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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

Have you seen missing Catherine?

Police are appealing for information to help find a woman who was reported missing from Wakefield.

Credit: West Yorkshire Police

Catherine also known as 'Katie' was last seen leaving Pinderfields hospital in Wakefield at 9:15pm on 30th March. Her family have not had any contact with her since her disappearance.

She is described as 5ft 6in with medium build and blonde shoulder length hair, brown eyes and a scar near her left eye.

If you have any information, you can contact West Yorkshire Police on 101.

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Thieves target war medals in Wakefield property

West Yorkshire Police are appealing for information after medals was stolen from a property in Wakefield.

Credit: West Yorkshire Police

Police say the incident happened between 11th and 12th March in the Calder Grove area of Wakefield.

Four medals were stolen during the burglary and the 69-year-old victim's engagement ring. One of the medals was the African Star, which has an 8th army bar across it.

The medals were of great sentimental value to the victim as well as her engagement ring and are completely irreplaceable. They are distinctive items and would stand out if they were being offered for sale.

– Det Constable Helen Robinson, Wakefield CID

Teddy lost in Argentina flown 4,600 miles home to be reunited with family

A family from Wakefield have been reunited with a teddy which was lost in Argentina.

Bear handed back to eight-month old son Woody following 4,600 mile flight from Argentina Credit: British Airways

The Cranmer family launched an appeal on social media to find the bear which had been lost during a holiday to the capital, Buenos Aires.

The prized-bear had been in the family for 30 years originally belonging to dad Scott and then passed onto son Woody.

Within days of the appeal, the British Airways team based in Argentina managed to locate the bear and fly him home to the UK.

He has had a great adventure and we’re so happy he’s finally landed back home. We’ll have a great book to show Woody when he’s older. I’d just like to thank everyone for their help in getting him home. Everyone has been superb.

– Scott Cranwell, Father
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