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Police highlight signs of domestic abuse during summer ‘spike’

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is urging people to report all signs of domestic abuse this summer.

Throughout the summer holidays, officers will be visiting campsites, tourist attractions and the night-time economy, to talk to people about domestic abuse.

They will provide guidance on the signs of domestic abuse and encourage people not to be afraid to call the police if they see or hear something that concerns them.

Efforts to raise awareness amongst the public will be supported by targeted enforcement activity holding domestic abusers to account for their actions and learning lessons from those affected.

This work is being carried out by police as part of Operation Heirloom, as reports of domestic abuse are higher during July and August in Dyfed-Powys than any other time of the year.

Superintendent Anthony Griffiths, Head of the Protecting Vulnerable People Unit, said: “Domestic abuse is not only violence. It can be physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse, threats and causing damage to property are all ways of controlling someone.

“Unfortunately, the summer holidays are a period where we see an increase in the number of reports of domestic abuse. Hotspots include campsites, beaches, tourist attractions and bars. People may be visiting the area, or have gone for a day out or out for the evening and for whatever reason, very often alcohol, things get out of control and someone becomes abusive.

“I urge anyone concerned about someone, whether family member, friend, neighbour or someone you’ve seen on holiday or a day out that needs help, to report it to police.

“As part of Operation Heirloom, our summer focus on domestic abuse, we’re urging members of the public who hear or see anything that concerns them to report it to police immediately. They should not feel worried that they will be interfering if they get involved or think that it’s a private matter. Your phone call or support could make a real difference.”

The operation will run until the end of September and is part of the overall forcewide summer campaign #EnjoyDPP. It will focus on: keeping communities safe by targeting perpetrators of domestic abuse at every opportunity; safeguarding vulnerable victims through support from specially trained officers and disclosures through Clare’s Law to give people the information that could protect them from domestic abuse; protect those affected from serious harm, by seeking prosecutions and work to increase confidence to report in communities.

Signs to look out for:

  • One partner seems afraid of the other, or very anxious to please him or her
  • One partner often criticises or humiliates the other in front of other people
  • You can see physical injuries (bruises, broken bones, sprains, cuts etc) and may have been given unlikely explanation for their injuries
  • One partner is reluctant to leave children with the other partner.

For support and advice:

  • Call the abuse and violence helpline Live Fear Free helpline on 0808 8010 800
  • Download the free Brightsky app – it’s full of information and has a secret setting to help protect your privacy
  • Visit dyfed-powys.police.uk/ClaresLaw to learn about a scheme where you can find out if your current or potential partner has a history of abuse or violence.
  • Visit ncdv.org.uk for free legal help, quickly

To report domestic abuse call police on 101. If you’re reporting to police as abuse is happening call 999.

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Community

RNLI in Wales urges people to stay safe as Storm Brendan hits

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging people to stay safe near the Welsh coast as severe weather could make our seas and coastlines particularly dangerous.

Lifesaving charity, the RNLI, is encouraging people to exercise extreme caution if visiting the shoreline, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

The expected strong winds and severe gales pose a severe safety risk to those visiting the coast.

Named Storm Brendan by Met Eireann, it swept eastwards across Ireland before making its way through the rest of the UK this morning with yellow wind warning in place for most of the Welsh coast.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead for Wales said:

‘This rough weather could make visiting parts of the Welsh coastline treacherous and bring very dangerous sea conditions.

‘Sadly, around 150 people lose their lives on British and Irish coasts each year and over half of these people didn’t plan on ever entering the water. Slips, trips and falls can be a major factor in these kinds of incidents.’

If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – too many people drown trying to save others.

The charity, which provides a search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, is facing its own Perfect Storm as demand for its services has increased but it is facing a shortfall in funds. This past year, the RNLI has been busier than ever, and stormy conditions can mean additional call outs for the already extremely busy volunteer crews. Whatever the weather, RNLI volunteers will still be on call to rescue those at difficulty at sea.

The RNLI’s major new fundraising appeal, The Perfect Storm, which aims to help the charity get back to living within its means, is running throughout November and December. To find out more or to donate visit RNLI.org/ThePerfect Storm.

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Community

Are you missing out on a Council Tax reduction?

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IF YOU’RE struggling to pay your Council Tax bill, then help could be available for you through the Welsh Government’s flagship Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS).

The scheme, which will continue to support vulnerable households in 2020-21, currently benefits one in five of all households in Wales. In the last year almost 280,000 low-income households have received help from the scheme, with 220,000 paying no council tax at all. Many more receive other discounts or exemptions.

You may be entitled to pay less council tax if:

• you believe you live on a low income
• you live alone, or with people/children who do not pay council tax
• you are a student
• you are disabled
• you are severely mentally impaired

Understanding why there are still vulnerable households not benefitting from the help they are entitled to is a priority for the Welsh Government. Last year we commissioned research to understand the circumstances of households in Wales and the effects of the UK Government’s Universal Credit on the CTRS.

The interim report out today shows that for many households, the move to Universal Credit can have a significant impact on council tax reduction awards. Whilst many households currently receiving a 100% reduction will continue to do so, for others, the move to Universal Credit is shown to have an adverse impact, particularly for employed households, self-employed households, and working households in receipt of a Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

Full findings of the interim report are available on the Welsh Government website. These findings will now be considered in more detail to inform the next stages of the research and policy development in this area.

Encouraging people to make sure they are not missing out on help they could be entitled to, Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said:

“Ensuring every household in Wales receives the council tax support they are entitled to is an important part of our commitment to making council tax fairer.

“Our scheme is already helping hundreds of thousands of households across Wales, but we know that there are still many missing out on the discounts, reductions and exemptions they are entitled to. I encourage everyone to check the Welsh Government website to find out if they could be paying less.”

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Success for Dyfed-Powys Police in targeting drugs suppliers in Ceredigion

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A drugs supplier in the Ceredigion area has been sentenced to 2 years and 2 months in prison.

Kylie Mason, 34, from Aberaeron, was arrested on the 28th October 2019, and later charged with 2 offences of possession with intent to supply a controlled drug and two offences of supply a controlled drug of Class A. She pleaded guilty at court and received a total sentence of two years and two months in prison on the 8th January.

Detective Sergeant Steven Jones said: “This is an excellent result for the Aberaeron community, who had raised concerns about this individual supplying drugs in the area. I hope this will serve as a warning to others who wish to bring drugs into the Ceredigion area that it will not be tolerated. This result will go a long way towards keeping our communities safe. If anyone is worried about drugs in their community I would urge them to contact police as we will take the appropriate action.”

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