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NRW enforcement officers tackle ‘barbaric’ illegal fishing

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NATURAL RESOURCES WALES fisheries enforcement officers have been busy tackling a spate of ‘barbaric’ illegal foul hooking incidents which have taken place on the River Loughor.

Six men have been fined more than £2,200 each at Swansea Magistrates Court for two separate incidents of illegal foul hooking/snatching fishing offences.

Phungan Nguyen, of Brecon, Vin Vinh Nguyen of Ystrad Mynach and Hung Le of Swansea, pleaded guilty in court and all three admitted deliberately using the illegal foul hooking techniques to catch fish from the River Loughor in June 2021.

The trio were observed by NRW Enforcement Officers, deliberately using the illegal foul hooking/snatching method to catch different species of fish. This was following several reports from members of the public regarding suspicious activity of illegal fishing taking place under the A484 Loughor to Llanelli road bridge.

Phungan Nguyen, Vin Vinh Nguyen were each fined £400, ordered to pay costs of £1,800 each and also a £40 victim surcharge each.

Hung Le was fined £300, ordered to pay costs of £1800 and also a victim surcharge of £34.

All the men’s fishing equipment and the fish in their possession were seized by the NRW Enforcement Officers.

In a separate incident, Swansea residents Joseph Arran Davies, Corey Charles Gilbert and Ryan Lee Jenkins pleaded guilty in court and admitted deliberately using the foul hooking/snatching method of fishing on the River Loughor in April 2021.

The three men, who were seen by NRW Enforcement Officers using the illegal fishing method under the A484 road bridge, appeared at Swansea Magistrates Court, where Joseph Davies and Ryan Jenkins were each fined £300 and ordered to pay costs of £1,800 each and a £34 victim surcharge. Corey Gilbert was fined £200 and ordered to pay £1,800 in costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“The use of this barbaric and totally unethical form of fishing is being carried out by a minority of anglers.

“It is not only indiscriminate on what species or size of fish that are killed, but untold damage is also inflicted to fish by the anglers who use this method using deliberately tampered standard fishing lures.

“Many oversized and multiple treble hooked fishing lures have been seized which have been used to deliberately impale fish and inflict untold damage to them when the multiple barbed treble hooks impale into their body flesh and internal organs.

“These damaged and wounded fish can become infected and die due to the injuries sustained and then possibly in the process infect other fish species in the river catchment.

“NRW Enforcement Officers and the local police forces takes these fisheries incidents seriously as do the courts. Hopefully the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of these heavy fines issued by the courts.”

PC 766 Roger Jones, Wildlife Crime Officer of Dyfed Powys Police, said: “This prosecution is the result of a lot of determined work between Dyfed Powys Police and Natural Resources Wales.

“The foul hooking method witnessed saw each individual cast out a line with very large treble hooks on lures, which they reeled in with a fast rod-jerking method with the intent to foul hook fish in the low water tide. It is a horrible, indiscriminate, and illegal fishing method.

“We are actively targeting the Loughor Estuary because of cases such as these, so we’re pleased they have received heavy fines and had all their rods and other kit seized.”

For information on fishing in Wales visit the NRW website: Natural Resources Wales / Fishing

If you see any suspicious or illegal activity on our rivers, lakes and reservoirs, please report it to the NRW incident hotline on 0300 065 3000.

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Police launch public appeal following Carmarthenshire burglary

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a burglary at a property in Ponthenry.

People broke into a shed at a home in Victoria Road at around 8.30pm on Monday, 31 October, before leaving after spotting a CCTV camera.

They returned at around 10.15pm and again at around 10.55pm.

During their raids they tooka green Wolf motocross helmet with a full face with a peak and line green motocross goggles.

Officers are appealing for help to identify two people they would like to speak to over the incident.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DPP/0756/01/11/2022/02/C. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Morrisons Foundation supports children’s charity with grant for vital equipment

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The Morrisons Foundation supports registered charities that make a positive difference. They recently awarded national children’s disability charity, Cerebra, based in Carmarthen, a grant of £11,109.

This will fund the creation of writing slopes through the Cerebra Innovation Centre, which is partnered with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and designs wonderful toys and equipment to help children living with a brain condition to learn and play.

The writing slopes are designed to help children who struggle with posture and fine motor skills. They also aid children with writing, drawing and hand control. Ross Head, Product Design Manager at the Cerebra Innovation Centre explains;

‘The slopes include a lovely wipe-clean surface for children to experiment with mark making, their own set of pens and a clever lid-free pen store to remove the challenge of removing lids for some children. We are so lucky to be able to do what we do and funding like this is so important to allow us to push boundaries and provide vital equipment that looks beautiful.’

At the start of 2022, the Cerebra Innovation Centre highlighted that they anticipated the need for an additional 20 writing slopes for children. Cerebra Fundraising Manager, James Hay then worked with the grants team at the Morrisons Foundation, who were delighted to support this project. David Scott, Morrisons Foundation Trustee said:

‘Cerebra is dedicated to helping families who have a child with a brain condition to discover a better life together, that’s why I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide this support. The specialised writing slopes will make a huge positive impact on children with sensory and mobility issues, providing a great opportunity to develop their skills, which will last a lifetime.’

Grants like this are a vital source of funding for Cerebra so that they are able to continue to support children living with a brain condition and their families who face challenges every day. The Cerebra Innovation Centre is one of the many support services provided by the charity that so many families have come to rely on. James Hay adds;

‘Thank you so much to the Morrisons Foundation for this generous grant! We are over the moon as we know how much this project will change young lives. These are particularly challenging times for charities and so this funding from Morrisons for the creation of 20 writing slopes is warmly welcomed.’

You can find out more about Cerebra and how they help children and families by visiting www.cerebra.org.uk 

Writing Slope
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White Ribbon campaign supported by Carmarthenshire County Council

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL says it is again showing its support for the White Ribbon campaign, which takes place on Friday, November 25 and is followed by 16 Days of Action.

White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls.

While domestic abuse affects both sexes, the largest number of violent incidents involve men against women. But ultimately male violence against women is everyone’s issue, not just women’s.

The council was awarded White Ribbon UK accredited status for the first time in 2018 and is continuing to work to tackle such violence.

White Ribbon flags will be flying at County Hall in Carmarthen and town halls in Llanelli and Ammanford on White Ribbon Day (Friday, November 25). County Hall will also be lit up on the evening to show support.

The council is working alongside partners to raise awareness of the campaign across the county – from sports clubs, joint visits with the Police to licensed premises, our leisure centres and libraries to bus stations.

With this year’s White Ribbon Day falling on the same week as the start of the FIFA men’s World Cup, there has never been a better time to come together and start playing as a team to end violence against women and girls.

The council will be raising awareness of the campaign at special events including a Walking Football session at Amman Valley Leisure Centre on November 30 and at “An Evening with Sam Warburton” at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen on White Ribbon Day (November 25).

Cabinet Member responsible for Community Safety, Cllr Philip Hughes, said: “It’s vital that we raise more awareness about domestic abuse so that anyone affected can get help and support from one of our local services.”

Support locally can be found at: Threshold (Llanelli) on 01554 752 422 or www.threshold-das.org.uk; Calan DVS (Ammanford) on 01269 597 474 or www.calandvs.org.uk; Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service on 01267 238 410 or www.carmdas.org and Goleudy on 0300 123 2996 or www.goleudyvictimandwitnessservice.org.uk or call the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 or visit https://gov.wales/live-fear-free for free advice and support 24/7

For more information on the White Ribbon campaign visit www.whiteribbon.org.uk

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