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Forces work together to launch Ceredigion rural crime team

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IT will certainly be a change to life on the beat, but Dyfed-Powys Police’s first ever rural crime team is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

Coming from farming backgrounds with a knowledge of the issues and concerns these communities face, and undergoing enhanced training with North Wales Police’s well-established rural crime team, puts PC Esther Davies and PCSO Caryl Griffiths in good stead for the role.

From this week on, the pair will cover the Ceredigion division, from Crymych to Machynlleth, dealing with issues ranging from sheep worrying and livestock theft, to offering crime prevention advice and support. They will also work closely with partner agencies including the National Farmers’ Union, the Farmer’s Union of Wales and the Welsh Government.

The new role has come as a direct result of the force’s rural crime strategy, which committed to identifying named points of contact for rural crime matters, and developing the specialist rural skills and knowledge of its officers.

The team will benefit from an attachment to North Wales Police for a week of intense training in the first partnership of its kind between the two forces. Rural Crime Team Manager Rob Taylor and his team will pass on the expertise gained in the five years since the team was established, and the forces hope to continue to work together to tackle rural issues and cross border criminality.

Speaking about her new role, PCSO Griffiths said: “This post will be challenging, but extremely rewarding.

“I appreciate the importance of communication with rural and agricultural communities. It is vital to provide a familiar point of contact to the public, and also to seek their views on how we can serve their needs.

“With this in mind, I want to restore confidence in the rural communities so people can feel safe and be safe. I have mentioned the rural crime team to people while I’ve been out in the community and they are very supportive – they think it is definitely needed.”

PC Davies added that their first hand experiences of the farming environment will help them get to grips with the new role.

“Personally, being from a rural background and growing up in that environment means I know how the community works, as well as the issues and concerns the farming community has,” she said.

“It will be interesting to see how North Wales Police do it. Hopefully we will gain a lot of tips and ideas from them, which we can bring down to Dyfed-Powys.

“It’s an exciting opportunity because it is completely new for the force and we can make it our own with guidance. We will have to use our own initiative in establishing the best way for the role to move forward, which will be a good challenge.”

The pair will spend a week attached to North Wales Police, where they will learn how their counterparts work. They will receive classroom training on issues specific to the rural community, as well as getting the chance to shadow a PC and PCSO as they carry out their work.

And when they return to Dyfed-Powys Police, their first aim is to get out and about in the community attending as many events as possible to spread the word about their work.

“PCSO Griffiths said: “We want to be visible as well as proactive, so we will be showing our faces and making sure people know that we are here to support them.”

Robyn Mason, Dyfed-Powys Police’s lead for rural crime, said: “Tackling rural crime is a priority for Dyfed-Powys, and the only way to fully get to grips with these issues is to have officers and staff dedicated to the cause.

“This will be the first of four rural crime teams launched across our divisions, and it is a very exciting opportunity for the force.

“We look forward to seeing the skills and knowledge Esther and Caryl bring back from North Wales Police, and would like to thank Rob Taylor and his team for allowing us to work together in this new partnership.”

North Wales Rural Crime Team manager, Rob Taylor, said: “We have had a dedicated Rural Team in North Wales since September 2013 and although small, this team has been very impactive and has developed close links with our farming and rural communities.

“The attachment of these officers from Ceredigion will be an asset to both forces, which will allow us to share our rural policing knowledge and to tackle cross border criminality in Wales.

“Both officers are from farming backgrounds and they already have a good grounding of rural issues and there policing needs, so we have a lot to learn from them too.”

 

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Winners of the Ceredigion Marine Litter Reduction competition announced

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THE WINNING designs were announced on 5 March for a competition held at five primary schools across Ceredigion. The task was to design a poster that will be used as an accreditation to businesses who are reducing their use of plastics and packaging.

Year 5 and 6 pupils from Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron, Ysgol Cei Newydd, Ysgol Gynradd Bro Sion Cwilt , Ysgol Gynradd Aberporth and Ysgol Gymunedol Craig Yr Wylfa participated in the competition. Across the schools, the five best designs were chosen as winners. The winners and eight runners up received certificates for their achievements.

