Sergeant Matt Briggs

Your latest guest Blog from your local Sergeant, Matt Briggs, who covers the Ebbw Vale and Tredegar area

Good day to you all.

For those that don’t know be, I’m Sergeant Matt Briggs and for this month’s instalment of the Blaenau Gwent blog, I’ll be the guest writing on behalf of Inspector Amanda Thomas.

As the Neighbourhood Sergeant of Neighbourhood Policing in Blaenau Gwent I would firstly like to tell you a little bit about myself.  I am responsible for neighbourhood policing in Brynmawr and Abertillery. I work alongside the other Neighbourhood Sergeant, Christopher Pigeon who is responsible for neighbourhood policing in Tredegar and Ebbw Vale.

I have been a Police Officer for 17 years and worked the majority of my service in Blaenau Gwent, outside there I worked in Bargoed covering the Caerphilly valley.  My career path has predominantly been on the frontline and I have been involved predominantly in partnership working. I have been a Sergeant since 2011, working in departments such as Neighbourhood Support Teams, Partnership and Neighbourhood Policing.

I thoroughly enjoy my role working for you and helping to ensure that we keep our communities safe here in Blaenau Gwent.  As a local poling team, we have discussed local issues affecting members of the public such as parking and speeding and those matters that place the most demand on the officers covering Blaenau Gwent.   

During the past month the neighbourhood teams have carried out a lot of work in relation to parking, speeding and also joint working with the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS). Ebbw Vale Neighbourhood Team have been working hard in tackling the parking issues in Lime Avenue in Ebbw vale, in the vicinity of the leisure centre. This issue affects a lot of people using that area including the schools, there is a safety issue here for both pedestrians, customers and motorists. 

In the last month the team have issued in excess of 100 parking tickets. This will not always solve the issue but will hopefully be a deterrent in the issues being caused. This will go a long way in making it a safer area. Rest assured, parking issues are monitored daily by all the neighbourhood teams who have the same sort of issues in their own respective areas. Educating motorists is always a priority and workings jointly with other partners are also needed to tackle this issue.

We have dedicated resources each Sunday to monitor and tackle off-road bikes. This will include: making contact with the local people affected by this problem, gathering information and intelligence and being a visible deterrent. We regularly publicise our work to show what work we do (especially on our local Twitter pages), this will continue throughout the year. We have also teamed up with SWFRS and carried out joint patrols from the end of March to monitor and tackle deliberate fires.

Over the summer holidays we usually see an increase in youth related disorder. We know our hot spot areas and as a neighbourhood team we are keen to tackle and plan ahead. I have met with the local youth lead for Blaenau Gwent who organises diversionary options for the youths in Blaenau Gwent, especially in those areas affected. This work is ongoing and we will hopefully have some key diversionary events in those affected areas. 

Alongside all of this work, we always patrol those areas and will positively deal with any youth offenders committing crime or anti-social behaviour. We hold a 6 weekly ASB case management group involving partners to look at long term solutions in dealing with the main perpetrators of ASB.  This behaviour will not be tolerated; we have increased patrols at this location and will be working with partners to tackle this matter.   

Recently, Brynmawr Rugby Club changing was rooms broken into and had copper piping stolen. If you have any information in relation to this, please contact us.

There has been fantastic work from both uniformed officers and CID over the last month where a number of arrests have been made for a number of different offences ranging from serious assaults to theft of diesel and other offences, I can assure you that individuals who are criminally active and causing an impact in Blaenau Gwent will be robustly targeted and dealt with appropriately.

During the Bank Holiday weekend at end of march and beginning of April, an illegal rave was set up and running in a unit on the Rassau Industrial estate - these do become an issue as they are a nuisance to local residents. Gwent Police recognises this and will always try to minimise the disruption safely and positively. The issues can vary from parking, noise nuisance, disorder. Within 24 hours an authorisation was given and the illegal rave was closed down. The teams in Blaenau Gwent are now proactively patrolling the local areas including: industrial estates to use disruption tactics to try and prevent regular reoccurrences.

Over the last six months, the wards in Blaenau Gwent have been concentrating on issues the public raised through the Your Voice process. This is a process which the public vote for the issues that they feel affect their areas the most. The Neighbourhood Teams, Local Authority, local councillors and key partners then try and tackle those issues collectively. Some brief updates for you: 

Some of the wards in Abertillery including Church Street seeing an increase in anti-social behaviour – Since this was identified, we have now seen a reduction in calls to the location. How have we done this? Patrols have been carried out on a regular basis. Other factors that have had a direct effect on the issue is that the main youths responsible have been targeted and dealt with not only for ASB reports in the area but for other issues where they have been identified as being involved. This has meant that the responsible youths have been targeted from various angles and utilising the Youth Offending Services which have ultimately had a positive effect on the problem. For more updates on what your officers have been doing in the area, follow their Twitter accounts as our officers try to update these every day!

Thank you for taking time to read this blog. 

Don’t forget… If you wish to report any information anonymously please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.  

For daily updates, follow my teams on Twitter @gpabertillery @gpbrynmawr @gpebbwvale and @gptredegar

You can also email me any policing issues in your community [email protected] 

Sergeant Matt Briggs