Heritage Crime, Caerleon

We are investigating a number of incidents of Heritage Crime at Caerleon's Roman remains.

Gwent Police's Rural Crime and Neighbourhood Policing Teams have been working with CADW (the Welsh Government's historic environment service) and the custodians of the Amphitheatre and Roman ruins, following reports of damage to these ancient monuments.

There has been a number of incidents this year in which stones have been removed from walls and thrown around, primarily outside of opening hours following unlawful entry to sites. This damages the structure and its underlying archaeology.

Pc Mat Andrews, Gwent Police's lead on heritage crime, said: "On the face of it, this damage may appear minor, but given the historic importance of these sites the cost of these acts is unmeasurable.

"The cumulative impact of such minor incidents over a prolonged period of time may have catastrophic consequences. Ancient monuments such as this are our link to our rich history and should be a source of pride."

Heritage crime is defined as any offence which harms the value of English and Welsh heritage assets and their environments, for this and future generations, and includes all offences involving cultural property.

Courts can issue more severe penalties to anyone committing offences at heritage sites, as the location is considered an aggravating factor in such incidents.

Pc Andrews added: "Along with causing damage, on a number of occasions suspects have been abusive and threatening to the custodians of these sites when challenged regarding their presence and behaviour. This is unacceptable and we are working hard to identify those responsible so we can take robust action."  

We would urge anybody who has information regarding these incidents to contact Gwent Police on 101, quoting reference 192 of 7/5/19. You can also direct message us on Facebook or Twitter, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.