The winning posters will be awarded to businesses and organisations who support plastic reduction, support packaging reduction, allow customers to re-fill single-use water bottles and have stopped providing plastic straws. Schools who commit to reducing their plastic will also be awarded accreditation posters.

Melanie Heath is the Cardigan Bay Marine Protected Area Officer for Ceredigion County Council. She said, “Following a successful plastic reduction pilot project in Llangrannog in 2016, we wanted to reward or accredit businesses and organisations who had reduced their use of plastic.

With this year’s project, we wanted to involve our young people, who care passionately about issues such as plastic pollution and climate change. We wanted to give them the opportunity to contribute to the campaign and to have their voices heard.”

To support the running of the project this year, Ceredigion County Council received a grant from Natural Resources Wales.

Linda Ashton, Senior Partnership, Access and Recreation Officer, Natural Resources Wales said, “We support communities and partners through our grant aid programmes to help more people learn about and enjoy our natural environment.

It is great to see young people getting involved with projects like this and encouraging others to reduce their plastic waste. Helping to protect the environment of Wales for the future.”

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New Quay RNLI curry and quiz night

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NEW QUAY RNLI Fundraisers are hosting the annual curry and quiz night at New Quay Yacht Club on Friday 22 March at 7.30pm. The fundraising team is also looking for new members to help raise funds to save lives at sea.

Tim Richards, New Quay RNLI Fundraising Manager said, “Everyone is welcome to join us for a fun evening at the Yacht Club. The evening will begin with a home cooked curry and finish with a light-hearted quiz to get your brain cells working. So why not join us to tickle your taste buds and test your general knowledge while raising money for lifeboats at the same time?”

The New Quay Ceredigion Fundraising Branch are volunteers that devote their time to raising vital funds for the RNLI, the charity which saves lives at sea. They organise and host a variety of family friendly events throughout the year, from fish supper evenings to the Christmas Fayre.

Tim added, “We are looking for new members to join our fundraising team, no experience necessary but lots of enthusiasm and ideas are very welcome. We meet on average once a month so if you are interested please do not hesitate to contact me at tim.dysonrichards@gmail.com or New Quay Lifeboat Station on 01545 560311 to help make a difference.”

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New Quay RNLI help rowers prepare for Celtic Challenge

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NEW QUAY RNLI recently assisted Clwb Rhwyfo Llangrannog Rowing Club with their training for this year’s Celtic Challenge.

The biennial challenge sees teams of 12 people rowing through the night from Arklow in Ireland to Aberystwyth in Wales, a journey of approximately 97 miles. The race is an extreme test of endurance and usually takes between 15 and 24 hours, depending on the weather.

 

Two New Quay RNLI crew members, Laura Mears and Heather Rees-Gaunt, are members of the Llangrannog Rowing Club and Heather will be taking part in the gruelling challenge which is set to take place between May 3-6, 2019.

As part of their preparations, the rowing team took part in a structured exercise with lifeboat crew members simulating a person overboard incident so that the rowers gained experience in manoeuvring the boat and recovering a person from the water. New Quay RNLI Community Safety Adviser, Roy Fenner, also gave advice on safety equipment and means of calling for help.

 

Heather, who has previously rowed the Indian Ocean from Australia to the Seychelles, breaking two world records, said, “These training exercises with the RNLI are crucial for our preparations as we will be rowing in the Irish Sea at night, which can be a dangerous place to be if you’re not fully prepared. The person overboard training helps each team member know what to do if the situation arises.

“After the training session, the feedback from all the rowers was hugely positive. Doing the practical training has installed a huge element of confidence in dealing with the ever-changing scenarios that can take place at sea. I know from experience that anything can happen and usually when you least expect it. Small situations escalate very quickly in such an unpredictable environment but knowing your team has that little bit more experience and training can only ever be a positive.”

BBC cameras are following their journey, including preparations and training as well as the race itself, with each team member raising money for a charity of their choice.

The club is still searching for sponsors for various items of clothing for the challenge. If you are able to help please email Rhwyfo Crannog Rowing on mispinc@hotmail.com or call 07415 351 431.

 

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