Agenda item

Police Issues

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


Superintendent Mike Richards provided an update on current local policing priorities, before inviting questions from Members.


The Mayor took the opportunity to thank the police officers involved in a recent sponsored bicycle ride from Newport to Brecon, starting at Newport Central Police Station to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.


The Mayor also attended Shaftesbury Youth Club to present award to the youth group and also wanted that those officers in attendance for their support in the community and hard work.


The Mayor invited the Leader to say a few words.


The Leader gave feedback on the positive policing activities held across the city.  The Leader was delighted to attend the Newport Yemeni Community Association Funday, held in Pill and the Maindee Festival in Jubilee Park, it was nice to see a police presence and the Police Crime Commissioner presence at these events and these representatives were all engaged with the community and getting stuck into the activities.  It was a positive reflection of the hard work involved with police participation, well done to everyone involved.


The Leader raised two issues, the first was in relation to the arson attempts in Malpas ward and in particular, there was concern at number of arson attempts in the field by St David’s Hospice.  What ongoing work was being undertaken by the Police and the South Wales Fire and Safety to prevent this.


The Leader referred to the anti-social use of off-road bikes within the Malpas and Bettws wards, how was this being addressed by both Police and Newport City Homes.  The Leader recognised that it was not just the police but wanted to know what was being done and wanted assurance that there was ongoing work to combat this.


Supt M Richards assured the Leader that he would look into the arson attempt at St David’s Hospice.  Through the joint working with the Fire Service, Local Authority and social landlords, including the three sectors across Newport through task meetings, an update would be provided to the Leader regarding the arson attempts and progress to date.


The situation regarding the off-road bikes was being looked at with partners as mentioned above.  The issues around off-road bikes were being very closely looked at in a partnership approach.


Questions from Councillors:


§  Councillor Marshall referred to residents complaining about the speed racers, noise pollution at on the SDR and Tesco, Cardiff Road who might have moved on from Tesco, Spytty.  There  were also concerns about the Maesglas shops re drug use and antisocial behaviour.  And with reference to the Police Twitter post regarding the rogue traders, Councillor Marshall asked whether the Police could also inform ward members so that they could also notify residents of any Police issues.  The Superintendent would discuss these issues with the local team and also was aware that the Maesglas shops were an issue. The Superintendent had not seen the Twitter post regarding rogue traders but would make sure that elected members saw similar tweets first.


§  Councillor Rahman thanked the police for attending Maindee Festival and was attending monthly meetings with Insp Cawley, which was very fruitful.  Councillor Rahman asked what was the Gwent Police’s policy on low level drug dealing as residents were concerned in the Victoria ward that nothing was being done when they reported these incidents to the police. The Superintendent assured the councillor that there was no change in policy or direction ad that there was a zero tolerance place for such activities.


§  Councillor Spencer attended a Stop and Search presentation by the Police Crime Commissioner recently and asked if the presentation could be given to Newport Councillors.  The Superintendent agreed that this present could be delivered via an all member seminar.


§  Councillor Whitehead also referred to the arson attack near St David’s Hospice and agreed with the Leader’s comments and also mentioned that this occurrence did go on for quite a while.  Councillor Whitehead also mentioned the removal of a gate near the canal which had caused increased antisocial activity near the hospice. The Superintendent would hold regular meetings to ensure that this was addressed.


§  Councillor Harvey thanked the Superintendent for his kind words of thanks earlier and also wanted to thank Inspector Cawley who was always at the end of the phone.  In addition, Councillor Harvey also gave a mention to two Community Support Officers, Robyn Hayes and Joanne Spiteri who were constantly patrolling the Alway area and looking at ways to move along the anti social behaviour, as well as putting prevention measures in place to close off ‘drug alley’.  Councillor Harvey did try the 101 number over the weekend but was on hold for an hour and in the end dialled 999 to report an incident.  Councillor Harvey also wanted to mention Chief Inspector Sarah Greening who was on leave but was on the other end of the phone doing excellent work.  There was a spate of motorbikes and bicycles being stolen and set alight, Councillor Harvey knew the perpetrators and would report these to Inspector Cawley.  The Superintendent thanked Councillor Harvey for her thanks and feedback.


§  The Deputy Leader thanked Inspector Cawley who provided monthly updates via Teams, which were very informative.  Councillor Jeavons referred to Pontfaen Shops, where litter bins were installed to prevent littering.  Councillor also requested extra patrols by the police to address the antisocial behaviour.  The Superintendent was aware of the anti social behaviour at Pontfaen Shops and would provide the resources to address this issue.