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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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Have your say on the council’s Gambling Policy

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PEOPLE living in Pembrokeshire are being asked for their views on proposed changes to the County Council’s Gambling Policy.

The policy explains how Pembrokeshire County Council handles the licensing of premises and issuing of permits for gambling.

The policy is currently under review and the County Council is keen to find out what local people think about issues such as the prevention of crime and disorder, and protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Sarah Johns, the Authority’s Public Protection Manager (Public Health, Housing and Licensing), explained: “The review will give people the chance to make their views known about our policy and how we deal with gambling matters.

“We are carrying out an extensive consultation, asking a wide range of people and groups for their views including the Police and the licensed trade. All views will be considered carefully and will help shape our policy for the next few years.

“We urge people who have an opinion on this to get in touch and let us know what they think.”

Councillor Pat Davies, Cabinet Member for Housing and Regulatory Services said: “This is an opportunity for businesses and residents of Pembrokeshire to respond and be part of influencing policy that will ultimately affect their communities. Please use this consultation to have your say.”

The gambling policy can be viewed on the Council’s website: www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/licensing

Alternatively, contact the Licensing Team on 01437 764551 to view the policy at County Hall, Haverfordwest.

Comments must be received by 5pm on Friday, September 28.

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RSPCA ask public to not return unwell dolphins to sea

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THE RSPCA has issued a warning about how to respond to finding unwell or beached cetaceans, after two dolphins were inappropriately returned to the sea by members of the public in west Wales in recent weeks.

Officers say ‘well-meaning’ beach-walkers have sought to help beached dolphins by moving them back into the water, but that this is the ‘wrong thing to do for the animals, and their welfare’.

Last Sunday (Aug 5), a dead striped dolphin was found on Coppet Hall beach in the Saundersfoot area.

The RSPCA had previously responded to calls in the local area about the troubled striped dolphin – who had been beaching on a member of the public’s property. Unfortunately, in seeking to help the dolphin, members of the public refloated the unwell, thin and emaciated dolphin.

An RSPCA officer inspected photos of the dolphin and could ‘clearly see’ that the dolphin was suffering and should not have been returned to the wild in this way.


In a separate incident, the RSPCA was alerted after a washed-up, skinny dolphin was found on a Newgale beach last Tuesday (Aug 7). The animal welfare charity arrived to find a dolphin in poor bodily condition, which had recently died. Unfortunately, well-meaning members of the public had tried on several occasions to return the dolphin to the water.

RSPCA Cymru say dolphins tend to beach for a reason – often because they have major welfare complications, or even because they are dying. A summer plea has been issued urging anyone who finds a beached cetaceans to contact the RSPCA immediately, and not seek to refloat the animal.

Ellie West, RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO), said: “In many ways, it is a source of great pride that people across West Wales love wild animals and want to help.

“But returning a beached cetacean to the sea can be hugely counter-productive. People are obviously well-meaning in doing this – but usually it is the wrong thing to do for the animals, and their welfare.

“We were called out recently to help a striped dolphin, but this was returned to the water by members of the public.

“However, pictures of the poor thing – emaciated and thin – showed how this wasn’t the right thing by the animal. Later, we were alerted that the poor dolphin’s fate had been sealed – found dead in Saundersfoot.

“Similarly, in Newgale, we attended an incident where a very unwell dolphin had died. However, members of the public had spent some while trying to return the body to the sea – clearly kind-hearted, but sadly doing the wrong thing.”

RSPCA is also warning of the zoonotic risks of handling creatures like the dolphins found at Saundersfoot and Newgale.  

The charity works with the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) – in part funded by Welsh Government – which investigates whale, dolphin, porpoise, marine turtle and basking sharks stranded across the UK’s coastline.  Post-mortems to these animals can help establish a cause of death, and provide important insights into the health of populations living in the sea in a specific area.

ACO West added: “If anyone sees a beached cetacean, they should ring the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999, and provide as much information as possible about the location of the animal, and their condition. We can then do whatever we can to help – or at least alleviate the animal’s suffering as quickly as possible.

“It is a very distressing fact that often these animals are found on land with severe welfare problems, or have moved there to die. Returning them to the sea is not helping them however well-intentioned someone may be.

“There’s also substantial zoonotic disease risk of handling the animals in this way. This could be serious for human health.

“We work closely with CSIP, who do very important work in deciphering the cause of death for many cetaceans and other marine mammals. This work is vital – and where a beached, emaciated, troubled marine mammal sadly has to be put to sleep, we will often work with them so the cause of death can be established, and knowledge help support the wider population in the future.”

If you wish to help RSPCA Cymru, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.

 

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Woman thanks strangers for helping her during County Show incident

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A WOMAN who, along with her husband, was knocked down at the County Show on Wednesday (Aug 15) when a horse broke loose and went on a ‘rampage’ has thanked those who came to her aid.

Eight people were injured in the incident and five were hospitalised, including a 12-year-old boy and an 83-year-old man.

Jane Armitage, who was visiting Pembrokeshire with her husband and three dogs, posted a message on Facebook thanking those who helped her, her husband, and her pets.

She said: “My husband was one of those injured today at Pembrokeshire Show. He was knocked down by the horse and is now in hospital; I was also knocked down, but I got up!

“The reason for this post is to thank those people who I will probably never meet again. The local store owner who came straight out to ask if I was okay when my husband was on the ground; the paramedics who did such a wonderful job and looked after him so well; but most importantly in this post, at least, is those dog lovers at the show.

Air ambulance: Landing at the County Show

“When I fell, I was holding three labradors. Ellie the senior Labrador stayed close to me, but the two younger ones, black and yellow labradors, ran. I don’t know the name of the lady who caught Lottie, a black Labrador, near the cattle rings, also the lovely lady judge who picked up Dolly, a yellow labrador, and carried her to me, she was too scared to walk.

“I don’t know your names but I just wanted to say a huge thank you. Your kindness will never be forgotten.

“I also want to thank the couple who came to the paramedic’s area and offered to hold the dogs for me so I could go in and be with my husband.”

Despite being involved in the freak accident, Jane

“They waited with our three stressed dogs, calmed them and I can’t thank you enough for your kindness at such a difficult time. We look forward to coming to the show again next year.”

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