In my last blog I thanked you – the communities of Blaenau Gwent – for the way in which you came together throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.
Whilst we still live with the virus today, due to the lifting of restrictions we’re now able to resume with the face-to-face engagement events we missed throughout the pandemic.
I therefore look forward to the summer period in anticipation of a packed community events programme including the celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee in June.
These important events provide opportunities for our communities to come together; your local policing teams will be heavily involved in supporting these occasions and we look forward to speaking to you over the next few months.
We cannot ignore how the overall cost of living is affecting us all, putting additional financial pressures on individuals and families right across our communities.
This, unfortunately, can also impact crime – particularly theft-related offences during the warmer months, where opportunistic thieves look to take advantage.
We analyse crime trends daily, of course, and, as we head towards the summer period and warmer weather (where we statistically see an increase in theft), we continue to work hard to identify offenders, and support interventions that reduce re-offending.
Most theft-based crime is opportunistic in nature and, in the majority of cases, there are simple steps everyone can take to help protect their valuable items.
Things like making sure to lock your vehicle, not leaving items on display on the dash or back seat and closing all windows can prevent theft from a vehicle, while using property marking solutions, good quality locks and lockable containers can help keep items stored in sheds and garages safe.
Should you need any advice or guidance on how to protect your property, please contact a member of our local policing team, who’ll be more than happy to help. Alternatively, you can visit our website, email [email protected] or attend one of our police surgeries.
Well, put simply, these are great opportunities for you to talk directly to your local policing team. You’ll be able to meet the officers covering your neighbourhoods, talk about any concerns you have and ask for help or guidance about issues you’re experiencing.
As well as being there to talk about our work, what we’re doing to address your concerns and reassure you, the surgeries are also really useful for us in terms of gathering vital information. Information provided by you, the community, is essential in enabling us to truly understand what the real issues are impacting residents – meaning we can directly shape our enforcement activities around these concerns.
Police surgeries take place in a variety of places – but, most importantly, should be held in venues which are accessible to as many people as possible. If you have any specific locations you feel would benefit from holding a police surgery, please contact your local policing team [insert contact].
We’ll continue to advertise surgeries held across Blaenau Gwent via your officers’ Twitter account (@GPBlaenauGwent) and in the events section in Facebook page (@gwentpolice).
Not only does our Twitter account give you updates around surgeries and upcoming events, it also gives you a snapshot of the work of your local policing teams – so the more people we can get signed up and following us, the better!
Aside from directly tackling crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB), the neighbourhood teams are also involved in a number of other activities all designed to keep people safe and reduce crime/ASB.
Some of our additional recent activity includes:
Seatbelt safety campaign
The Ebbw Vale ward team, in collaboration with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, recently conducted a seatbelt safety campaign.
The primary aim of the initiative was to educate drivers of the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt whilst travelling.
Catalytic convertor marking event
Abertillery officers conducted a catalytic convertor marking event at the MOT Centre on Bridge Street.
This was well-attended, with numerous members of the public able to have their catalytic convertors marked with SmartWater on the day.
SmartWater provides the police with forensic opportunities (to identify offenders) should the catalytic convertor be damaged or stolen. We also provided stickers for their vehicles to show that SmartWater has been applied – which is a proven deterrent and reduces crime.
The Brynmawr team worked with local retailers to introduce a new crime prevention Shop Watch scheme. The project will help partners share information/intelligence and coordinate patrol activity – with the aim of preventing theft and anti-social behaviour.
Through collaborative working with partners, including Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and our very own NXT GEN team, we created a network that supports Brynmawr town centre and the nearby retail park area.
Keeping young people safe online
The Tredegar team conducted an internet safety lesson with years five and six at Willowtown Primary School, demonstrating how the children can remain safe online and the dangers or interacting with strangers through digital social platforms.