Agenda item

Police Issues

30 minutes is allocated for questions to the Gwent Police representative.


The Presiding Member welcomed Chief Inspector Hannah Lawton, who provided council members with an update on Police issues within East, West and Central Newport.


The Presiding Member invited the Leader to put question to Chief Inspector Lawton.


The Leader thanked the Chief Inspector for the support the Police had provided for the events held by the Council, such as the Food Festival, Remembrance and the Christmas lights celebration.


On behalf of the ward members and residents, the Leader thanked Chief Inspector for the continued presence in the Malpas Ward, in particular, around Pillmawr Road over the past week.


Questions to the Police raised by Councillors:


§  Councillor Morris asked was there any update on guidance in relation to electric bikes from Parliament.  With Christmas approaching, a local safety campaign was being launched to encourage parents to buy safety gear and a highway code book to accompany the e-bike to protect younger children.  Councillor Morris and ward colleagues had met with Jessica Morden, MP and Police.  The Chief Inspector advised that the Police were still waiting on the information to come through.


§  Councillor Evans referred to Asylum Seekers and refugees being placed in Newport without the police  being notified.  Whilst this was not an issue for the majority of placements, there could be people with criminal backgrounds being placed in the city.  Was there anything that the Police could do to rectify this? The Chief Inspector advised that the Police were notified by the Home Office if a criminal was being placed as well as the Local Authority, the police were reliant on the Home Office to receive this information.


§  Councillor Cleverly referred to the recent fires in Bettws area.  One incident was an owner of a local chip shop,  whose delivery car was set on fire and another was a resident of Lambourne Hill,   whose car was also set on fire. The Chief Inspector was not aware of this and would look into this and get back to Councillor Cleverly.


§  Councillor Harvey thanked the Chief Inspector on behalf of Alway ward colleagues and residents for the safer streets initiatives.  Residents were given window alarms, security water markers, which was well received by residents. The Chief Inspector mentioned that when the bid was put in, it was the most money they had received from Home Office. Part of the initiative was also looking at causes of anti -social behaviour and victims of crime.


§  Councillor Whitehead mentioned the recent Ward report and noticed there was a spike in recent anti-social behaviour, particularly in the Bettws shopping area. The police had made promises of patrol, however residents did not want police patrols for two or three times during the period of a week.  Regular patrols over a longer period would be the preferred option for residents.  The Chief Inspector advised that resourcing could not be planned and there were other long term solutions and other ways of preventing behaviour rather than patrols, such as identification of who was responsible for the crime.


§  Councillor Watkins referred to car cruisers, how many were prosecuted out of the 120 reported.  The Chief Inspector did not have the information to hand, the local policing team would have that information therefore the Chief Inspector would get back to Councillor Watkins with those figures.


§  Councillor James referred to an incident of anti-social behaviour she witnessed recently in the city centre bus station, and that residents could find this intimidating at certain hours during the day.  What work was being done so that residents could report to the police, knowing that their report would be followed up by the police.  The Chief Inspector advised that calls would be reviewed by the neighbourhood policing team.  City Safe was also in operation during the night time economy, however the Chief Inspector would contact the neighbourhood policing team regarding incidences that occurred in the day.


§  Councillor Adan raised concern regarding the nitrous oxide cannisters.  Possession of these cannisters was not a crime.  What measures did police have in place regarding recreational use and supply of these cannisters as well as protecting future generations?  The Chief Inspector advised that school liaison officers would pick up on this, the main work around this was also anti-social behaviour. It was important to link in with the schools to educate children on controlled substances as well as illegal substances.


§  The Presiding Member thanked the Chief Inspector and Sergeant Turner on a successful meeting with Shaftesbury, Malpas and Bettws Wards, which was very useful and hopefully it would continue.  Finally, the Presiding Member and thanked Chief Inspector Lawton for attending the meeting.