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Planned campaign ends in jail for brothers

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brothersTWO PROFESSIONAL burglars who broke into houses across west Wales have been jailed. Brothers William Connors, 24, and Edward Connors, aged 17 at the time, researched properties over the internet and drew up a menu of houses to break into. Then they based themselves in a rented house near Llandysul and fitted a Mazda with false number plates before burgling at least 16 homes over the Christmas period. Swansea crown court heard that they targeted jewellery and stole the engagement ring of a widow undergoing chemotherapy treatment. And there was evidence, said Chris James, prosecuting, that they had researched prices for second hand gold at London’s Hatton Garden. Mr James said the brothers had travelled from Ireland posing as holidaymakers looking to enjoy Christmas in west Wales. “They caused misery to many individuals and families, violating their homes around what should have been a joyous time of year. “They stole a huge amount of valuable jewellery, much which belonged to late relatives, DVDs, and electrical property. “One of their victims, a widow having chemotherapy, can no longer bear to leave her house because of their intrusion into her home,” he added. Mr James said the pair were so confident of making a profit that they paid hundreds of pounds up front to rent  a house in the countryside near Llandysul. In less than one month they burgled houses in Llandybie, Llandysul, Aberaeron, Haverfordwest, Nantycaws Pontyberem and Llangunnor. Mr James said they sometimes committed several burglaries a day, ransacking homes even on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. They were finally arrested in Tregaron. Mr James said their victims described being devastated and their worlds having been turned upside down. “Some of them are terrified and do not feel safe in their own homes any more. “Several of their victims told police that they will never get over not being able to hand sentimental items on to their children.” The stolen goods that could be identified were worth more than £24,000, but Mr James described the figure as being “no where near the full value of what was taken.” Judge Paul Thomas said the brothers had carried out a “carefully planned campaign”. He said they had used the internet to scope out properties and places they could sell the stolen jewellery on to. “Apart from the financial impact, the human cost to your victims is substantial. People’s lives have been greatly affected and lives turned upside down.” William Connors, who had previous convictions, was jailed for six years. His brother was sent to a young offenders’ institution for three-and-a-half years. Both admitted conspiracy to commit burglary and were entitled to reduced sentences because of their confessions.

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Training company enjoy successful open evening

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HYFFORDDIANT CEREDIGION TRAINING (HCT) enjoyed a successful open evening on November 7 as it opened its doors to the public.

Opening HCT’s doors gave people the opportunity to see the fantastic range of training opportunities available for them. This included opportunities for young people who are interested in seeing what apprenticeships HCT has to offer.

Mark Gleeson, Manager for Post 14 Vocational Learning said, “It is important that HCT holds open evenings to showcase different learning opportunities that are available to all learners. HCT offers a large number of apprenticeships which ensures that the next generation of skilled workforce is being trained and employed by local companies. This is very important to the economy of Ceredigion.”

There was an opportunity to have a tour of the building, to speak to tutors, to have a look at the workshops, and to see trainees and apprentices in action. This gave a flavour of the kind of work that is done daily at the training centre.

Traineeships and apprenticeships, but also evening classes, are taught at HCT, as Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member for Learning Service and Lifelong Learning explains, “If studying towards a full qualification in a given trade is not what you are after, but you want to gain some of the basic skills in the various routes HCT specialises in, why not join an evening class? The next round of evening courses are beginning now. So, what are you waiting for? Contact HCT to see what it has to offer you.”

Evening classes run for six weeks and HCT offers these 2-3 times per year. HCT offers a range of vocational courses for people of all ages, including Hairdressing, Childcare, Business Administration, Information Technology, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrics, Blacksmithing, Agriculture, Motor Mechanics and Welding.

For more information, find ‘Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training’ on Facebook, or visit the website, http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/public-it/hct/index.html

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Vandalism at coastguard lookout point

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POLICE are investigating vandalism at the old coastguard lookout point at Bird’s Rock.

A council spokesperson said: “We’re very sad to see vandalism to the old coastguard look out at Bird’s Rock on the coastal path a mile to the west of New Quay last week.

“All five windows was smashed – some even had their wooden frames ripped out.”

Melanie Heath, Ceredigion County Council’s Marine Protected Area Officer, added: “This act of vandalism is so distressing to see. The look-out was restored thanks to a special grant from the Crown Estate. It is used by our Dolphin and Porpoise Watch volunteers throughout the monitoring season. It is also a special place for many local people and visitors alike to sit for a while and take in the spectacular views of Cardigan Bay.”

If anyone has any information, contact Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police on 101

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Police report finds no ‘major shortcomings’ in use of force

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, has conducted a review of police officers’ use of force, and is assured that there are no major shortcomings.

The full report on the review of the use of force will be shared with local Police and Crime Panel members at their public meeting today (Nov 16).

This scrutiny review signifies a new, enhanced approach to the Commissioner’s continued commitment to holding the Force to account, for the delivery of an efficient and effective police service for the residents of Dyfed-Powys.

Sparked by national requirements to improve transparency around officers’ conduct, recent controversy around the introduction of spit and bite guards, and feedback from the inspectorate, the review involved consultation with the public, officers and staff, independent scrutiny of incident footage and a detailed review of available data.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I have been encouraged by the Force’s response to my office undertaking this work, and thank all those who contributed honestly and thoroughly to the review. I would also like to thank the members of the public who were willing to share their views with us, through my online survey and in person at the various events my team and I have attended over the summer months.”

Whilst the review found no significant concern to suggest that force is being used inappropriately by officers, it was identified that under-recording and limitations in the current systems require some improvement.

A series of recommendations have been accepted by the Chief Constable, Mark Collins, who has detailed the Force’s planned course of action in a formal response to the Commissioner.

The Commissioner’s office will use this action plan to review the Force’s progress over the coming months.

Superintendent Craig Templeton, Head of Operations, said: “We welcome this scrutiny by the Police and Crime Commissioner and accept there are improvements to be made. Work has already started to address the recommendations, including changes to the Use of Force recording system and introducing Body Worn Video, to make scrutiny easier. We are confident force is used legitimately in Dyfed-Powys Police and will continue working towards achieving accurate recording.”

The Commissioner is committed to continuing this approach and will be looking for the public to get involved in future engagements and consultations, details of which will be available on the Commissioner’s website, or through contact with the office.

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