officers from Dyfed-Powys Police’s Digital Communications and Cyber Crime Unit have offered advice to anyone who receives similar threats online.

Detective Sergeant Rob Gravelle said: “The first thing we would urge is don’t panic, and don’t respond to blackmail threats. Report it to police immediately.

“Don’t communicate with the blackmailer further, but take screenshots of any chat history as evidence. Please also take a note of their user IDs, money transfer control numbers and any photos or video that were sent.

“If any photos or videos appear on a website or social media account, report these to the site as soon as you can. Ask for the images to be removed and for the perpetrator to be blocked.

“What is really important is for victims to feel empowered to report sextortion and blackmail without feeling ashamed or embarrassed. You are not alone, and it is very likely that other people will have been targeted by these criminals.

“Your call will be treated sensitively, and by reporting incidents you could help prevent other people from becoming victims.”

To report blackmail or sextortion to Dyfed-Powys Police call 101. If you are at immediate threat of harm, always call 999.

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Tate to work for the first time with Ceredigion Museum on new exhibition

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BETWEEN 6 April and 29 June, Ceredigion Museum will display a group of works on loan from Tate for the first time. The pictures, including three Henry Moore drawings, will form part of the museum’s upcoming exhibition Sheep, which will look at the history, heritage and culture of sheep farming communities and their wider relationship with the land and landscape in Wales.

All of the works from Tate feature depictions of sheep, which alongside the Henry Moore drawings include: a Joseph Beuys drawing and a screen-print on paper ‘Sheep B’ by the Israeli artist Menashe Kadishman. Bringing these to the museum will be a real highlight for the public and offers an exciting opportunity to see Welsh artists exhibit their work alongside internationally significant works of art as well as Ceredigion’s own collection.

To make these loans possible, funding has been provided by the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund; created by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Art Fund, the Weston Loan Programme is the first ever UK-wide funding scheme to enable smaller and local authority museums to borrow works of art and artefacts from national collections.

Further funding has been provided by Arts Council of Wales, The Ferryman Project: Sharing Works of Art which is supported by National Lottery players through the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the John Ellerman Foundation and Art Fund.

A cross-disciplinary symposium ‘Future Landscapes’, on 9 -10 May, will accompany the exhibition to further the discussions and dialogues inspired by the work featured in the exhibition.

Contributing artists include Miranda Whall who is working on a series of pieces relating to landscape; the first, called ‘Crossed Paths’ looks at the story of the upland mountains of Wales told from the perspective of a sheep. New work in a variety of media including installation, film and sculpture will be on display by artists Short and Forward, Christine Mills, Morag Colqhuon, Carwyn Evans and photographer Marian Delyth.

Alongside the exhibition, artist/filmmaker Ffion Jones will be engaging with sheep farmers to make a new piece in collaboration with farming communities with inspiration from the agricultural collection at Ceredigion Museum. The final work will be shown as part of the exhibition.

Alice Briggs, Assistant Curator at Ceredigion Museum said, ‘The funding for Sheep from the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund and others will have a lasting legacy beyond just the exhibition. Its support of the necessary upgrades and accompanying programmes will enable the museum to borrow other important artefacts and treasures to display in the future – we already developing more plans to borrow artefacts from the British Museum and National Museum of Wales in 2020; making the culture and heritage of the region more accessible to the people of Ceredigion.”

Sophia Mason, Trustee of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said, ‘We are so delighted to start the second year of our Weston Loan Programme with an exhibition in Wales. It’s incredible to see how much this programme is empowering museums like Ceredigion as well as ensuring our national treasures can be seen by audiences in the context of their own area and local heritage.”

Stephen Deuchar, Director of Art Fund, said, “The Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund is about encouraging museums to share their collections with each other and bringing new benefit and opportunity to their visitors. We’re proud to be working with the Garfield Weston Foundation to realise this important national programme.”

The exhibition will open on Saturday, 6 April at 12pm. Ceredigion Museum is open Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 5pm and entrance is free. See more information here: www.ceredigionmuseum.wales

Workshops linked to the exhibition:
Woolly Workshops at Easter
· 18 April, 2 – 4pm: Get creative this Easter in our woolly workshop for families which is a free workshop (donations welcome)
· 27 April, 12.30 – 4.30pm: Learn how to make a beautiful needle felt sheep using Welsh wool with artist Ruth Packham. Age 14+ and it is £22 for a ticket (limited places, booking essential)

Future Landscapes symposium, 9-10 May– www.ceredigionmuseum.wales/futurelandscapes

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Former headteacher of Llandysul Primary School jailed for child sex offences

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A FORMER headteacher of primary schools in west Wales who was awarded the MBE for services to education has been jailed for child sex offences.

David Watkin Bundock, aged 74, admitted six offences–one of them committed after he had been arrested and granted bail.

Judge Keith Thomas, sitting at Swansea crown court, told Bundock he had achieved a great deal during his professional career but had then gone on to behave in a way that was the exact opposite to the moral values he had once championed.

Bundock, once the head of Llandysul Primary School, admitted four offences of possessing indecent images of children.

He also admitted attempting to communicate with a child aged under 16 for sexual reasons and, on January 27, 2019, attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

Bundock was jailed for two years and three months. He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and banned from ever working with children and must register with the police as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Jim Davis, prosecuting, said Bundock came to be of interest to the police after his telephone number was found on the mobile of a man arrested for indecent images offences.

But after being granted bail he was then snared by paedophile hunters who created an Internet account of a fictional 15 year old boy.

Bundock swapped indecent messages with the “boy” and travelled to a park in Carmarthen hoping to meet him.

But when he arrived he was confronted by members of the group and arrested later that day for a second time.

Bundock’s barrister, India Cox, said his offending was completely out of character and difficult to explain.

Judge Thomas described the offences as appalling.

The offences took place place in Carmarthenshire and at his home at Valetta House, Cardiff.

Bundock went on to become a senior adviser with Ceredigion County Council’s education department. In 2004 he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

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£24m health centre project will not stop following Interserve problems

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FOLLOWING the collapse of Interserve, health officials have said they are confident it will not affect Cardigan’s £24m health care centre.

Interserve, the government outsourcer to complete the works, ran into financial difficulty and was rescued from administration last Friday by banks and hedge funds. This has left many of it’s key suppliers now facing large financial losses.

With 69,000 staff worldwide, the takeover will ensure they will remain working and with most suppliers trading as usual.

The bailout follows fears that the company could follow in the footstep’s of rival contractor Carillion.

Carillion’s collapse last year left worker’s, pension’s and lender’s with huge financial losses. Forcing the Government to step in and deliver the services.

A Hywel Dda health board spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Interserve will continue to deliver both the Cardigan Integrated Care Centre and the Women’s and Children’s Phase 2 project at Glangwili General Hospital as planned.”

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