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Welcome to the first instalment of my blog as the inspector for Pill.
I hope this blog will provide you an insight into how we work with our partners, the focuses of our neighbourhood policing team and highlight the members of our communities who help make it great.
Firstly, I would like to take the opportunity to update you on the good work of our neighbourhood policing team since the Pill blog in June - to read this please select here.
Over the last year, our neighbourhood policing team have been out speaking to our community to understand the things that matter and cause you concern. Working with our communities is key to everything we do, and how we protect and reassure all of Gwent. Through this work, we have identified an increased perception of anti-social behaviour, drug dealing and sexual exploitation.
We’re not alone in our commitment to making Pill a safer place for all, we work with our partners to support this aim - these include Trading Standards, Registered Social Landlords, Social Services, Newport Council, POBL and Gwent Specialist Substance Misuse Service.
An example of our partnership work includes warrants conducted in October, alongside trading standards. We conducted four warrants to detect and deter crime. In these warrants we seized illegal tobacco, cannabis and cash. A 19-year-old man was arrested and later released on bail.
We’re happy to see the positive results of these warrants, leading to the closure of two commercial premises. These premisses were linked to anti-social behaviour, drug use and drug dealing which negatively impacts the quality of life for our residents and will not be tolerated in our community.
I hope this work can reassure residents that if you have concerns regarding problem premises, you can report it to us, and we will work hard with our partners to take action.
Previously, we introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which prohibits people from drinking alcohol, behaving in a manner that is likely to cause alarm or distress to others, such as taking drugs in the centre of Pill. You can read more about the PSPO prohibitions and the different ways to report them here.
In October 23 PSPO 'tickets' or warnings have been distributed.
Following our implementation of the order, we have seen a visible reduction in the amount of anti-social behaviour in the centre of Pill. However, whilst we have seen an improvement, I am not naive to the fact that we need to be consistent in our approach to continue to help make our community a safer place for all. Anti-social behaviour remains of focus for our neighbourhood policing team.
We were busy in October making plans and implementing these in the lead up to Operation Bang - this operation focused on ensuring our community’s safety during Halloween and bonfire night.
We visited local schools and community groups, delivering our top tips to ensure the members of our community who wanted to celebrate Halloween and bonfire night enjoyed themselves whilst being mindful that some of our neighbours - friends or family, even those with pets - wouldn't see the fun in answering the door to strangers or hearing loud noises in the streets.
We also increased patrols during this period, it was lovely to see so many of you out, enjoying your evenings in a safe and respectful manner. This time of the year is one our busiest times and I'd like to thank our community for your continued support.
Following the success of our previous operations, including Operation Wyvern and Operation Absorb, these will both be running again in Pill from November.
Operation Wyvern previously saw over 40 people arrested and charged with solicitation. Our team worked hard to meet with local support groups to help anyone identified as vulnerable. It sent a clear message to anyone within or visiting Pill, that there is a zero-tolerance approach to sexual exploitation.
Read more about Operation Wyvern here.
Operation Absorb works in partnership to reduce acquisitive crime such as distraction burglary offences.
We’re aware of our communities concerns regarding housing issues within Pill. We’re working closely with the LA and housing associations to create a plan and deliver an approach to reduce your concerns. We hope to share this approach soon.
Our team have held weekly surgeries throughout October and will continue to do so throughout November. These surgeries are a great opportunity to speak to our team to discuss any issues or concerns you may have.
Please see the below dates and locations of these:
Tuesday 22 November, 6pm, at the mobile police station, Francis Drive
Wednesday 23 November, 6:30pm, at St Stephens Church
Saturday 26 November, 2pm, at the mobile police station, Francis Drive.
If you are unable to make these dates, please contact our neighbourhood policing team and we can of course discuss any concerns and provide advice directly, you can do this by following this link.
Finally, I would like to thank the community for all they do to help make Pill a safer place for all. By raising your concerns and reporting any criminal activities or suspicious behaviour to us, we can prioritise your areas of concern and set up multi-agency operations to tackle crime.
I look forward to sharing more news in my next blog, available from early December. To keep up with our neighbourhood policing teams good work, follow us on Twitter @GPNewport and Facebook @GwentPolice.
Inspector Hannah Welti
Pill neighbourhood policing team