Inspector Steve Drayton

Your latest Blog from your local Inspector, Steve Drayton, who covers the Blackwood and Risca areas

Welcome to my December blog and an update on the work undertaken by the team in the last month and plans for festive season.

To start I want to share with you an email of thanks received from a member of the public about PC Ash Walters. Sometimes, policing is not all about arrests, but supporting people at their most difficult times….

“Myself and son were so impressed with the conduct of PC Ashley Walters that we felt we should write into Gwent Police and ask that you pass on our thanks and let him know that he is an excellent ambassador for Gwent Police Force. We met PC Walters after we had made an appointment at Blackwood Police Station to report an issue and gain some advice. It was comforting to know that we were taken seriously and there were options available. We would like to say a big thank you to PC Walters for his calm manner, listening to our complaints, his integrity, impartiality and explaining the options that were available to us.”

This time of year we have an increased focus on road safety as, sadly, we see a rise in drink driving offences. The team are supporting the Fatal 5 operation with Road Safety Wales. Officers will be out and about, targeting drink and drug drivers and other driving offences, please don’t take risks.

Last week saw the team reacting to information received from the community and the discovery of a cannabis factory in Pantside. The initial estimate of value of drugs seized is over £100,000. Drugs that now won’t reach the streets of the valleys. This investigation is still ongoing, but a great example of the community working with us to tackle organised criminality. Please keep reporting suspicious incidents, if not to the Police, then to Crimestoppers on 0800555111.

Plans are in place through the Safer Caerphilly Partnership to keep you safe if out and about during the festive season in our towns. There will be extra patrols with officers who will be joined by Gwent Police Specials and Street Pastors to keep you safe in the festive season. We have already started visiting pubs in the area, ensuring you and your families will be kept safe when socialising.

In November, we saw an offender for Domestic Violence offences sentenced to 16 months in prison and given a restraining order. Notably, one of the offences was for the new offence of Coercive and Controlling Behaviour. This is the unseen work of the team whose focus has to be on protecting the most vulnerable people in our community from harm.

We also saw the sentencing of three men from Risca who assaulted a defenceless man in May this year, assaulting him with a bottle and kicking him to the head. Two were sentenced to over 12 months and the 3rd for over two years. The result of complex investigation and a reminder from the courts that this behaviour is unacceptable.

The Blackwood and Risca Crime Panel, made up of community volunteers, is continuing to meet and provide support to the team offering crime prevention advice. You may have seen them out and about in the supermarkets. You can find details of the team here: @BR_CPP on Twitter or contact one of my team for more information. They are always looking for new volunteers.

Our community engagement and working with our young people is crucial. The work with Heddlu Bach is going from strength to strength and 3 of our local schools are now involved. This is a great engagement opportunity for young people and recently the pupils from Waunfawr Primary enjoyed a trip to the station and meeting the dog section.

Next month I will ask one of my response officers to write the blog, someone who is working over Christmas and the New Year so you can see the work they are involved with.

In the meantime, if you wish to join us on patrol you can apply at:

I wish you a healthy and safe Christmas and New Year. 

For daily updates you can follow the teams on Twitter @gpblackwood @gpriscateam 

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

Inspector Steve Drayton