Inspector Damian Sowrey

Your latest blog from your local Inspector, Damian Sowrey who covers Abergavenny, Monmouth and Usk

Hello and welcome to February’s blog.

As I write this on a sunlit and unseasonably warm February afternoon, I find myself reflecting upon how wonderful it is to live and work in such a beautiful place as Monmouthshire. We are blessed with a fabulous rural landscape replete with dark brooding hills and wide lush valleys painted in infinite shades of green. We have wide rolling rivers and you are never very far away from a fantastic walk or two. It is a truly wonderful place to be. However, even a seemingly idyllic rural location like ours can be affected by crime and anti-social behaviour – issues that many people associate with large towns and cities.

I have had a number of conversations this month about crime in general, and in the Abergavenny area in particular. You may have read that there have been a number of burglaries to commercial properties in and around Abergavenny, and some people have suggested to me that this is a direct result of the closure of the police station. I wanted to take this opportunity to put the record straight, because it does seem that there are those who think that police stations are full of officers who are just waiting for calls to come in.

Our officers patrol a wide geographic area, and they are supported in their work by hardworking staff who do their very best to make sure that we deliver the best possible service to you, the equally hard working tax payer. Unless there is a specific reason for a police officer to be in a police station, they will be out and about on patrol, responding to calls and dealing with crime enquiries, amongst many other commitments. The closure of Abergavenny police station has made little difference to the number of officers available and they are still patrolling in the area. The reality, however, is that they cannot be everywhere at once and crime does sometimes take place. When this happens, I look at where the problems are occurring and I ensure that we try to detect the offences that have already been committed and prevent any more from happening. I do this by briefing our staff on who the suspects may be, by increasing the level of patrol activity in a particular area and by encouraging our staff to use their powers, such as stop and search, in a positive way.

In the last week, police officers have increased their patrols in Abergavenny, often working well after their shift should have ended. We have made a number of arrests in relation to these offences and these are being investigated with a view to prosecuting the suspects. We are also actively looking for an individual at the moment who is doing his very best to avoid us, so please be assured that we are working hard to deal with these issues. I hope to be able to update you with progress in my next blog.

On a separate, yet linked subject, I had the great pleasure earlier in the week of attending Coleford Police station in Gloucestershire to participate in a tri-force rural crime event. This event was put together by myself and my counterparts in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire in recognition of the fact that we have very similar counties, and we suffer many of the same issues. We even share many of the same criminals, who don’t recognise our borders. We have pledged to work more closely with each other on rural crime issues, such as wildlife crime and rural theft and burglary. We will do this by sharing information and intelligence and participating in joint operations, both with our police colleagues and other agencies as well. I recognise the significant personal and economic impact that rural and business crime can have, and we want to work together to stamp it out. If you have any information about this, or any other type of crime then I encourage you to get in touch and let us know.

That’s it for now. Until next time.


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