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Teens celebrate Duke of Edinburgh success

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Duke of Edinburgh expedition: Two-year scheme comes to an end

THE FIRST group of Dyfed-Powys Police cadets have gone out with a bang, completing their bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.

The force began a two-year pilot cadet scheme in 2015, when the first cohort of 14 and 15-year-olds signed up to become volunteers to help their communities and gain an understanding of policing.

As they prepare for the end of the two years, they have shown determination, dedication and physical and mental strength as they took part in Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver expeditions.

The group of teenagers was made up of representatives from the force’s four divisions – Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys – who came together for the two night trip.

Inspector Kathryn Griffiths, of the Community Support Team, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by all the cadets who passed their bronze and silver expeditions, supported by their cadet leaders and assistants.

“It is a really positive end to their two years on the cadet programme with Dyfed-Powys Police, and the Duke of Edinburgh is definitely something we would like to continue. They achieved so much, both personally and as a team.”

The cadets were required to carry their full kit on a 10-mile hike through the Brecon Beacons, before setting up camp for the night and completing a further trek the following day to meet the DofE criteria.

Inspector Griffiths was one of the officers who accompanied the group on their final expedition, as well as a practice trek the week before. She said: “It was nice to see how they enjoyed over the two weekends. They were working as a team, and really came together.

“Three of our officers – PC Tom Draycott, Sergeant Suzanne Lloyd and Sergeant Jane Mortley also came away from the expedition as qualified DofE assessors, which is a great asset for future cadet cohorts.”

The National Volunteer Police Cadets is supported by the Association of Chief Officers and is undertaken by the majority of police services across the UK.

The scheme was launched in Dyfed-Powys in 2015. The cadets meet every week and take part in local community initiatives and police campaigns. The scheme aims to develop an understanding of the police amongst young people, to encourage good citizenship and inspire young people to participate positively in their communities and support local policing priorities.

Inspector Griffiths said: “The scheme has proven to be very successful, and has been a huge benefit to the young people involved.

“There has been a lot of positivity and engagement from them – they’ve been volunteering, working with us at the major shows over the summers, and have really taken a lot away from the programme.

“This group started with us when they were 14, and will finish now that they’re 16, but we are looking at extending it to 18 years of age so the older ones can stay on and help. It will be like a peer mentoring aspect.”

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Domestic abuse victims in Wales to be given more time to report assaults

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DOMESTIC abuse victims in Wales and England to be given more time to report assaults.

New measures targeted directly at keeping women and girls safer will be added to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill last week (Jan 4) the UK Government has announced.

Under the changes, victims of domestic abuse will be allowed more time to report incidents of common assault or battery against them. Currently, prosecutions must commence within six months of the offence.

Instead, this requirement will be moved to six months from the date the incident is formally reported to the police – with an overall time limit of two years from the offence to bring a prosecution.Domestic abuse is often reported late relative to other crimes; so this will ensure victims have enough time to seek justice and that perpetrators answer for their actions.

The UK Government says that today’s announcement builds on measures already in the Bill to better protect women such as ending the halfway release of offenders sentenced between four and seven years in prison for serious sexual offences – forcing them to spend two-thirds of their time in prison.

In December, the legislation was amended to make clear that a new legal duty requiring public bodies to work together to tackle serious violence can also include domestic abuse and sexual offences.

It means that these crimes should be taken as seriously as knife crime and homicide, with police, government, and health bodies required to collaborate locally, so that they can develop more holistic strategies to protect people from harm, including through early intervention.

Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said: “My commitment to making our homes, streets and communities safer for women and girls is clear.”

“Every department in government is working to address and tackle all issues relating to violence against women and girls.”

“The Government has a focussed strategy, dedicated to providing essential support for survivors, the prevention of crimes against women and girls and bringing perpetrators to justice with the full force of the law.”

“Our actions include the new Domestic Abuse Act, with important changes to our laws; a newly created national police lead responsible solely on violence against women and girls, and millions of pounds have been invested in direct safety measures through the Safer Streets Fund.”

“These are all important public confidence measures and changes to ensure the safety of women and girls in public spaces.”

The UK Government has also said that taking non-consensual photographs or video recordings of breastfeeding mothers will be made a specific offence punishable by up to two years in prison.

It covers situations where the motive is to obtain sexual gratification, or to cause humiliation, distress or alarm.

Similar legislation introduced by the UK Government in 2019 that criminalised “up skirting” has led to more than 30 prosecutions since it became law.

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Vandalised church passes fundraising target

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The inside of the Church was also subjected to vandalism

A FUNDRAISER to rebuild a vandalised church met its goal of £20k within three days. 

Eglwys y Grog, which is situated near the cliffs at Mwnt. It is a well known landmark, and is a favourite among photographers.

Clive Davies, a local County Councillor, claims he is “totally blown away” with the donations. 

He said the church was targeted on 2 December, and again on 20 December, in “a pointless saddening act.”

“There was nothing of value in the church and it was a senseless act. There was no money there, just a small little church,” he added.

“The church members were getting a lot of requests to donate money and they contacted me to do something coordinated online so I set up a JustGiving page for them.

“It’s been a global response really, three thousand pounds came in overnight. There were messages of support from America, and there was a couple from Australia as well,

“There are a lot of good people out there and it is an amazing start to 2022 for us.”

When the campaign was launched on January 1st, a £20,000 goal was set.

The leaded windows of the church were smashed in with rocks

The inside of the church, as well as the leaded church windows and gated entrance, were all damaged.

Mr Davies, who is also a local councillor, claims to have long-standing family ties to the church, which includes plaques honouring his great-grandparents on either side of the altar.

“The local community has been amazing, supporting it and the power of social media made in tenfold,” he said.

“It was like a snowball effect really, local businesses have offered not only financial support but will be part of the restoration work needed now.”

“I’ll be meeting with the church members and the vicar and we’ll start discussing what needs doing, but also we’re going to have to look at safety for the future and what could we do in terms of security,” he added.

He stated that it was critical for the church to remain open while staying safe.

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£250 boost to all Ceredigion food banks

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PLAID CYMRU Councillors from Ceredigion will donate £250 to each food bank in the county to alleviate pressures over the Christmas period.

The issue of food banks continues on a daily basis in most towns in Wales due to lack of funds and benefits being cut. 

Individuals and families are forced to use food banks to make sure they have food for their children and families.

A spokesperson for the Councillors said: “Ceredigion County Council’s Plaid Cymru Group of Councilors is delighted to announce their decision again this year to donate £250.00 each to every food bank in Ceredigion.

“Food banks in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Aberaeron, Llandysul, Lampeter will benefit from this over Christmas.

“Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

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