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Tantrum training for security guards



Security trained in preparation for tantrums: Improving the shopping experience for families

S​ECURITY staff at​ Merlin’s Walk​ are to receive training in ‘tantrum taming’ this summer as part of a nationwide initiative being rolled out at NewRiver shopping centres after research found that almost half of parents (43%) would rather avoid a shopping trip with the children for fear of them misbehaving.

The survey, commissioned by NewRiver, owner and operator of 33 shopping centres in the UK including Merlin’s Walk, highlighted a common problem for parents as over a third (38%) said that their child has thrown a tantrum while shopping.

NewRiver enlisted the help of child psychologist Dr Sam Wass from Channel 4’s ​’​The Secret Life of Four Year Olds​’ series to provide tips for taming tantrums to the 150 security staff across its portfolio.

The training involves advice on spotting warning signs and how best to support children and parents while shopping, giving first class customer care. Security staff will be looking out for good behaviour that they can reward with a high five or a sticker. The initiative is a key element of NewRiver’s Kids Club scheme which aims to improve the shopping experience for families.

Parents, grandparents and guardians who sign up to the scheme will have access to free events and activities in the centres and exclusive discounts at retailers including Animal, Saltrock, Steamin Mugs and more.

Charles Bevan-Barratt, centre manager at Merlin’s Walk comment​ed: “Our Kids Club aims to improve the overall experience for our family shoppers by helping to keep kids entertained in our centre and incentivise good behaviour. Free events like our Wizard’s Workshop make shopping fun for kids and allows parents to get on with their shopping.

“Our security staff also have a key role to play in this. As well as being trained to oversee the safety of our centres and their customers, they will now be able to help create a welcoming and enjoyable environment for both parents and children.”

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Otter advice given after recent sightings



SIGNS advising members of the public about how to treat otters have been given to the Discovery Centre at North Dock after recent sightings in the area.

It is thought that the signs are a response to a group of swimmers approaching an otter in North Dock.

Darren Harries, Vice Chair of the UK Wild Otter Trust (UKWOT), said: “Part of our role lies in educating organisations and the public in the importance of having otters in the area. They also attract visitors to the area, so it is very important that both are able to coexist.”

Dave Webb, Founder and Chair of the Trust added: “We are seeing an upturn in facility use particularly in this area. We are aware of several otters being killed on the roads there and it is very important that any disturbance is kept to an absolute minimum.

“As a result of this, we have produced and supplied some helpful advice signs that will be placed at strategic points by Darren once they are ready for use.”

Dave has recently been awarded with the IFAW Conservation in Action award at the House of Lords and the welfare of the species is paramount to anything that the trust does.

Ian Humphries, Education officer for UKWOT said: “Education about the species is key to its success at breeding and ongoing welfare so we strive to give the information and help to those areas that may be lacking in knowing what to do if and when they do see an otter. Hopefully, the signs will help with that.”

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Nurses assaulted by patient



A CARMARTHEN woman who assaulted two nurses after she was hospitalised following concerns for her wellbeing appeared before magistrates at Llanelli Law Courts on Thursday (Oct 19).

Appearing in court via videolink from HMP Eastwood Park, Francesca Stokes, 35, of Bronwydd Road, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by beating and a public order offence​.​

Prosecuting, Emma Myles told the court that on August 5 emergency services were called to Stokes’ home address following concerns for her wellbeing, and found her in her room in an unresponsive state, smelling of intoxicants.

When they managed to rouse her, Stokes became abusive, and paramedics decided that she should be taken to hospital. When she arrived, she became more aggressive.

Two members of staff attended to Stokes, and searched her handbag as part of the process. They found a lighter which Stokes grabbed, claiming she wanted to go for a cigarette. When she was told this was not possible, she lashed out at the nurses kicking both in the legs and causing immediate discomfort.

“This was an assault on medical staff who were trying to assist her,” Ms Myles remarked.

On August 13, emergency services were again called to Stokes’ house, where she was found ​i​n her bed smelling of intoxicants. When she was told that she had to go to the emergency ward, Stokes became abusive calling police officers ‘f***ing t***s’, and telling them not to talk to her.

She continued in a similar vein when taken out of her properties and continued her abusive tirade within earshot of her neighbours.

During the ambulance journey, Stokes asked if she could smoke and when told she couldn’t repeatedly cast aspersions on the paramedics’ abilities.

When waiting to be treated at the hospital, she continued to be abusive.

Representing Stokes, Laura Sherwood asked that credit be given for her early guilty pleas. She explained that Stokes, who had no previous convictions, was currently on remand for a matter which was being dealt with by Swansea Crown Court.

“She accepts that she carried out reckless acts, and should have let hospital staff continue searching her handbag,” Ms Sherwood added. “Fortunately there were no injuries caused.”

The court heard that Stokes had been suffering with mental health issues which had been the root cause of all her recent offending.

Magistrates fined Stokes £50 for the public order offence, which was written off for one day in custody.

She was given a 12​-​month conditional discharge for the assaults, and ordered to pay compensation of £50 to each complainant, costs of £85, and a victim surcharge of £20.

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Firefighters attend blaze at nursery



FIREFIGHTERS tackled a blaze in Lampeter at Meithrinfa Y Dyfodol nursery on Wednesday night (Oct 18) and stayed until the early hours of yesterday morning (Oct 19).

Dyfed-Powys Police and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene.

Nobody was injured.

A spokesperson for the fire service said: “We were called to reports of a fire at a property in Cellan, outside Lampeter, at 11.42pm on Wednesday.

“Fire crews from Lampeter, Tregaron, Tumble, and an Hydraulic Platform from Aberystwyth were sent to the scene.

“Crews, wearing breathing apparatus, used two hose reel jets, an aerial platform and thermal imaging cameras to extinguish the fire.

“Crews were in attendance until 3.03am on Thursday.”

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