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Half of Wales ready for burglary

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ready for burglaryHALF of people in Wales (47 per cent) admit to keeping a weapon in their home to protect themselves and their property against intruders this winter, a new survey revealed yesterday.

Researchers found that adults in Wales feel nervous when they are home alone, and therefore keep some form of household item close at hand to defend themselves against potential intruders.

Most popular items reserved as possible weapons should the need arise include heavy torches, baseball bats and walking sticks. While others would reach for objects such as umbrellas, golf clubs, frying pans and even rolling pins.

The poll of 2000 adults by security firm ADT found that Brits would also consider using mops, dog leads, and hoover ends to defend themselves against an intruder.

With the average person’s home broken into at least twice and nearly two thirds of the break-ins in Wales happening when at least one person was at home (62 per cent), the study shows people are resorting to make-shift protection.

It was revealed a quarter of burglaries take place in Wales during the dark winter months (23 per cent) with a third of those polled (31 per cent) admitting to feeling unsafe, with the emotional damage much worse than any material loss.

After robberies had taken place, a sixth of homeowners also admitted to feeling that their property wasn’t their ‘home’ anymore (15 per cent).

Mark Shaw of ADT said: “We are shocked by these results and that people would try to protect themselves in this way.

“It is understandable that people feel vulnerable at the moment particularly with recent data showing a rise in property crime after a 20 year decline but the key to keeping your home safe is always about prevention.

“It is about keeping intruders out of your home and avoiding taking unnecessary risks or confronting burglars.

“Burglars are professionals but research suggests thieves are less likely to target homes with alarm systems.

“When people have been targeted and their home invaded, it can have a lasting effect on their lives but by taking professional security measures people can sleep more soundly without worrying about intruders.’’

The survey revealed that despite its importance, home security in Wales is overlooked with less than a quarter (21 per cent) of respondents saying that they have a burglar alarm or other security devices installed in their homes.

Hiding weapons around the house is just one of the ways homeowners are choosing to keep themselves safe, as researchers discovered a host of other unusual safety measures adopted by adults.

Sleeping with a dog in the room, putting up a ‘beware of the dog sign’ when you don’t have a dog, and putting a chair under the door handle are some of the other ways people choose to feel safe. While others prefer to leave music blaring all day and night, waving to imaginary housemates as they enter the house and going to bed fully clothed.

Other respondents believe that sleeping in glasses, keeping a phone by the bed and making sure the curtains are drawn help them feel secure. Double-checking all the windows are shut, asking the neighbours to check on the property while you’re away and leaving a computer web cam running all night were also named as safety techniques.

Borrowing a friend’s dog for the night and keeping neighbours aware of comings and goings were also adopted by respondents in the study.

Mark Shaw of ADT added: “We understand that homeowners, more than ever before, want to keep their homes and families safe.

“Intruders operate as professionals but the last thing they want is confrontation and homeowners should never put themselves at risk or resort to violence.

“Simple security measures such as keeping doors and windows locked, investing in a security light or a monitored alarm will help ensure householders and their possessions are kept safe.

“When a burglary does happen, it’s not just about what they take, it’s what they leave behind. With Christmas fast approaching, most homeowners will have security at the front of their minds and we are urging homeowners to ensure their home is safe this festive season.”

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Pembrokeshire cottage letting agency offers free holidays to NHS heroes

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PEMBROKESHIRE-BASED holiday letting agency St Brides Bay Cottages has teamed up with its property owners and Operation Recuperation to offer free holidays to frontline healthcare workers. The family-run firm has announced the scheme to say thank you to the healthcare heroes who are risking their lives to keep the UK safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

The generous initiative will see healthcare professionals enjoy a well-deserved break in picturesque St Davids, Solva, Newgale or Porthgain, after the crisis is over. The scheme is part of Operation Recuperation, a UK-wide campaign launched to gift future stays in beautiful places to frontline healthcare providers.

Sam Sibbald, manager of St Brides Bay Cottages, based in Solva, said: “This is our way of showing our dedicated healthcare workers that we appreciate everything they’re doing in such difficult circumstances.

“I saw first-hand the pressure the NHS is under, when my dad had a stay in hospital last year. I could tell how pushed they were on a normal day-to-day basis, let alone with having COVID-19 to deal with. Now my dad is at home, needing carers every day, and I can see, more than ever, how much we rely on the people who look after us.

“We’re taking part in Operation Recuperation thanks to the generosity of our cottage owners. By gifting stays to these dedicated workers, we’ll be helping them to recover from the fight against coronavirus.”

Several cottage owners, whose properties are let by St Brides Bay Cottages, have come forward to donate stays in their holiday homes.

Among them is Sheila Morgan, who together with her husband Chris, owns The Anchorage, a two-bedroom apartment in Solva. She said: “As a retired nurse with medical staff in the family, I can fully appreciate the strains and stresses all NHS staff are going through at present. Thank you all for your sterling work. Hopefully the peace, quiet and Pembrokeshire air will aid recuperation.”

