Inspector Micah Hassell

Your latest blog from your local Inspector, Micah Hassell who covers Abergavenny, Monmouth and Usk

I'd like to start my blog this month to mention the impact the recent storms have brought us in Monmouthshire. Our communities within Monmouthshire have shown extraordinary resilience to cope with the extensive bad weather and flooding. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of you for your co-operation, willingness  and compassion where residents have provided shelter, food and clothing for those who have displaced.  

I want to reassure everyone that Gwent Police and all our partners across all sectors have worked extremely hard to protect and care for those who have been affected by the disruption and will continue to do so throughout this difficult time. If you’d like more advice about flooding, please visit the Natural Resources Wales website

The start of the New Year has been extremely busy with a huge amount of proactive work by my teams throughout Monmouthshire. 

In Monmouth, Community Support Officer Joe Facchiano has been working tirelessly to raise funds for the Monmouth Off Street Project and I’m pleased to say a community funding application was successful in securing over £8000 to support the ongoing regeneration of existing public spaces such as skate parks and public amenities. I’m sure you all agree that this is a great project, but will always need support from communities and partners alike. If you want to know more, please contact CSO Facchiano - well done Joe!

Many of our young people in the community have had bikes for Christmas, however unfortunately, we have seen a slight increase in pedal cycle theft throughout January. Many of the stolen bikes have been left unattended in parks and open spaces without any security.  

Community Support Officer Sara Mason has been carrying out some excellent work to ensure we take every opportunity to trace the owner of bikes we have recovered and she has started a new initiative called “Bike Track”. 

The scheme involves registering and marking bikes and placing them on a database. This all makes recovery, identity and repatriation far easier in the future if the worst happens and a bike is stolen. Sara will be out in local schools to promote the project so if you’re interested, come along and sign up.  

PC Elliot Morgan has worked alongside DVLA, Speed Enforcement Teams, DVSA and HMRC to focus on making our roads safer in North Monmouthshire.  Over a two day period, 22 fixed penalty tickets were given out for offences linked to seat belts, mobile phone use and defective tyres. Civil enforcement officers issued 37 parking tickets to motorists parked illegally and in dangerous locations. The speed enforcement team also identified 19 drivers who were speeding and two seat belt offences and the offending drivers will be sent notices of intend prosecution.

During the two-day operation, DVLA clamped 27 vehicles for failing to have tax and DVSA examined over 100 vehicles looking specifically for defects that would affect vehicle safety. As a result, 25 immediate prohibitions were given to drivers because of the dangerous state of their vehicles

HMRC identified four vehicles that were using red diesel – totalling three gallons of red diesel - and all motorists paid on the spot fines. 

In the south of Monmouthshire, Police Sergeant Damian Waite coordinated a collaborative week of action involving partners from across a number of agencies including road safety partnerships, South Wales Fire Service and a number of voluntary organisations targeting anti-social use of vehicles, crime reduction patrols and educational seminars.

The Safety camera partnership went to areas in Tintern, St Arvan’s,  Shirenewton and Caldicot where over 200 vehicles were checked and  70 people were prosecuted for speeding offences. During the week, Community Support Officer Joanne Madden went along to Undy Primary school to promote safe parking at school where classes throughout the school designed posters to encourage motorists to park safely during the school day. Well done to all children who took part!

Community Support Officer Hayley Brown co-ordinated a litter picking project with the Heddlu Bach team at Dewstow Primary School. This was a great success and provided a great opportunity clean-up of areas where we have had specific complaints about anti-social behaviour and also raised awareness about keeping our streets clean.

Finally, I am pleased to update you about a number of new additions to our Monmouthshire policing team. In Monmouth, Police Sergeant Lee Smith-Steve has joined our response team and is an experienced officer, bringing with him a wealth of different skills after moving from the force control room.  PS Ashley Price has joined the North Monmouthshire Neighbourhood team. Ashley is an ex Metropolitan Police officer with a CID background and has well rounded skills which he can bring to face the challenges of our area.  

Finally, Police Sergeant Damain Waite has taken over from Police Sergeant Nigel Callard in the Monmouthshire South Neighbourhood team after Nigel’s retirement in December. Damian is an experienced officer and has worked in a number of different roles throughout Gwent.  I’m sure you will join me in wishing out new staff members every success.

The positive comments we receive from the public are very welcoming to hear and I would like to thank you all for your continued support. 

For daily updates, follow my teams on Twitter @gpabergavenny@gpmonmouthusk or email me [email protected]