Inspector Phil O'Connell

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

The Christmas and New Year period was a busy one for the officers in Torfaen, with my team dealing with offences ranging from road traffic collisions to domestic incidents.

I would like to thank my officers and other members of staff for their hard work during the festive period, but also for their dedication to keeping the borough safe for the past year.

Christmas may be over for another 12 months, but with the new year comes the opportunity for members of the public to shape our policing priorities with ‘Your Voice’.

The aim of ‘Your Voice’ is to allow people from communities across Torfaen to select from a list of priorities what we should focus on for the next six months.

The voting process will be open until Monday 27 January and is available across our Gwent Police Facebook page as well as our Cwmbran and Pontypool Twitter accounts. 

During the two week period, the Torfaen Neighbourhood Policing Team will also be carrying out local surgeries and events. This will provide the opportunity for those of you not on social media to have your say.

Following last summer’s Your Voice voting process, officers in the borough have focussed on the following priorities and here is a summary of what we have achieved:

  • Street drug dealing and youth anti-social behaviour in Lion Street and Broad Street, Blaenavon:

In Blaenavon, we have worked with the borough and town councils and third sector agencies to tackle the issues highlighted by Your Voice.

Our co-ordinated approach has involved The Hwb, in a bid to provide Blaenavon’s younger residents a place to socialise while also learning new skills and contributing to the community.

Officers have also carried out proactive stop and search operations for drugs and issued warrants in Blaenavon when required.

As a result of this tactic, Christopher Vaughan from Giles Road, Blaenavon was sentenced to 34 months earlier in the year for supplying controlled drugs.

  • Street drug dealing and vehicle anti-social behaviour in New Road, New Inn and at New Panteg Rugby Club:

New Panteg Rugby Club and the immediate vicinity were highlighted as a concern for drug dealing, littering and also anti-social vehicular use.

A co-ordinated approach between all partner agencies has meant that the club have reported a huge decrease in drug paraphernalia being located in the area.

The work of the neighbourhood team and community speed watch has meant that the data gathered from local speed watches has been provided to the regional ‘GoSafe’ team in order to provide assistance in the area. 

This continues to be monitored by the local team to ensure it does not become a concern again.

  • Street drug dealing and youth anti-social behaviour in Northville, Cwmbran:
  • Street drug dealing and youth anti-social behaviour in North Walk, Cwmbran:

There is a lot of great work taking place in the community, particularly around Northville and the underpass, and this really shows the benefit of collaborative working.

The Northville Community Group has successfully applied for funding to redesign the underpass, aiming to create a more pleasant cut-through from residential areas to the town centre.

Their work, with the helpful support of the Pontnewydd councillors from the borough council, is really paying dividends and highlights how community action can achieve some fantastic results.

We always welcome help from the community in order to find potential solutions to issues across Torfaen, as including different views can be beneficial when it comes to problem-solving.

For daily updates, follow my teams on Twitter @gpcwmbran @gppontypool

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

Inspector Phil O'Connell