Inspector’s blog, March 2022: Inspector Boucher, Caerphilly central
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This month, Inspector Boucher provides updates on Town Safe, the community safety initiative cracking down on ASB, how we’re taking illegal drugs off our streets and the arrests made following investigations into burglary offences.
Town Safe | protecting businesses and residents
We recently launched Town Safe in Blackwood, a Safer Caerphilly scheme aiming to reduce anti-social behaviour and enable local retailers to report incidents and share information around crime prevention.
The first meeting of Town Safe is set to take place in April and will see partners and local retailers come together to talk about the work they’re doing to help prevent and tackle ASB, reduce disorder and identify persistent offenders.
Officers visited traders at the beginning of the year to introduce the initiative. On signing up to the crime prevention network, retailers received bespoke crime prevention advice from the force’s design out crime officers and learned about the measures they could adopt to increase their store’s security and deter ASB.
Stay tuned for more information on a great “community assist” event we’ve got planned for the end of April – which will see us set up stalls across the town centre and invite you to talk to us about making our streets safer for everyone.
Taking illegal drugs off our streets
Illegal drugs blight our communities, and we continue to work hard to apprehend those responsible for supplying drugs in Gwent.
A big part of our work as a local team is around developing and acting on information gathered through investigative work, but also working with the invaluable information we get by speaking to, and listening to, our communities.
In the last four months alone, we have charged and imprisoned nine individuals for drug supply offences. This has led to prison sentences totalling a combined 15 years, which demonstrates how seriously we and our criminal justice partners take drug supply offences.
We’ll continue to take robust action to disrupt the supply of drugs and work hard to protect our communities from the associated crime around supply.
If you’re concerned about drug dealing in your area, please get in touch by calling us on 101 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Recent arrests | tackling acquisitive crime and disorder
In March, we saw an increase in reports of shoplifting and burglary in and around Blackwood.
We analyse reports from the public and scrutinise key data to highlight emerging trends and patterns. These are then fed through to your neighbourhood officers, who use the data as the basis for their investigation.
Following a thorough investigation by Blackwood officers, a 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting and burglary offences. He was later charged with these offences, remanded to court and sentenced to 24 weeks' imprisonment.
Positively, we’ve since seen a decrease in shoplifting offences in the town since this arrest.
We also saw several commercial burglaries reported in the Crosskeys area, with industrial units being targeted.
Through the development of intelligence, investigation and partnership working, we quickly identified a man we suspected may be targeting the units.
Officers arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of burglary. He was charged, remanded to prison before his court appearance in April.
Finally, a Blackwood man was imprisoned for 22 weeks for breaching a criminal behaviour order after being caught trying to gain entry to parked cars in the Cefn Fforest area.
Criminal behaviour orders are a tool we use on conviction to try to prevent future offending. When breached, they can bring significant custodial sentences – giving us valuable time to intervene and identify appropriate further methods of rehabilitation.
I’m grateful for the tenacity my officers show on a daily basis and the diligence of our criminal justice partners in ensuring offenders are dealt with swiftly and robustly.
As spring begins . . .
As the weather improves, we’re working with our partners in South Wales Fire and Rescue Service on a number of fire crime prevention initiatives to help prevent grass fires in the area.
We’re blessed with spectacular mountain ranges in the area that are vulnerable to grass fires. Whether deliberate or accidental, they can pose great risk to our local communities and wildlife and I urge our local communities to report suspicious activity to the police and to look out for one another.
ASB has decreased significantly in the Blackwood ward recently, which has been an area of real focus over the last few months. We’ve seen several injunctions issued, arrests made and high visibility patrols from officers and partners. With half-term just around the corner, we’ll be working with positive futures, outreach services and the local authority on a number of engagement events for young people.
This is but a fraction of the work my teams are currently involved in and I’d like to thank them for their continued hard work and dedication to keeping our area safe and to our partners and communities for supporting and engaging at every opportunity.