Inspector Phil O'Connell

Your latest blog from your local Inspector, Phil O'Connell, who covers the Cwmbran and Pontypool area.

I would like to begin with a big thank you to everyone who has taken part in the ‘Your Voice’ survey. 

The aim of ‘Your Voice’ is to give the public the opportunity to influence our policing priorities for the next six months.

The response of more than 600 people is wonderful. As the inspector for Torfaen, this feedback is appreciated. As a neighbourhood team, we are really excited to be able to take part in this process.

Together with our partners, we will look at the most prevalent issues selected and decide the course of action to tackle these issues. 

While we will be focussing on setting the priorities for ‘Your Voice’ in the coming weeks, my officers and I will continue to work on other keys issues with our partners, such as the security at Cwmbran Shopping to address issues of youth anti-social behaviour and shoplifting.

This month Torfaen sees the launch of the Youth Police Panel.  As an organisation we welcome the assistance and scrutiny of members of the public as an opportunity to improve our own performance. 

It is important that we include the younger members of our community in these discussions as we need to ensure that their voice is heard on the issues they deem to be a priority. 

This will be an exciting opportunity for the youth of Torfaen to make a difference in their borough, and I would encourage those interested to get involved.

We have continued our proactive targeting of suspected drug dealers in Torfaen this month, as part of our approach to ensure there is no safe space for these people to operate in the borough.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that drug dealing affects our communities in a multitude of different ways.

The intelligence we receive from the community is most valuable and often helps officers and the force with our drug warrants.

Over the coming months, all Torfaen officers will be receiving additional training to understand the complex relationship between victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse. 

We deal with on average five domestic incidents every day in Torfaen.

Having a better understanding of the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator will assist officers in making the right decision early on in an investigation, and will also better protect people from further harm and bring offenders to justice. 

The training will look into the psychology behind why some survivors of abuse are occasionally reluctant to support prosecution and better recognise and understand the inherent risks associated with domestic violence. 

This investment by Gwent Police shows the importance we place on keeping vulnerable people safe.  We have already made massive improvements in this area of safeguarding and continue to look at improving and this training is testament to our passion to improve. 

Finally, we offer the chance for residents to talk to us, either at a station or other community hub, about any policing concern through our community surgeries across Torfaen.

My officers and I would prefer to spend 20 minutes providing some advice to a member of the public on a particular issue, especially if it is affecting someone’s wellbeing, rather than letting it build into a much larger problem.

I would like to extend this invitation to all of the elected councillors across Torfaen and I hope to meet many of them later in the month. 

This is something I look forward to as an opportunity to get community feedback on our activity and provide the opportunity to raise any issues that are apparent in the respective ward areas. 

For daily updates, follow my teams on Twitter: Cwmbran Officers ‘@gpcwmbran’ and Pontypool Officers ‘@gptorfaen’.

You can also email me any policing issues in your community philip.O'[email protected].

Inspector Phil O'Connell