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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:

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

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Jail after heroin worth £45,000 seized

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AN ABERYSTYWYTH woman has been jailed, and an organised crime gang disrupted, after heroin worth £45,000 was found at her home.

Dyfed-Powys Police found more than 400g of the class A drug during a warrant at Susan Marie Proffitt’s home – resulting in one of the force’s largest single seizures of heroin in Ceredigion.

The result has disrupted an active organised crime gang supplying class A drugs to the area.

Sergeant Steven Jones said: “This swift and thorough investigation involved officers and staff from departments across the division, who worked together to secure this result.

“The defendant had a huge amount of heroin at her home, with efforts taken to conceal bags of the drug around the property.

“There is no doubt that in taking Proffitt out of the supply chain we will have disrupted an organised crime gang which she was a trusted part of in supplying heroin into the division.”

Officers carried out a warrant at the 52-year-old’s home in South Road on August 30, 2020.

On searching the property, a box containing 408g of heroin was found concealed in a vent under the staircase, and two further wraps were found in a shower head bracket. Fingerprint marks matching those of Proffitt were found on these items.

Four mobile phones were also seized from the property.

Sgt Jones said: “The quantity of heroin recovered is far in excess of what he would expect to see someone who is simply a user to be in possession of for their own use.

“Given the value of the heroin recovered and the financial circumstances of the defendant, we were confident it was unlikely she would be able to fund a purchase of such a quantity of heroin without being involved in the supply of drugs.

“The only realistic reason for possessing this quantity of heroin was for supply onto others.”

Proffitt was charged with possession with intent to supply, and pleaded guilty. She was sentenced to 57 months in prison when she appeared at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, November 26.

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New permanent walk-in test centre opens in Aberystwyth

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PEOPLE in Aberystwyth with symptoms of COVID-19 now have access to a permanent walk-in testing facility.

Hywel Dda University Health Board has arranged for a Local Testing Site (LTS) to be located inside the former Padarn Nursery building, (behind, but not connected to, Padarn Surgery), on Penglais Road.

Local people should avoid using the nearby nursery car park, leaving it free for those people accessing tests to park there. People who attend the walk-in centre must wear a face covering.

Meanwhile, the drive-through facility at Canolfan Rheidol has now been relocated to Cardigan in response to a rise in cases in that area. Residents of Aberystwyth will not be impacted by this move as there is plenty of testing capacity at the LTS.

Alison Shakeshaft, Director of Therapies & Health Science at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We are very pleased to have secured this LTS for the people of Aberystwyth. Many residents in the town, including students, do not have their own private vehicle in order to access drive-through testing facilities, so the option of a walk-in facility is very important.

“This is a challenging time and I urge everyone to remain vigilant and follow the rules, including wearing face coverings where required, maintain social distancing, washing hands regularly, or using a hand sanitiser if hand washing is not possible.”

Anyone who has symptoms of the virus (a new persistent cough, high temperature or loss/change of taste or smell) must book a test as soon as possible.  This can be done through the online UK portal at www.gov.wales/coronavirus.

University students with COVID-19 symptoms, when booking a test, are required to provide their local address in Aberystwyth.

Please do not book a test if you do not have COVID-19 symptoms and do not attend testing centres without booking first as you will not be seen without an appointment.

Please follow the latest self-isolation guidelines which can be found here.

For the latest news and updated from Hywel Dda University Health Board visit https://hduhb.nhs.wales/

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Improvements required at a pub in Devil’s Bridge

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A HOSPITALITY business in Devil’s Bridge has been required to make improvements to safeguard the public’s health and well-being as part of the coronavirus regulations.

A Premises Improvement Notice has been served to The Hafod, Devil’s Bridge, Aberystwyth by Ceredigion County Council’s Public Protection Officers due to non-compliance with The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 4) (Wales) Regulations 2020.

As part of the Premises Improvement Notice, the Premises must ensure that a distance of 2 metres is maintained between any persons on the premises, and put measures in place which limit close face to face interaction and maintain hygiene. 

These measures will need to be implemented by 17:00 on November 27, 2020. The full notice can be seen on the Council’s website under Improvement and Closure Notices.

Information for businesses is available on the Council’s website under Supporting Ceredigion’s Economy.

Any business who is unsure of their responsibilities is urged to check the Welsh Government website

Any business that requires further information or guidance can contact the council’s Licensing Team on 01545 570881 or clic@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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