A very warm welcome to all of you reading this, my first blog, as the new Inspector for Torfaen.
I started my new role at the beginning of June having spent the previous 17 months as the Inspector for Blackwood and Risca. I feel very privileged to have been given this position as Torfaen is undoubtedly one of the most demanding and busiest sections in the force. It’s also an area that I have never worked before, having spent the majority of my 19 years’ service working within Newport.
On a more personal level, I was born in Blaenavon, educated in Pontypool and have lived in Cwmbran for the past 18 years and therefore have a natural affinity to the Torfaen area.
Since my arrival I have been extremely impressed by the positive work ethic of officers in managing significant demand whilst dealing with offenders in a timely and positive fashion. To emphasise this point there have been 92 arrests made and over 2,500 reported incidents for the month of June. Going forward, my focus will be very much around concentrating our efforts on those individuals who cause harm in our communities through repeat offending and non-adherence to the law.
I have attended a number of community council meetings over the last few weeks including Cwmbran, Pontypool and Croesyceiliog / Llanyravon where I have had the opportunity to meet local councillors and discuss issues that affect their wards.
You undoubtedly would have read through social media about the series of dwelling burglaries experienced in the section during the latter end of May and into June where individuals were entering insecure homes overnight and stealing cars from driveways. To address this, a policing operation was commenced that specifically targeted suspected criminals and offence locations over a 10 day period. During this time, 7 individuals were arrested for committing dwelling burglaries, 2 of which have subsequently been charged with a number of dwelling burglary offences and currently on remand. I am also confident of further charges being brought against other individuals involved in the coming days and weeks…… watch this space!! That said, the over-riding message to our communities is to ensure that all doors and windows are secured in your homes to prevent such offences being committed.
Over the next month or so, the section will be gaining an additional seven police officers, some of whom are new recruits who will be embedded within my neighbourhood response teams. There are further recruitment drives commencing in July and throughout the rest of the year and I am confident that Torfaen will gain additional new starters.
The local neighbourhood teams have engaged in a number of large community events this month including ‘The Event’ in Cwmbran and ’World Heritage Day’ in Blaenavon. Both events were well attended and hugely successful. Sadly there were a number of reports of alcohol related disorder during the evening in Blaenavon. I will be reviewing the plans for next year, ensuring there is an appropriate police presence and that licensees are engaged with from an early outset.
My Community Support Officers continue to deliver First Aid Training to Year 5 pupils in primary schools throughout Torfaen. Over 12 schools have been visited this month where children are taught invaluable skills such as CPR, recovery position and how to contact the emergency services.