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Operation Safe and Nice to All (SANTA)

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Dyfed-Powys Police: Hoping that people with embrace the sentiment

Dyfed-Powys Police: Hoping that people with embrace the sentiment

CHRISTMAS is coming and Dyfed – Powys Police has launched its annual crime prevention campaign to advise people on how to enjoy the festive period in safe and lawful way.

Operation Safe and Nice to All (SANTA) will run throughout December and into the New Year and will focus on steps people can take on the themes of shopping, partying, caring and protecting.

This time of year is the opportunity for us all to spend time with friends, family and loved ones. Dyfed-Powys Police will be working throughout the festive period to deter anti-social behaviour and crime as well as offer reassurance to our communities.

Dyfed Powys is a safe place with low crime, but during the festive celebrations people are urged to be responsible and to look after their own safety.

Temporary Chief Inspector Dyfed Bolton, Head of Neighbourhood Development at Dyfed-Powys Police said: “Over the next few weeks Dyfed Powys Police will be issuing common sense advice on a range of practical measures they can take to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of crime this Christmas. Remembering to do simple things like: keeping presents and valuables out of sight; taking care when shopping online; being respectful to our neighbours and drinking responsibly can all make Christmas run smoothly.”

The Force will continue to take a firm stance against criminal acts, and disorderly behaviour will be policed as normal. We are only too aware that over the festive period, many people sometimes drink too much and do things that they wouldn’t usually do. We also see increases in domestic related assaults and sexual offences. This can result in far-reaching consequences for the individuals and their families.

The message is for people to keep personal safety at the top of their agenda and for everyone to be mindful of the effects of too much alcohol on people’s behaviour. Be vigilant, stay safe and stay in control.

Police and Crime Commissioner for the force Christopher Salmon hopes people will embrace the sentiment of the Operation SANTA and look out for one another.

“I urge people to be good neighbours and to act responsibly,” he said. “Christmas can be a tricky time with so many of us taking a break from our everyday routines.

“The police are right to offer reassurance across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys in areas such as safe shopping, driving in wintry conditions, drinking safely and domestic abuse.

“When it comes to these and issues such as home security, personal safety and care for businesses the key message is one of common sense.”

For more details on top crime prevention tips this Christmas visit our website www.dyfed-powys.police.uk or follow us on twitter @DyfedPowys and follow the conversation using #OpSanta.

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Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach

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THE CONSERVATIVE Party is investigating the attendance of senior Senedd members and staff at a Christmas party held during December’s lockdown.

Lockdown restrictions prohibit mixing with people outside your own household.

The Welsh restrictions barring such gatherings follow the basic outline of those imposed by the Conservative UK Government in December.

Those attending the drinks party included Paul Smith, the Conservative Chief of Staff at the Senedd, Darren Millar, the Party’s Chief Whip and campaign coordinator, and Preseli Pembrokeshire MS and Conservative Senedd Group Leader Paul Davies.

The Herald understands that a Labour Senedd Member who attended the Party has been suspended by the Labour Senedd Group pending its own investigation.

The Conservatives’ embarrassment at talking the talk but not walking the walk is intensified by Darren Millar’s presence at the shindig.

In May, Mr Millar led calls for Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething to be sacked for eating a bag of chips in a park with one of his own children.

If the Conservative Party follows the logic of their previously stated positions, Mr Millar’s and Mr Davies’ futures look bleak indeed.

With a Senedd election only months away, the revelations have thrown the Conservatives into disarray.

If they do nothing, the Conservatives will – at the very least – face claims they are hypocrites.

If the Conservative Party acts decisively, it faces massive internal problems.

The Conservatives responded to our request for a response to our story.

Those involved stressed they did not host a Christmas Party.

The incident happened on December 8, when the above met in the members’ tea room to discuss legislation for possible inclusion in the Welsh Conservative manifesto with a Labour backbencher.

During the evening they did drink a glass or two of wine.

They stress that at no point were there more than four people in the room at any one time and that they maintained social distancing.

A joint statement from Paul Davies, Darren Millar, and Paul Smith said: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions.

“While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”

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Warning to drug users in Ceredigion over ‘Street Valium’

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POLICE are once again warning drug users in Ceredigion to take extra care when taking illegal prescription drugs especially when taken in conjunction with other drugs and/or alcohol. Mixing drugs, knowingly or unknowingly, can be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “We have reasons to believe that drug users are making use of “Street Valium” at the moment and this is very concerning as individuals just do not know what these tablets may have been combined with. Valium, also known as diazepam – is a benzodiazepine. Combining opioids and benzodiazepines is particularly dangerous because both types of drug sedate users and suppress breathing”.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately should they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone that you believe could come into contact with these drugs.”

To seek advice and support, visit https://barod.cymru/where-to-get-help/west-wales-services/ddas-dyfed-drug-and-alcohol-service/

Please be aware that some services may operate an automated service outside office hours.

In an emergency, or if you think someone’s life is at risk, always dial 999.

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Ben Lake MP stands up for Ceredigion’s hospitality sector in Parliament

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A WESTMINSTER Hall debate, brought about by an online petition signed over 200,000 times, saw MPs on both sides come together to shine a light on the challenges currently faced by restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and supply chain businesses across the UK.

During his contribution to the debate, Ben Lake MP emphasised the importance of the hospitality industry to Ceredigion’s local economy. Ceredigion is home to nearly 400 food and accommodation businesses, including 75 pubs, and together hospitality businesses employ 4,500 people in the county. This equates to over 16% of all employees, without accounting for the many supply chain jobs that are dependent on the sector, such as those found in breweries, food wholesale, and catering equipment hire businesses.

Figures published by UK Hospitality have shown that approximately 41% of hospitality businesses suggested that they would fail by mid-2021 and only one in five sector businesses have enough cash flow to survive beyond February.

Ben Lake MP said: “The vaccination programme of course offers some hope that we will see the level of Covid disruption reduce significantly this year, but hospitality businesses across Ceredigion tell me that they are deeply concerned about their immediate prospects for survival.

“I support calls for the Treasury to provide additional funds so that businesses can be supported to bounce back once restrictions have been eased, and to pause employer national insurance contributions for furloughed employees as a way of alleviating the burden on businesses that are still, in many instances, required by law to close. I also urged the Treasury to consider extending the business rates holiday for the forthcoming financial year, as well as extending the hospitality VAT reduction scheme into 2022.

“Not only would these support measures give businesses the support they require to see out this pandemic, it would also avoid the terrible situation whereby businesses that have previously received Government support are forced to close for good – leaving their employees without a job and previous Government support in vain.”

While there will be no direct action as a consequence of this Westminster Hall debate, it is hoped the result will put increased pressure on the UK Government to consider the proposal more seriously.

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