Debbie and Patrick Bowie-Moore, the owners of five-bedroom holiday home Mount Pleasant, in Solva, said: “The healthcare workers have offered their all, and it’s our privilege to give a family – who may have been kept apart – the opportunity to stay in Mount Pleasant as a massive thank you.”

Simon Baker, who owns Cefn y Mor, a four-bedroom property in Solva, said: “We are backing the Operation Recuperation project because we have family members on the frontline of the NHS, and know what risks they are taking, and what effort they are putting into saving lives. Our only effort is to stay at home and avoid infection. A small price to pay.”

Jim and Maureen Dale, whose three-bedroom holiday home, May Cottage, is situated on a grade II-listed farm, near St Davids, said: “Rarely do we get an opportunity to say thank you to the staff at the NHS – we tend to take the service so much for granted. Now the chips are down and there they all are, on the frontline looking after us all. Thank you all at the NHS.”

David and Judith James, who are offering a free stay at their converted watermill, Melin Llanrhian, near Porthgain, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support Operation Recuperation as a very small thank you to everyone in the NHS who has worked so hard in such challenging circumstances.”

Operation Recuperation is collecting donations – in room nights and cash – to give free stays to frontline healthcare staff, once the virus restrictions have been lifted.

Rachel Sherwood, who launched Operation Recuperation, said: “A huge thank you to St Brides Bay Cottages for proudly supporting Operation Recuperation and to the cottage owners who have donated stays in this stunning part of Wales, despite very challenging times.

“Sometime in the not-too-distant future, a number of our frontline healthcare staff will be enjoying long clifftop walks, fresh seafood, lazy days on the beach and cosy evenings in sea-view cottages.”

To find out more about St Brides Bay Cottages and Operation Recuperation, visit: https://www.stbridesbaycottages.com/, email enquiries@stbridesbaycottages.com or call 01437 720027.

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Council pays out £2.5m in business grants to date

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has revealed that since Wednesday, 1st April, it has already paid out £2.5 million in grants to local businesses.

The Authority’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Paul Miller, said Council staff had been working hard to make the Covid-19 business grants payable as soon as possible

Explained Councillor Miller: “Payments started on Wednesday this week for those who qualify for grants linked to the National Non-Domestic Ratings (NNDR) system. We have already paid out around £2.5 million in grants to local businesses.

“Daily payment runs are being made in order that these can get into business bank accounts as soon as possible.

“We cannot unfortunately acknowledge receipt of applications but, once authorised, businesses will be emailed and the grant will be paid within two to three working days.”

Councillor Miller added: “If there are any issues with a grant application, or information is missing, a Council officer will be in touch to discuss the matter. A dedicated team has been set up to do this.”

For further business advice refer to the Council’s Business pages which can be accessed via the following link: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support

This will enable access to the application form for the above grants, provide answers to frequently asked questions and links to further sources of advice through HMRC, Welsh Government, Department of Work and Pensions, Public Health Wales and other organisations.

For further enquiries not answered through the business pages, email: covid19@pembrokeshire.gov.uk and an officer will respond. Please view the business pages first.

For those who don’t qualify for the grants, Welsh Government will soon be making details available of how business can access other funding through an Economic Resilience Fund.

Details will be available on the Council’s business pages as soon as they are released by Welsh Government.

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Man issued with two COVID-19 fines in 24 hours as police thank those following new legislation

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A man has been issued with two fines in 24 hours for flouting Coronavirus legislation, as police thank those who are following the new rules.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers in Carmarthenshire stopped the 22-year-old from Llanelli twice for being out of the house without a reasonable excuse.

A report was made on April 1 that three men were breaching the COVID-19 legislation by gathering in Llanstephan. A woman who had attempted to film the men reported that they had stolen her phone and driven away.

Officers quickly linked the car to a suspect and traced it driving towards Carmarthen and then Llanelli, and a roads policing unit was directed to the area.

The car was stopped, and the two occupants – a 22-year-old from Llanelli, and a 18-year-old from Carmarthen – were arrested on suspicion of theft. They were also both issued with tickets for COVID-19 offences.

T/Chief Inspector Tom Sharville said: “We are taking the new legislation seriously, and would like to thank the majority of people who are staying home to keep others safe.

“The measures are difficult to adapt to, but it is important that we stay at home to save lives.

“However, there is a minority out there who are under the impression the legislation does not apply to them, and are flouting the law.

“This was the second fine one of these men was issued with in 24 hours, after he showed a clear disregard for all guidelines.”

The men were arrested on suspicion of theft of a mobile phone, and were released under investigation pending further enquiries.

For information about the COVID-19 legislation, and answers to many frequently asked questions, visit https://bit.ly/DPPCovid19

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