Gwent Police Inspector, Andy O'Keefe is warning residents in the Rhymney area that he will not be tolerating the behaviour that took place yesterday evening and today in the Phillipstown area after his officers and South Wales Fire Service responded to five incidents, involving: arson, criminal damage and hate crime.
During the emergency call outs, a Gwent Police Officer was injured when a stone was thrown, causing minor injuries. To add to this, the South Wales Fire Engine appliance was also damaged.
Inspector Andy O'Keefe said: "During our response, debris and stones were hurled at both Gwent Officers and the South Wales Fire Service Crew - by who we believe were youths from the area. This sort of behaviour illustrates complete disrespect to the people who work around the clock, often putting their own lives at risk, to keep us safe in our communities.
"This is disappointing to say the least. These sorts of incidents can intimidate our most vulnerable members of our communities and it is our job to respond to these incidents. Some of the offences included, arson, shouting racial abuse and criminal damage - which if a person is arrested and charged can expect to incur a criminal record - if found guilty in court, some of these crimes can also carry prison sentences.
"The incidents that were initially reported include: a fire on Jones Street (Log: 380 11/01/19), stones being thrown at an address in Jones Street (Log 453 11/01/19), a ramp set on fire (Log 470 12/01/19), a report of hate crime at an address in Jones Street (Log 161 12/01/19) and a report of criminal damage on Penrhyn Terrace where fence panels were being damaged (183 12/01/19).
"I will now ensure these crimes are investigated and that every effort will be made to identify those responsible for putting fire crews and our officers and the public's safety in jeopardy are held to account. An increased police presence will now be in place in the area and I'm asking any residents with any information on the identity of these people to please contact Gwent Police."
"Vehicles are vital to the daily work carried out by the emergency services and the loss of just one vehicle can have a serious impact on the way in which emergencies are dealt with. This was a mindless and frustrating crime that will ultimately have consequences and our communities will suffer. I hope the residents of Rhymney will agree that this is not acceptable and support my team, our officers and our partners in ensuring these people are identified."
Anyone with any information or anyone who may have witnessed the incident is urged to contact Gwent Police on 101 or Direct Message us on Facebook or Twitter, quoting the log number above.