Monmouthshire North Inspector Arwel Hicks: Blog for February 2017

As the new year continues, we have some new officers arriving in Monmouthshire North.  PCs Smallwood and McDowell join us, supplementing the earlier arrival of PCs Meadows and Pedlar.  This influx of youth does make you feel old, and also makes you wonder where the years have gone!  I will have 29 years’ service this month, but it seems only like yesterday I was just starting out.

These new officers have allowed me to fulfil my promise to Monmouth Police Station and I have been able to add to their numbers.  The teams are a mixture of youth and experience and these officers have been picked for their outstanding work ethic.  I look forward to us reaping the rewards.

PC Seed and Evans made a cracking arrest in the early hours of Wednesday 15th February, 17.  Whilst patrolling on the outskirts of Abergavenny Town Centre, they came across a vehicle parked in an unusual position and speaking to the driver, found a large quantity of lead that that been ripped from roofs at a nearby development in the town.  This man was arrested and later charged, pleading guilty at Court.  He is now on a Tag and we will monitor his adherence to this.  

We had been having a small spate of this type of crime, and we are hoping that the actions of our diligent officers will have put an end to it.  This removal of lead, sometimes has dire consequences for the properties that it is removed from.  The lead is predominantly removed from the roof areas and unnoticed until poor weather arrives.  This poor weather can caused thousands of pounds worth of damage, far exceeding the cost of the replacement lead.  The buildings are traditionally our historic buildings, such as churches, making this such an insidious crime.  We are working with owners and keepers of such buildings to offer various protection techniques.

Our Neighbourhood Team ran an operation with partner agencies and our cadets, to combat the serving of underage drinkers.  Three Abergavenny Licensed premises were checked but unfortunately all three failed and fixed penalty notices were issued, fining the individuals.  

One further point on licensed premises, PC Hollings is delivering ‘Banning Orders’ today to individuals who act inappropriately within our Public Houses.  These bans can range from 3 months to 2 years and we issue between 4 and 6 every 6 weeks.  This policy has a real impact on reducing disorder at our premises, allowing for everybody to enjoy them without fear of intolerable behaviour.  I would like to thank our PubWatch partners for their continued support.

A drugs warrant was executed in Rother Avenue and a quantity of controlled drugs were recovered.  A few thousand pounds worth of drugs were recovered and people involved are presently on bail.

The robbery in the Usk One-Stop-Shop dominated the headlines early last week and it was pleasing to see some real positive work to try to identify the offenders.  I linked in closely with DS Matt Edwards, who is leading the investigation, and I am extremely pleased on the robustness and the thoroughness of the investigation to date.  Here’s hoping for a successful conclusion.  I shall keep you posted.

Finally, I had the opportunity to meet with the Youth Offending Service in Mamhilad.  They briefed me on their work in relation to ‘Looked After Children’ and their attempts, through Restorative Justice, to prevent so many children who are in care from becoming criminalised at a young age.  This is a challenging programme and has my full support.  This is another example of collaborative working at its best, protecting the vulnerable.

Until next month, stay safe!