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Pontypool Community Support Officers making a stand against anti-social behaviour

Published: Monday, 25 February 2013

Pontypool Community Support Officers are tackling anti-social behaviour at Pontypool Active Living Centre head on and now have a Gwent Police Stand in the foyer of the building.

Over the last six months, centre staff and members of the public have been reporting issues regarding teenagers causing trouble in the café and around the entrance to the centre. Problems such as shouting, swearing, underage drinking, drug taking and criminal damage have also been reported in the rugby stand and park. 

Centre staff remove the offenders from the building and Community Support Officers patrol the area including the park however the problems return when the Officers leave.

Issues have historically been worse on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons and evenings. The three part time Community Support Officers will use the stand as a base from 4pm until centre closing time and will patrol the park and rugby stand when the centre is closed.

The Gwent Police stand is next to the café and reception to enable officers to see if anyone is causing any trouble and will be a base for officers to talk to members of the public who have concerns. 

Any youths found underage drinking will have their alcohol seized and they will be referred to an anti-social behaviour panel at Pontypool Police Station for further action, which could include an ASBO being issued. Offenders could also face a fine or be arrested and receive a criminal record. 

Welsh Assembly Government funded Community Support Officer Laura Lewis explained, ‘The Active Living Centre and Pontypool Park is a beautiful area which should be a safe and enjoyable place to visit for all the family.

‘We won’t tolerate staff and visitors being intimidated and anyone looking to come to the area to cause anti-social behaviour or commit crime will be dealt with.’

Inspector Micah Hassell who’s responsible for Neighbourhood Policing in Pontypool added, ‘We have worked extremely hard to drive down Anti Social Behaviour within the centre and the surrounding park. 

‘The formulation of the Police information point will provide reassurance to both staff and members of public. We are always looking for new ways to work with our partners. This is an excellent example of how we have combined our efforts to make sure public confidence is at the heart of everything we do. 

‘The community officers who fulfil the part time role have focussed their efforts to reduce Anti Social behaviour. We have experienced positive feedback with some excellent results. With continued support we can continue to reduce Anti Social behaviour and ensure our communities are safe.’

Cllr Lewis Jones, Deputy Leader of Torfaen council, said; ‘Pontypool Active Living Centre and Pontypool Park are well used facilities and are valued by the vast majority of Torfaen residents.

‘Unfortunately a small minority continue to cause problems at these sites and we are working closely with Gwent Police to resolve these issues. Allowing Gwent Police to have a base here means they can respond far quicker to reported problems. 

‘Residents are also able to talk to PCSO officers when they are based at the leisure centre and this has proved to be very popular with residents. We will continue to work with Gwent Police to further improve and protect these areas.’

If you would like to contact Pontypool Neighbourhood Team please call 01495 232450 or visit our website www.gwent.police.uk for more information about surgery dates.