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Dyfed-Powys Police urges communities to report stalking

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is making sure communities have the confidence to report stalking during National Stalking Awareness Week 2018.

Officers, PCSOs and specialist staff are raising awareness of stalking and harassment during National Stalking Awareness Week 2018, led by Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

They will be visiting stalking victims, offenders, partner agencies – including refuges – and hosting pop-up stalls out in their communities to raise awareness of stalking and the support available. This includes the national helpline and more localised support for victims and witnesses via Goleudy, a service provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner of Dyfed-Powys.

Stalking is repeated unwanted contact from one person to another, which demonstrates either a fixation or obsession and causes the victim to feel alarm, distress or fear of violence. It may involve personal contact but also via the phone, email, letter or social media.

Stalking behaviours could be as simple as rearranging garden furniture, sending unwanted gifts, loitering on the pavement outside their house or even calling social services to maliciously report ‘poor’ parenting.

The law to protect people from stalking in England and Wales is the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. It was amended in November 2012 to include ‘stalking’. Since that change, Dyfed-Powys Police has recorded 94 stalking crimes to date.

Detective Superintendent Anthony Griffiths, force lead for the Protecting Vulnerable People Unit, said: “Stalking can have a huge emotional impact on victims affecting their self-esteem, self-confidence and feelings of safety.

“Statistics show victims may suffer up to 100 incidents before reporting the issue to police and we want victims to know that they can come to police sooner and will be taken seriously. They should never feel they are wasting our time or that they are over-reacting.

“It is also vitally important that our partner agencies, community groups and members of the public recognise the behaviours associated with stalking and know how to get help for victims.”

Taken in isolation, events might seem unremarkable. But in particular circumstances and with repetition, they take on a more sinister meaning.

Unwanted communications may include telephone calls, letters, emails, faxes, text messages, messages on social networking sites, graffiti or sending or leaving unsolicited gifts.

Unwanted intrusions include following, waiting for, spying on, approaching and going to a person’s home. A stalker may also order or cancel goods or services, make complaints (to legitimate bodies), damage property or follow and try to talk to you online (cyberstalking).

ADVICE FOR VICTIMS

  • Keep a record of what happened, where and when you were followed or telephoned, or when you received post or email messages.
  • Write down information as soon as possible when events are still fresh in your mind.
  • Tell the police if any neighbours or others saw or heard what happened.
  • Record how the suspect looked or sounded – try to include what they were wearing and the make, number plate of any involved car.
  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.

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Pembroke Dock man caught up in Windrush problem

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A MEMBER of the Windrush generation who spent twelve years in Pembroke Dock has been told he is living in the UK illegally.

Whitfield Francis, 59, moved to Britain when he was seven years old, later living and working in Pembroke Dock, where family still live.

The Windrush generation refers to migrants from the Caribbean members of the Commonwealth, who arrived in response to post-war labour shortages.

This classification lasted until the 1971 Immigration Act, when Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were given indefinite leave to remain.

The name is a reference to the ship MV Empire Windrush, which arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on June 22 1948, bringing workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago amongst other islands.

Francis said how he moved from Jamaica as a child, and whilst he has relatives there, he is a ‘stranger to Jamaica’.

The pressure on placed him has left him living ‘a stressful life’ and he went on to say: “I can’t get a job because I haven’t got the paperwork.”

The PM and the Opposition have clashed in the House of Commons after the Windrush generation were told they are residing in Britain illegally, despite living and working in the UK for decades.

Issues in proving otherwise stem from the fact that landing cards of the original migration were destroyed in 2010, despite being used by the subsequent generations to prove they had a right to remain in the UK.

Most recently Mr Francis has been ‘sofa surfing’ between Pembroke Dock and his sister’s house in Birmingham where he hopes to get work, yet he is in need of a biometric card first, which will mean proving he is entitled to work in the UK.

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MP visits Central America on trade envoy mission

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Simon Hart MP: With President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina

SIMON HART MP has visited Panama, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica to encourage trade links with Wales and the UK in his new role as the UKs’ first trade envoy to the area.

