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Milford Haven: Five people arrested for modern day slavery

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A GROUP of five people have been arrested in Milford Haven this morning (May 17) in relation to modern day slavery.

The persons were arrested on gangmaster offences in a joint operation between Dyfed-Powys Police, Pembrokeshire County Council and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.

Today is Dyfed-Powys Police’s Force Day of Action, which has a focus on tackling individuals and groups who take advantage of those who are most vulnerable to exploitation.

A police spokesperson said: “Police in Milford Haven have this morning executed warrants at addresses in Milford Haven linked to modern day slavery. This is a multi-agency operation between Dyfed-Powys Police, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, and Pembrokeshire County Council.

“As a result of the warrants, 5 people have been arrested on suspicion of gangmaster offences, and have been conveyed to police custody.”

Superintendent Ian John, BCU Commander for Pembrokeshire and force lead on today’s activity, said: “Abuse of the most vulnerable more often than not takes place behind closed doors or in dark corners.  Today is about shining a light on those spaces and raising awareness of the tell-tale signs.

“We are running multiagency operations across the force to raise awareness of the signs that might suggest someone is being exploited and, are confronting head on those who are known to be offending.

“If you know about it, report it.  The exploitation of the most vulnerable cannot be tackled by us and our partners alone.  Our communities have a big part to play in this.

“We police the safest towns and villages across England and Wales, but we know that that means little to those who are living with the misery, torment and pain of criminal exploitation day-in day-out.  We need to hear from you if you are suffering.  We also need you to tell us if you suspect that others are being taken advantage of.”

There are a number of signs that can help identify victims of trafficking:

  • Not having a passport or other means of identification
  • They are withdrawn and refuse to talk to, or appear afraid to talk, a person in authority
  • They are unable, or reluctant to give details of accommodation or other personal details
  • They work in various locations
  • Having limited freedom of movement
  • They perform excessive housework chores and rarely leaves the residence
  • They have low or no salary or are permanently deprived of a large part of their earnings by another person
  • Being escorted whenever they go and or return from work and other activities
  • They work long hours or have few/no days off
  • They sleep where they work
  • They have no privacy, sleeping in shared and over-crowded spaces
  • Security measures are in place to keep them at the work place, for example locked doors and windows
  • They are not dressed properly for the work they do, for example they don’t have protective equipment or warm clothes.

If you suspect slavery is happening near you please report it to police on 101, in an emergency always dial 999 or call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 012 1700.

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Tenby: Pizza chain submits appeal after application denied

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DOMINO’S PIZZA has submitted an appeal after their application to open a restaurant in Tenby was declined.

The chain wanted to open a restaurant and takeaway on the South Parade.

However, these plans were declined after concerns were raised by locals within the town, as well as councillors.

It was felt that the location was too close to the war memorial, and locals also worried about littering and illuminated signage.

Now it has been confirmed that the chain has submitted an appeal against the refusal of change of use from a retail outlet (class A1) to a takeaway (class A3).

The appeal hearing will take place in December, at a time and location which is yet to be decided.

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Tenby: Shoppers queue early for opening of new store

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A LARGE queue of people eagerly awaited the opening of a brand new designer shop in Tenby this morning (Sept 22).

Shoppers were up bright and early to queue for the opening of Joules, a designer store which sells clothes, footwear, accessories and more.

The shop opened at 9:30am at its Tudor Square premises.

The first customer was awarded a £200 voucher, the following ten won £100 vouchers, and the ten after that were each awarded £50 vouchers.

The store is also offering 15% off to all customers today.

A Joules spokesperson said: “We’re thrilled to be opening a new Joules story in Tenby. We are really looking forward to bringing our unique personality and style to shoppers over the coming months.”

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Monkton: £30,000 benefits fraudster avoids jail sentence

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A MONKTON woman pretended her marriage ‘to a traveller man’ had lasted only four weeks and went on to swindle almost £30,000 in benefits.

Emma Blackmore was in fact living with husband Wayne in Tenby Court and they even had a child together.

But Blackmore, aged 37, maintained for four years that she was a single woman living alone.

Blackmore, now of Queen Street, Pembroke Dock, admitted six offences of fraud by failing to notify a change in her circumstances.

She was jailed for 12 months, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to complete 20 days of a rehabilitation activity.

Nuhu Gobir, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that Blackmore had made genuine claims for income support and other benefits in early 2012 in her maiden name of Emma Hughes, stating she was single, lived alone and could not work due to ill health.

On June 16, 2012, she married Wayne Blackmore but described him to the Department of Work and Pensions as a ‘traveller man’ and said the marriage was already over.

Blackmore continued to make claims and over a four year period she received £29,569 in benefits she had not been entitled to.

Mr Gobir said an investigation revealed that Wayne Blackmore had made it clear on his Facebook page that he was in a relationship and that the couple had become parents.

And further checks showed that his wages were going into his wife’s bank account and that as far as his employers were concerned he lived at the same address as his wife.

The judge, Mr Recorder Greg Bull, said he noted that Blackmore had maintained that ‘times were hard and money had been a struggle.’

But that was true for many people in Wales, he said.

Blackmore, he added, had defrauded the public purse at a cost to other members of the community but sending her to jail immediately would not achieve anything.

And neither was she in a position to repay any of the money.

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