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Parents warned to be weary of kids safety around school

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CHILDREN and parents are being warned to be careful when around school areas due to an increase of predation over the last few weeks.

Two incidents occurred near the St Dogmaels and Cardigan schools and across Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion have been contacted.

Ysgol Caer Elen in Haverfordwest, posted on Facebook: “The police have shared information with the local authority (Sept 26) following two separate incidents this week in Ceredigion of pupils being asked to enter a car whilst walking home from school. We, as a school would like to remind pupils of ‘stranger danger’ and the importance of staying safe. Pupils and parents are reminded of the need to be vigilant, and wherever possible pupils should walk together in pairs or in small groups. They should walk home via a route which is the most visible to other members of the public and if approached they should walk to a more public area and call for assistance or phone 999 in an emergency.”

Police in the surrounding areas have confirmed they are looking into the two sperate matters.

Nicola James, the Cardigan School headteacher, has composed an email warning parents and puils to be on their guard around anyone they might not know after school. A similar warning was sent to Cardigan Primary School parents by headteacher Donna Hanley.

The email from Cardigan School stated: “At Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi, the safety of our pupils is paramount and without wanting to cause alarm I need to inform you of developments in the locality which have come to light in recent hours. There have been two separate incidents this week of pupils being asked to enter a car whilst walking home from school. The police have been informed and are investigating. We will be informing pupils of the risks and advising them how to keep safe in assemblies this afternoon. Wherever possible pupils should walk together in pairs or in small groups. They should walk home via a route which is most visible to other members of the public. If approached they should walk to a more public area and call for assistance or phone 999 in an emergency. This is obviously a concerning incident and I will keep you informed if and when there are any further developments.”

A police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police has received two reports of separate incidents in the Cardigan area, on September 24 and 25, whereby a secondary school pupil was asked to get in to a stranger’s vehicle. The two children have been spoken to, and at this stage descriptions indicate the vehicles and drivers were different. One instance took place near the secondary school, and another in the St Dogmaels area. Officers are investigating and encouraging parents and children to be cautious but not alarmed. Anyone who has any information about these incidents is asked to report it to police online: http://bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, by email: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101.”

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Ben Lake MP pledges support for local pubs in Ceredigion

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Ben Lake MP has today pledged their support for the Long Live the Local Campaign to help pubs in Ceredigion keep their doors open. Ben Lake joins the more than 240,000 people who have signed the petition so far, including 335 in Ceredigion alone.

Ben Lake MP is calling on the Government to cut beer tax at the Budget. With £1 in every £3 pounds spent in UK pubs going to the taxman, British drinkers now pay 40% of all beer tax across the EU, but drink only 12% of the beer. Seven in ten alcoholic drinks served in pubs are beer, underlining how directly a cut in beer duty will help pubs. Brewing and pubs in Ceredigion supports 1169 jobs and contributes £23.1m to the local economy.

Commenting on the campaign, Ben Lake MP said:

“Pubs are at the heart of communities across Ceredigion, but with three pubs closing their doors for good every day across the UK, we must acknowledge that these community assets are facing significant challenges as they try to stay open. For this reason I am supporting the Long Live the Local campaign and calling on the Chancellor to cut beer tax for licenced premises in this year’s Budget to support pubs in our local communities.”

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:

“Beer duty has increased by 60% over the last 17 years and now the UK has one of the highest rates of tax in Europe. When over two thirds of all alcoholic drinks purchased in the pub are beers, a cut in beer tax would go a long way to protecting pubs across Ceredigion. We are very grateful to Ben Lake for their support for the Long Live the Local campaign, and hope that the Government listens to MPs across Parliament and the thousands of people across the country who are calling for a cut in beer tax to protect our pubs.”

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Police investigate after child dies in west Wales caravan fire

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DYFED POWYS POLICE is investigating the circumstances around a fire at a caravan in Ceredigion in which a child died.

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Cockwell said: “We received a call at 5.35am today (Sunday, January 19), reporting a fire at a caravan at Ffair Rhos.

“Enquiries so far lead us to believe that three people were inside the caravan at the time the fire broke out. These were a father and two children – a four-year-old, and a little boy who we believe to have been aged three.

“While the father and the eldest child were able to get out of the caravan, the younger of the siblings was tragically found deceased inside.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this extremely difficult and traumatic time, and specialist officers have been put in place to support them.

“The father is currently in a stable condition in hospital, while the four-year-old is critical but stable. Both suffered burns.

“The Criminal Investigation Department is investigating the cause of the fire, and a major incident room has been set up at Aberystwyth Police Station.

“We are also working closely with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, who were in attendance when our officers arrived. We would like to thank our colleagues at the fire service for their professionalism in dealing with what turned out to be a highly traumatic incident.

“We would like to speak to anyone who was in the Ffair Rhos area around the time of the fire, who might have information that could help our investigation.

“This was a tragic incident, and we will be doing all we can to find answers for the family, whose world will have been torn apart by this morning’s events.”

If you have any information that could help officers, call the Criminal Investigation Department on 101, using Storm reference 39 of January 19.

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Police issue warning to community over ‘fake beggars’

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POLICE in Aberystwyth are warning the community about a fraudulent group who have been travelling to the area to beg.

Many residents and visitors have donated cash believing members of the group are genuinely in need.

PC Phil Woodland: “I’m proud to work in a town where people want to help each other, but in this case, their kindness is being exploited.

“We’ve tried working with the group to ensure they have the support they need, and through this effort it’s become clear they are not genuinely homeless. We are using legal powers where possible and necessary to deal with the issue.

“Giving money to someone who is begging is a personal choice, however, on this occasion the community is being misled. At the end of the day, these people are returning to their homes – they are essentially scamming people.”

Those involved are described as men and women of Romanian descent, aged between 30 and 50. Police say they visit Aberystwyth on the train or bus, and return home to Cardiff at the end of the day.

The situation is being monitored by the neighbourhood policing team, and anyone with information is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police online: http://bit.ly/dppReportOnline, by email: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

If you are concerned about someone you believe is sleeping rough, StreetLink exists to help connect them with the local services that can provide support: https://www.streetlink.org.uk/

Shelter Cymru offers practical advice on how to help someone who is begging, or you believe is homeless, on their website: https://sheltercymru.org.uk/7-ways/

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