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Council urges public to be aware of scams

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Sandra MacSparron and Emma Hanlan-Baker from the Public Protection Trading Standards team at Pembrokeshire County Council.

Sandra MacSparron and Emma Hanlan-Baker from the Public Protection Trading Standards team at Pembrokeshire
County Council.

EVERY year, hundreds of thousands of pounds are estimated to have been lost in Pembrokeshire as a result of people being scammed. Many hundreds of people in the County fall victim to postal, phone or email scams annually – as well as rogue doorstep traders. Cllr Huw George, Cabinet Member for Enironmental and Regulatory Services said: “There are some heartbreaking stories of people in Pembrokeshire who have been targeted and caught out by these scammers, and have lost huge sums of money.”

As a result, the Trading Standards team at Pembrokeshire County Council has been working on specific ways of protecting people who are more vulnerable to being targeted. People of any age and background can be susceptible to fall for scams. Often they are elderly or live alone with no family nearby. Nigel Watts, Trading Standards, Animal Health and Welfare Manager said: “Unfortunately, criminals have put together lists of vulnerable people all over Britain and are selling them to scam companies.

“We have received a copy of this list from the National Trading Standards Board and our team has identified up to 300 people on it from Pembrokeshire who are potentially vulnerable. “We have been writing to them to ask if we can advise them on issues which may affect them.” He added: “We are also giving talks to local groups about how to spot a potential scam and are working with several partner organisations including social services, local banks, Age Concern, and PAVS.” Signs which indicate someone is being scammed include an increase in post. Once someone replies to one postal scam they will usually start receiving lots more. Some people can receive up to 50 letters a day.

Other signs include changes in spending – withdrawing large sums of money or writing lots of cheques – or receiving lots of phone calls. Nigel added: “If you think you or a member of your family is being scammed, come to us and we will assist. “We are especially keen for any family or carers of elderly people who think something might be wrong to contact us.

“Often, people don’t realise they are being scammed and it doesn’t come to light until a relative or carer notices something suspicious.” Nationally, £3.5 billion a year is lost through scams, including £60 million on fake prize draws. Sandra McSparron, Senior Trading Standards Officer, warned against being duped by letters, emails and phone calls about such draws.

She said: “Remember, if you have not entered a prize draw, then you have not won anything. “People in Pembrokeshire have lost tens of thousands of pounds on these fake prize draws and false inheritance scams. “Some people are tempted to take the risk. It’s the lure of the possibility of being set up for life. And if only one or two out of a thousand take the risk, then that’s worth it for the scammers. “Be warned – if it looks too good to be true, it always is.”

National work to clamp down on scams include an initiative by Royal Mail and the National Trading Standards Board Scams Team, which are working to identify scam mail and stop it entering the postal network. The team has already intercepted up to six tons of scam mail in Britain and £100,000 – and that’s the tip of the iceberg. Sandra continued: “Some people are taken in by rogue companies because they provide a UK address – but some scam companies buy mail forwarding addresses or a UK domain name, to make them appear to be UKbased, when they are actually based abroad.”

She added: “These people are unscrupulous. Businesses can also be targeted- receiving invoices for goods or services not agreed to, followed by threats from alleged debt collectors if payment is not made. “Unfortunately it is happening in Pembrokeshire. We’ve got a number of examples of it. Come and report it to us. We know it can cause a great deal of anxiety. There is advice that we can provide.”

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Blue Gem Wind begins digital aerial surveys for 300MW Valorous floating wind project

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BLUE GEM WIND, the joint venture between TotalEnergies, one of the world’s largest energy companies, and Simply Blue Energy, has begun offshore digital aerial surveys for a proposed 300MW floating wind project.

APEM Ltd have been chosen by Blue Gem Wind to deliver 24 consecutive monthly bird and marine mammal surveys of the early-commercial scale Valorous site. The high resolution data obtained will support baseline environmental characterisation of the site and environmental impact assessments for key ecological receptors.

The survey programme commenced in March 2021 and four of the 24 monthly surveys have been completed
to date.

Sean Evans, Environmental Specialist at Blue Gem Wind said, “It is important for us to begin long-lead in items
such as bird and marine mammal surveys as early as possible. These surveys will provide crucial species specific
data on the number, spatial distribution and activity of individuals across the Valorous site. This enables us to
undertake robust environmental impact assessments ahead of our planned consent application submission in
2023.”

Matt Rohner, Senior Consultant at APEM, “APEM Ltd are delighted to be able to support Blue Gem Wind’s
proposed Valorous offshore wind farm with our best-in-class survey design approach. Imagery captured using
state-of-the-art cameras is of ultra-high (1.6cm) resolution, providing industry leading image quality that is
essential for species level identification.”

The Celtic Sea is poised to play a key role in Net Zero, the Committee on Climate Change’s 100GW offshore
wind target, and crucially, the UK Government’s target of 1 GW of floating wind by 2030. The ORE Catapult also
estimated that the first GW of floating wind in the Celtic Sea could potentially deliver over 3,000 jobs and
£682m in supply chain opportunities for Wales and Cornwall by 2030.

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Three arrests as suspected cocaine worth £12,000 seized in Milford Haven

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POLICE in Milford Haven have disrupted the supply of cocaine in the town in a major operation which saw people detained and a large quantity of drugs found.

Three people were arrested and suspected cocaine worth up to £12,200 was seized, police said.

Dyfed-Powys Police carried out a warrant at a house in Hubberston on the evening of Friday, June 11, “where 122g of what is believed to be cocaine was found.”

This is estimated to have a street value of between £9,760 and £12,200 depending on its purity.

The occupant of the address – a 59-year-old man – was not present at the time, however he was later arrested on suspicion of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.

He has been released under investigation pending the result of forensic, digital and financial enquiries.

As enquiries progressed, officers made two further arrests over the weekend.

A 33-year-old man from Manchester, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possession of an offensive weapon after police stopped the car he was driving.

A quantity of white powder was seized by Greater Manchester Police during a warrant at the address he gave officers in custody.

A 27-year-old woman from the Stockport area was also arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

Both have been released on bail with the condition not to enter Pembrokeshire.

Detective Constable Phillip Jones said: “This was a significant drugs seizure, and we will continue our enquiries with the view to securing a swift outcome.

“I would like to thank all officers involved over the weekend for their dedication and diligence.”

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Major blaze destroys well known Tenby chip shop

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EMERGENCY services have sealed off part of Tenby following a major fire at a chip shop.

Fire fighters rushed to Park Road Fish & Chip Shop after a blaze broke out late on Tuesday morning (Jun 15).

Emergency services are still at the scene. Police are asking people to avoid the area.

Diversions for traffic are in place.

Four fire appliances responded to the blaze at the Tenby chip shop (Image G Davies Photography)
Fire fighters take off BA kits after the blaze was put out (Image G Davies Photography)

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