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In what’s my first blog of 2023, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my first year as your neighbourhood inspector.
It was an absolute pleasure to lead a fantastic team of enthusiastic police officers and community support officers (CSOs) throughout 2022, and I’m looking forward to building on the last twelve months in the year ahead.
What the last year has reinforced for me is that neighbourhood policing is all about the people – our force, our partners and our communities.
The team’s worked incredibly hard to create effective partnerships, engage with the community and build trust in our neighbourhoods. This has perhaps come across most recently in their work during neighbourhood policing week, where a number of warrants and engagement events gave a glimpse of the work they put in every day to protect and reassure communities across Caerphilly.
In this blog, I’ll share some details around recent incidents, introduce some new arrivals in our policing team and outline my priorities for the year ahead.
Welcoming new additions to our policing team – and a fond farewell
PC 1859 Nathan Womersley has joined the neighbourhood team having spent several years as a response officer in the Caerphilly area. He is a great addition and, with his experience and local knowledge, has really hit the ground running.
We’ve also welcomed four new CSOs, who are currently being mentored and meeting members of their community. They are CSO 469 Ryan Taylor – St Martins; CSO 463 Rhys Wall – Aber Valley; CSO 480 Saskia Wall – Graig-Y-Rhacca; and CSO 273 Angharad Morgan.
I’d like to congratulate CSO Elliot Williams for his work in reducing anti-social behaviour in the Penyrheol area. This resulted in him being nominated for a national award on the 20th anniversary of the creation of the CSO role.
Community support officers build vital relationships with our communities and partners to tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour, which can have a real impact on victims. We are currently recruiting for CSOs and more information on vacancies can be found on our website.
And finally, Sergeant 276 Jon Pursey is due to retire this year having served the communities of Gwent for 30 years. He is an exceptional officer and will be missed by us all.
Assaults on officers | Work with us, not against us
Assaults on police officers and other emergency workers are wholly unacceptable.
Emergency workers across Wales provide an essential service to our communities, often putting themselves in challenging and dangerous situations to protect us, our friends and families.
I feel it’s important I update you of these incidents, highlighting the bravery of our officers. For example, in November two of my staff sustained injuries while carrying out their duties.
In a national campaign in December, emergency services came together in appealing to the public to ‘work with us, not against us.’ You can read more on our website: Plea as emergency worker assaults continue to rise | Gwent Police
Enforcement Activity | six warrants carried out by officers in recent weeks
We’ve recently had two separate weeks of enforcement that saw six warrants executed across Bedwas and Caerphilly.
You may have seen some of the positive results shared across our social media channels, but four of these were carried out under the misuse of drugs act while two were under the dangerous dogs act.
During the operations we were supported by officers from various departments as well as partners including Trading Standards.
Part of this enforcement coincided with Neighbourhood Policing Week, a national week of action to celebrate neighbourhood policing. Read more about the campaign here: Chief superintendent thanks neighbourhood officers following week of action | Gwent Police
Looking ahead for 2023
I am keen for this visible enforcement to continue and would encourage anyone with concerns in relation to any criminal activity to report them directly to us or anonymously via CrimeStoppers.
I assure you all information is treated confidentially, reviewed, developed and appropriate action is taken. Further warrants are already being planned and the results of these will be released in due course.
The Six Nations rugby championship kicks off this month, followed by the World Cup later in the year. Historically, we’ve seen an increase in demand during sporting events, so I ask that you enjoy these occasions responsibly and keep safe. My officers will be on patrol during these times for your reassurance and assistance.
Neighbourhood crime (such as burglaries and theft from and of vehicles) will remain a priority for us this year.
Commonly, these offences are committed by opportunists, and we can take simple actions to deter and prevent these offences. I ask that you check that your properties and vehicles are kept secure, consider investing in security systems such as lighting, CCTV or doorbell cameras.
I’ve recently reviewed CCTV footage of an individual trying house doors in the Caerphilly area. Fortunately, on both occasions the attempts were unsuccessful due to the properties being secure.
This individual has since been identified and arrested but it is a timely reminder for us all not to become complacent with protecting our property.
For more information on home security, read about our Safer Streets work across Gwent or visit our
Inspector Rhys Caddick