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Universal Credit to become available across Yorkshire from today

The government's new Universal Credit benefit will be available across Yorkshire from today, when the last four jobcentres in West Yorkshire switch over to the new system.

Credit: Press Association

Centres in Hemsworth, Pontefract, Castleford and Wakefield will now be able to provide the means-tested benefit which merges tax credits with other benefits.

"Today marks a real milestone – with Universal Credit now available across Yorkshire.

"Universal Credit allows people to keep more of what they earn and helps them to move into work faster – giving them the confidence, self-esteem, and security that a job and a pay-packet bring. In Yorkshire, 4.500 people on Universal Credit have now moved into work benefitting from the better work incentives that the new service offers."

– David Freud, Welfare Reform Minister

The rollout of Universal Credit has reached 98% of jobcentres around the UK and the government is hoping it will be available everywhere by the end of this month.

The government says more than 400,000 people have made a claim to Universal Credit with 10,000 new claims every week.

Man assaulted and robbed of phone in Castleford

Editorial image Credit: PA

Police are appealing for witnesses following a reported robbery in Castleford.

Officers would like to speak to anyone who has information about the offence which is reported to have taken place early yesterday evening in Queen’s Park.

It occurred after the victim, a 21-year-old man, was approached by another male while walking in the park.

The suspect asked for a cigarette and then threatened the victim who was trying to walk away.

He then assaulted the victim and made off with his mobile phone.

The suspect is described as a white male aged 28-34, and of medium build. He was wearing black hoody and had a local accent.

We are conducting enquiries into this reported incident and PCSO's will be present in the park on Thursday evening. I would like to speak to anyone who may have seen what happened, seen a man fitting the suspect's description running from the park, or have any information. Anyone who can assist should contact Wakefield CID on 101 referencing crime number 1205 of April 6. Information can also be given anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

– Detective Inspector Tim Hunt of Wakefield CID

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Funeral of family killed in Allerton Bywater to take place

The funeral of a mother and her two children who were killed earlier this month will take place later today.

Geraldine Newman and her two children Credit: Family Photos

Geraldine Newman and her two children Shannon, and Shane were murdered at their home in Allerton Bywater. The body of her estranged husband Paul Newman was found two days later.

The service is near her parents' home in Wales.

Police seize 'tens of thousands of pounds worth' of Class A drugs in Castleford

Police have seized tens of thousands of pounds worth of suspected Class A drugs in Castleford.

Officers made the initial discovery after stopping a van on Westfields in Castleford at about 2pm yesterday.

A substantial quantity of suspected drugs was found in the van and the 58-year-old male driver was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a class A drug.

Police searched a house on Westfields a short time later and discovered further quantities of suspected Class B drugs and cash in the property.

Following further enquiries officers arrested a 45 year Castleford woman and a 45-year-old Leeds man, also on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a class A drugs.

All three have now been bailed pending continuing enquiries.

We are continuing enquiries today after officers recovered significant amounts of what are suspected to be Class A drugs from a van and a house in the Westfields area of Castleford, following an intelligence led operation.

Taking drugs off our streets continues to be a priority for Wakefield CID and I would ask anyone who has information about drugs supply in Castleford or elsewhere in the Wakefield District to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Your call will be anonymous and I can promise you police will act on information we receive from the independent charity.

– Detective Inspector David Rogerson

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Appeal after fatal Christmas Day collision

West Yorkshire Police are appealing for witnesses following a fatal road traffic collision on Christmas Day in Townville at Castleford.

They would like to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident which took place at about 4.55pm yesterday afternoon on Sheepwalk Lane.

The collision took place after a Vauxhall Vivaro van and a Peugeot Tweet scooter were in collision on the road. The Vivaro had been travelling from Ferrybridge towards Castleford and the Peugeot had been travelling from Castleford to Ferrybridge.

The rider of the Peugeot, a 32-year-old North Yorkshire man, suffered severe injuries from which he died.

"Investigations are ongoing into this tragic incident within the Wakefield District and we are appealing for witnesses.

"I would like to speak to anyone who saw the collision or the manner in which either vehicle was being driven in the moments leading up to it.

"Information can be given to the Major Collision and Enquiry Team via 101."

– PS Carl Quinn, Major Collision Enquiry Team

A man from the Vauxhall Vivaro was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and driving over the prescribed limit. He has been released on police bail whilst enquiries continue.

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