Welcome to this month’s blog. Since arriving in post, I have focussed heavily on many of the priorities highlighted within our communities and focussed the Monmouthshire teams to specifically target the issues that matter to you. My officers have produced some excellent results and have been faced with some extremely challenging situations where they have detected a number of crimes and prevented the ongoing supply and distribution of illegal drugs.
Sgt Nigel Callard has co-ordinated a series of high profile warrants in the Chepstow and Caldicot areas which have resulted in a number of prolific offenders, who have links to organised crimes, arrested. His team has seized a large amount of cash, illegal drugs and related paraphernalia preventing the illegal supply and distribution in our communities. The local team have worked with partners and legal teams to pursue the offenders to prevent them reorganising their activities in our area by successfully enforcing a closure order relating to the premises and making two keys arrests which are currently linked to the ongoing criminal investigation.
Similarly, Sgt James, PC Butt and ward manager PC Morgan, continued with this approach in the north end and coordinated a series of warrants in the Abergavenny area which have again resulted in cash and illegal drugs being seized. Again, the value of working closely with our partners to tackle the wider problems with crime has resulted in a successful series of closure orders for a number of premises. Suspects connected with this case have been interviewed and further enquiries are still taking place.
Over recent weeks the Monmouthshire areas have seen a steady increase in burglaries that have affected some of you. PC Higbey, PC Burbidge and PC Green arrested a 38 year old man from the Newport area on suspicion of burglary - he is currently still under investigation. We also seized a number of items that have been used to gain entry to a number of properties. Their efforts have prevented this crime series continuing and were the result of their continued focus and determination to stop our communities being affected by this type of crime.
Our staff have responded to many calls for our most vulnerable in our communities over the last month, officers have had intensive training to deal with community members who are affected by mental health and have recently put their training into action preventing the loss of life to those who were in distress. Sgt Damian Waite highlighted the work of his officers recently in the Chepstow area, where a suicidal male was located trying to jump off a bridge. The quick thinking of officers created space and enough time to divert him so they could pull him from the edge of the bridge, ultimately saving his life.
I was really pleased to go out on patrol with CSO Lauren Parker and local housing representatives in the Llanfoist areas to address some of the concerns local community members have regarding Anti Social Behaviour. During patrol I met a number of residents who have committed their efforts to making their areas a strong community, building trust and providing opportunities to people who live in the area. Local partners, Police and communities work extremely hard to prevent Anti Social Behaviour - I was left with a great sense of satisfaction that we were all working together to ensure we could achieve the best possible outcome for everyone who lives, works or visits our community.
This month I have attended a number of community meetings in Chepstow and Abergavenny, listening to the views, issues and observations about their areas. I was really pleased to be invited to Chepstow Town Council and Llantilio Pertholey where I met key community leaders who were fully integrated into making their areas safer. I received a number of challenging questions about the policing service in Monmouthshire and some of the issues that were of concern to them. I was honoured to be accompanied by the Gwent Police Commissioner in Chepstow who provided a great insight to members about the positive changes in Policing as we move into the future.
This week I attended the first Tri Force meeting in Ledbury with Inspector James Ashton (West Mercia) and Inspector Simon Hodgetts (Gloucester). It is essential we recognise some of the challenges we collectively face with County Line issues and organised crime groups. We have key transport links that connect all of our forces and this was a significant discussion point. We are already building upon the existing foundations of cross border policing and will continue to deliver operational activities combining resources from all three forces to pursue, prevent, protect and prepare ourselves to stop organised crime groups.
Finally, I have now mapped out the key locations within Monmouthshire that are affected by irresponsible drivers who at times cause distress and upset because of the way they use their vehicle. I have started the early plans for a tactical approach to deal with these issues and continue to deliver a policing service to communities who are continually concerned about the safety of their roads. I will be starting with our schools next week. CSO Selina Hayward and School Liaison officer Cath Gardener Hughes have worked extremely hard to educate parents about the dangers of speeding, irresponsible parking and using seat belts. I will be at local school judging a poster competition which focussed on seat belts and promoting safer driving on our roads.
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.