Whilst in Central America he met the Presidents of all three countries and joined the British ambassador in hosting receptions for businesses interested in trading with the UK.

As trade envoy his role is to facilitate and negotiate trade relations and marketing interests between the three countries and the United Kingdom. 

The UK is the fourth largest investor in Panama, with $2.6bn spent there in 2016.  Many UK companies – in more than a dozen sectors – have their regional offices in Panama and the number one export from the UK to the area is alcoholic spirits.

“All three countries love their whisky in particular which is why I took each president a bottle of Penderyn whisky from Wales to introduce them to the product,” explained Mr Hart.

The Panamanian President, Juan Carlos Varela, announced Simon Hart’s arrival via his personal twitter: “We talked about the opportunities to strengthen the trade ties between Panama and the United Kingdom.”

As well as President Varela, Mr Hart also met British companies with an already established presence in Panama and visited the Miraflores Lock of the Panama Canal.

Mr Hart added: “My position as trade envoy to Panama was met with great hospitality and sincerity by all, it was a fascinating tour and I hope that it will result in closer trading links between our countries.”

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Local student wins writing competition

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Imogen Grimes, Hope Raymond, and Will Letten: With members of Saundersfoot Rotary Club

WILL LETTEN of Castle School successfully secured his place in the next round of this year’s Rotary Young Writers Competition against stiff opposition.

The judges from the Rotary Club of Saundersfoot were impressed by his story and the novel way in which he cleverly made sure it worked with this year’s theme – ‘A Different Perspective’.

Pupils from the local area were invited to enter and tasked to produce a piece of writing of no more than 500 words on any subject of their choosing. It could be fiction or non-fiction, a story or a poem. The only requirement was that it must relate to the theme.

Members of the club were fascinated by the variety of stories produced. Topics included the impact of humans on the environment, the ticking of a clock and the battle between wild animals.

They told us: “We know the children from Castle School put a lot of effort into their entries so it’s always difficult to choose a winner. And of course, creative writing is subjective.”

They were, however, intrigued to read Will’s take on the not-so opposing views of two soldiers from either side of no-man’s land during the first world war.

Will was surprised and excited to have won in the Intermediate age-group and told us: “I am very interested in everything about World War One. There is a lot about that time in the news at the moment, because of the centenary but for me it’s about an event that changed the course of history. I was particularly inspired by the tale of ordinary men in both the English and German trenches who held a temporary truce on Christmas Day to play a game of football.”

One of the judges, Jim Ball, commented that it reminded him of conversations he had shared with his one of his grandfathers, a WWI veteran and his recurring memories of the horror of war and of the casualties, both those who had fallen and those lucky enough to survive. This, he reflected, was in stark contrast to his other grandfather who had chosen never to raise the subject again.

Imogen Grimes and Hope Raymond were also picked out for their entries in the same age-group and, so difficult was it to choose between them, the judges decided to award two runner-up prizes.

Imogen was also surprised to win.

She told us: “I wrote about aliens coming to earth because I wanted to write something light-hearted. I wrote about humans from their perspective, making them out to be very judgemental, believing themselves to be a superior race and shocked by the damage we were doing to our own planet.”

The judges clearly agreed.

Mr Ball told us: “It was full of humour and made me laugh!”

In contrast, he felt that Hope’s poem was very moving and thoughtful. She had approached her chosen subject from a very different point of view, dealing with the way in which people cruelly regard others who are different from them.

Hope explained: “I feel very strongly that people who may appear ‘different’, perhaps having mental health issues. Often, they are misjudged and ignored or ill-treated and I think this is very wrong. I wanted to write a poem that challenged many people’s preconceptions about mental illness and to make them realise that they should be more sympathetic and supportive and not dismissive.”

Will now goes through to represent the region in Cardiff. Although judging is already in progress, he won’t find out the results until June 21, when the prizes are awarded in Cardiff. If successful, he will then go on to represent the country in the national finals which will take place later in the year in London.

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