Bedwas welcomes new inspector to its Caerphilly (south) team
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Inspector Rhys Caddick joins Sergeant Jonathan Pursey and the neighbourhood policing team based at Bedwas Police Station.
The team put measures in place to respond effectively to the short, medium and long-term crime trends affecting residents in Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen, the St James ward, Llanbradach, the St Martin’s ward, the Morgan Jones ward, Penyrheol and the Aber Valley.
Inspector Caddick started his career in policing as a special constable with us back in 2005.
We sat down with him earlier this week to discuss joining the team in Bedwas and his time with Gwent Police.
Hi Rhys. Congratulations on the new role. Can you introduce yourself by telling us about where your policing career began?
Hello. I initially joined Gwent Police in 2005 as a special constable and worked in Newport.
Special constables are volunteer officers with the same powers as their regular colleagues, and this gave me a valuable insight into the role.
I was hooked and, by 2007, joined the force as a regular constable.
Did you join straight out of education, or work elsewhere before then?
My background is in engineering, having studied in college before completing an apprenticeship in aerospace engineering.
At the time I had a close friend who was a police officer and I found listening to his experiences fascinating, which was the catalyst for me later joining Gwent Police.
Can you describe your career with Gwent Police up to now?
My first post as a regular officer was in Abertillery – a great great place to develop as a young officer, with a mixture of both response and neighbourhood policing.
I then returned to my home city of Newport, initially on the response team before joining the Armed Response Unit as a firearms officer. In 2012 this became the Joint Firearms Unit, a collaborative team with colleagues from South Wales Police and Dyfed Powys Police. It was during this period I was promoted to sergeant (2016).
On leaving armed policing last year, I moved to the force control room at our headquarters in Cwmbran.
Here, my role was to review incidents as they were reported to us and ensure we responded appropriately. This involved supporting our team of operators who receive calls for service from the public and support our patrolling officers.
I’m also one of the force’s firearm commanders, so authorise the deployment and tasking of our armed officers when necessary.
What will your initial priorities be heading into this new role?
In the short-term, my priority will be meeting with partner agencies and supporting my officers to understand demand and how we respond.
Looking further ahead, my priority is ensuring we implement long-lasting measures to tackle issues like anti-social behaviour.
And you’ll be replacing a well-known community figure in Inspector Clifton . . .
Gavin is a renowned and respected figure in both Gwent Police and the community, and we all wish him well in retirement.
They are big shoes to fill and it’s a real privilege to take over from him. I’m looking forward to being visible and getting to know my team, partners and residents in order to build on the strong relationships both he and the neighbourhood team have built.
As a team we need to be innovative and progressive in our approach to incidents and really pursue those individuals that, through either criminality or anti-social behaviour, affect the quality of life of our residents. I’m truly passionate about that.
Do you live in Gwent? If so, what effect do you think being a local resident has on your approach?
Yes, I was born and bred in Gwent. Originally from Newport but I’ve spent the last decade living in the Caerphilly borough with my family and it is here I’ll stay – it really is home.
As a resident I feel I truly understand the community and how interventions from the police, partner agencies, charities and community groups can have a positive effect.
I can vividly remember the community officer from my childhood and it’s that familiarity, mutual respect and trust I see here between residents and their officers. To be effective in our role we need the support of our communities, so I would encourage anyone who is a victim of crime to report it to us and allow us to investigate and support them, or anyone with information in relation to criminality in their neighbourhood to inform us so we can act upon it.
Finally, a word on the team you’ve joined in Caerphilly South (Bedwas) . . .
I now lead a team of police officers and community support officers that are passionate and talented in their roles.
We focus on the issues identified to us by our communities, which is why I encourage our residents and businesses to discuss any concerns they may have with us. We also use analysis of crime statistics to ensure our patrols are efficient and effective, so we are both proactive and reactive in our commitment to keeping this area a safe and enjoyable place to live, work and visit.