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Funding secured by Police and Crime Commissioner to target violence against women

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POLICE and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn has secured additional funding from the Home Office’s Safer Streets fund to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG) and community Safety in four areas within Dyfed-Powys.

A total of £45,000 of additional funding has been secured to increase safety of women and girls at busy night-time economy hotspots in particular.

The funding will go towards purchasing women’s safety kits, community Pop Up Safe Spaces and Training and Assessment for Licensed Premises.

Womens’ Safety Kits

2,000 women’s safety kits will be purchased and distributed in night-time economy hotspots in Aberystwyth, Carmarthen, Llanelli, Haverfordwest and Newtown. The safety kits will include a torch, panic alarm and anti-spike drink cover. Also included will be a unique SelectaDNA Personal Defence Spray that works by spraying the offender with an invisible synthetic DNA solution, marking skin and clothing for days, weeks or even months – greatly increasing the chances of conviction.

Pop Up Safe Spaces

A number of branded pop-up gazeebos and other kit, such as phone chargers, will be available for community groups and partners in Aberystwyth, Carmarthen and Llanelli to utilise during peak demand times, including through the busy periods. Bottled water will also be purchased for volunteers and partners to distribute from the safe spaces.

Training and Assessment for Licensed Premises

Licensed premises within identified areas in Aberystwyth, Carmarthen, Llanelli, Haverfordwest and Newtown, will be given access to the Security and Vulnerability Initiative (SAVI) tools to help owners and operators of licensed premises to provide a safe and secure environment for their managers, staff, customers and local communities. SAVI does this by providing personalised advice and recommendations to promote prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance, and the protection of children from harm.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I welcome the news of this additional funding that has been secured through my Office.

“I have highlighted in my new Police and Crime Plan the need for us to reduce violence against women and girls as we prioritise preventing harm to individuals and the communities of Dyfed-Powys.

“This funding will allow us to take a practical approach to tackle some of the issues on the ground, by providing physical equipment to women and girls, as well working with partners to increase safety at busy night-time economy locations”.

Deputy Chief Constable, Claire Parmenter, said: “The Safer Streets funding received from the Home Office is welcomed. It has enabled us to focus our already tremendous efforts on making the communities of Dyfed-Powys safer.

“This money will continue to allow our neighbourhood policing teams to deliver initiatives around tackling violence against women and girls, improving the safety of women at night, and working with our night-time economy partners to improve safety for everyone.”

“Dyfed-Powys Police continues to work hard to improve safety in our neighbourhoods. We welcome the thoughts of the many partner organisations, businesses and citizens that call Dyfed-Powys home, and of course to the thousands of visitors we see to the force area each year.”

Dyfed-Powys Police Officers and Staff that will be involved in the initiative were recently provided training by Selectamark on the use of the Womens’ Safety Kits ahead of their distribution at busy night-time economy locations in the Dyfed-Powys area.

Chief Inspector Dyfed Bolton, force lead for neighbourhood policing, said “Dyfed-Powys Police is proud to be working with Selectamark to promote the safety of women and girls in our force area.”

“Our neighbourhood policing teams will continue to work tirelessly with partners to stop violence against women and girls, making our neighbourhoods safer places to live, work and have leisure time.”

James Brown, Managing Director of Selectamark Security Systems, the manufacturer of the SelectaDNA Personal defence Spray said “We first started providing crime prevention solutions to Dyfed Powys Police over 10 years ago, but this is a particularly exciting and ground-breaking initiative. The police are providing women and girls who could find themselves in vulnerable situations with the very latest crime-fighting technology, which sends the strongest possible message to potential offenders not to consider committing such awful crimes.”

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Health

Those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster should get jabbed by end of June

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ALL those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster are being urged to take up their offer of the vaccine before the end of next month.

A deadline of 30 June has been introduced to ensure all those eligible for the spring booster will have a long-enough interval between this and the autumn 2022 booster, if they are also eligible.

An announcement by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) about which groups will be eligible for the autumn booster is due to be published shortly.

The JCVI has advised that people over-75, older care home residents and all those aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed are eligible for the spring booster.

Those who are 75 on or before 30 June, can get their booster at any point up to the deadline.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “It is important we continue our very high take up levels of the vaccine to help protect us against the risk of serious illness from Covid-19. I would urge everyone who is offered a spring booster vaccination takes up the invitation.”

If someone eligible for a spring booster has had a Covid infection recently, they will need to wait 28 days from the date they tested positive before they can be vaccinated. They will still be able to get vaccinated after 30 June as part of this campaign if they have to postpone their appointment.

All those eligible for spring boosters will be invited by their health board or GP.

It is not too late for anyone who needs a primary dose (first, second or third) to be vaccinated.

Please check for local arrangements.

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Health

Young people in Wales being failed when moving from child to adult mental health services

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MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES are failing young people when they move from child to adult services, says a mental health charity.

Mind Cymru is calling for Welsh Government to make urgent changes to improve the system.

Nia Evans, Children and Young People Manager at Mind Cymru, said: “Young people have told us that their needs, thoughts, and feelings about moving to adult services are often unheard, or ignored.

“Welsh Government must support Local Health Boards to make sure this doesn’t happen, change the way services are run and make sure our young people are being heard and properly cared for.”

Mind Cymru has published a report, in ate the result of interviews with young people about their experiences of moving from Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – (SCAMHS) to AMHS.

They highlighted five key areas where services are failing young people:
– Poor information offered to young people, particularly on their rights
– Inconsistent use and follow through of care and treatment plans
– High thresholds for SCAMHS and AMHS referrals to be accepted
– Feeling abandoned / cut off from SCAMHS
– Age still dominates decision making process for moving from SCAMHS to AMHS

Nia Evans said: “Any one of these issues could make the process of moving from children’s services to adult services difficult for our young people. But often, more than one is happening at any one time.”

“Our young people have a right to care and support from a mental health system that has been put in place to help them recover. Action must be taken immediately to make sure support systems are robust and doing the job they were designed to do.”

Mind Cymru is asking people to email their Member of the Senedd (MS) and amplify the voices of these young people whose experiences are often unheard, and use the #SortTheSwitch hashtag on social media.

The full report is available here, including what a good move from SCAMHS to AMHS would look like for young people, and where the current system could improve.

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Business

Average UK price of diesel hits record of more than £1.80 a litre

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LESS than two months after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p a litre cut on the average price of fuel – diesel prices have reached a record high price of 180.29p a litre.
The previous high of 179.90p was recorded on March 23rd 2022 – the day of the Spring Statement from Sunak.

In recent weeks, the UK government has tried to move away from its reliance on importing Russian oil, following President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Worryingly for drivers of petrol cars, the price per litre is fast approaching the record levels of 167.3p per litre set on March 22nd.

This latest price rise adds another challenge to UK households, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact families across the country.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Sadly, despite the Chancellor’s 5p a litre duty cut the average price of a litre of diesel has hit a new record high at 180.29p.”

“Efforts to move away from importing Russian diesel have led to a tightening of supply and pushed up the price retailers pay for diesel.”

“While the wholesale price has eased in the last few days this is likely to be temporary, especially if the EU agrees to ban imports of Russian oil.”

“Unfortunately, drivers with diesel vehicles need to brace themselves for yet more pain at the pumps. Had Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15% as we call on him to do instead of cutting duty by 5p, drivers of diesel vehicles would be around 2p a litre better off, or £1 for every full tank.”

“As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is just the same as before the Spring Statement.”

“The average price of petrol is also on the rise having gone up nearly 3p a litre since the start of the month to 166.65p which means it’s less than a penny away from the all-time high of 167.30p set on 22 March.”

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