Welcome to this month’s blog. Although policing is a vital function in our day to day lives, our work and service could not be achieved unless we have the utmost confidence and support from our communities. I have been overwhelmed by all the messages and well-wishes to me and my staff, mentions of good work and praise, information about criminal activity and your desire to ensure we continue to make our area the best place to live work and visit.
It has been a pleasure to receive updates on the priorities you feel need police attention throughout the Monmouthshire area as part of the ‘Your Voice’ process. My neighbourhood teams are eagerly putting together plans and structured patrols to ensure we provide the best possible service, in coordination with our partners and community groups. Some of the areas raised are already being continually addressed and worked through, to ensure we provide support and reassurance to you all.
Regarding concerns over illegal drugs, I was extremely pleased to hear from Sergeant Nigel Callard in the Chepstow area who has worked long hours with his team. After responding to key intelligence from concerned community members, officers made an excellent search and arrest for drug related offences with a large seizure of cannabis. Thank you for your help.
In the Abergavenny area, concerned members of public were quick to contact police after they witnessed a male in possession of what they believed to be a firearm. I would like you all to know that instances such as these are rare, but you should be reassured that we have specialist teams on hand 24 hours a day to respond urgently to these types of incidents. Although the item was not dangerous or classified as a firearm, the community was right to contact police, so we could address the immediate concerns. I would like to pay tribute to the Tactical Firearms Commander, Chief Inspector Taylor, who coordinated the police response, and to the officers who make sure our communities are safe when incidents such as these happen.
On a lighter note, I was honoured to be the Bronze Commander for the Royal visit of HRH Prince Charles to the Llanover area at the beginning of the month. His visit gave Gwent Police the opportunity to showcase our coordinated response, bringing together specialist teams from all over the country and including our very own local neighbourhood officers. Everyone worked extremely hard to ensure the public was able to witness a very special day. It was a great chance for me to stand alongside many friends and families who had gone that extra mile to put together a number of events in preparation for the visit. Although it was extremely hot, everyone had a great day. I would like to personally thank all of you who attended and supported the day to make it such a success.
Many of you, throughout the Monmouthshire area, have raised the issue of speeding motorcycles in our towns and villages. I fully understand all of your views and concerns, especially having worked in a previous role as a Senior Investigating Officer overseeing the investigation of Serious and Fatal Road Collisions throughout the Gwent area and having to experience the carnage and huge loss families face as a direct result of road collisions. I was pleased to meet with residents from the Shirenewton area last week who have worked tirelessly for several years with police and relevant partners to tackle this issue. I agree that more can be done to combat this problem and that is why I have tasked my Crime and Disorder Reduction Officers to look into this matter and provide me with a full overview of the problem so we can move forward. I will then ensure that we do what we can to address your concerns and provide the best possible service.
Finally, I have been humbled to see the community initiatives in place throughout the Monmouthshire area. I have attended a number of community-based projects and schools who have applied for funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner to finance various schemes and services which would maintain vital support links with our most vulnerable. The schemes range from providing shelter, food, clothing, education and counselling, to protecting young people, identifying and delivering positive pathways and ensuring people affected by poverty or crime are given the best possible care. What has been overwhelming to see is the desire you all have to make things work, providing compassion and care to all so everyone has a chance to integrate into our diverse communities. Thank you all for your hard work, support and dedication – it really makes a difference.
That is about it for now, but please remember if you want to report a non-emergency then you should call 101 and if you want to provide any information about a crime you can contact us directly at [email protected] . Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. This is a completely anonymous service.