Inspector Arwel Hicks
Your latest Blog from your local Inspector, Arwel Hicks, who covers the Abergavenny and Monmouth areas
All good things must come to an end" or so says the old expression, and that is certainly the case for my time with Gwent Police.
This will be my last blog as Inspector for Monmouthshire North as my retirement swiftly approaches. My last day will be Friday 8th December when I will be taking some leave before I officially retire early in the New Year.
To say it has been a pleasure to serve the communities of Abergavenny, Usk, Monmouth and all of our tiny hamlets would be a gross understatement. It has had its challenges, as most aspects of policing generally does, but the people I have worked with, both inside the organisation and externally have been absolutely fantastic.
The support from the local authority, town councils and community councils has been first class. We have had our differences of opinion, topics such as parking and speeding spring to mind, but we have always had honest and professional exchanges, looking at ways to remove obstacles rather than creating them. For that positive approach, I thank you.
To use rugby term, 'I have had an armchair ride' for these past two years. Not behind a 'juggernaut pack' but with a great and committed team of Police Officers, Community Support Officers, Station Enquiry Officers, The Special Constabulary and various volunteer organisations. There are, in fact, too many to list.
The county remains one of the safest areas in Great Britain to live, as well as one of the most picturesque however we still need to be vigilant and avoid leaving items on show in vehicles and sheds and garages insecure.
We have had another quick spike of vans being attacked and tools taken recently where three workers vans were targeted on one night. Please, if you can, take your tools indoors. I appreciate it is the last thing you want to do after a long day's work but it will save the heartache of losing valuable tools and earnings.
We have had two unusual crimes in the last month. There was an ATM attack in Monmouth and a "cigarette" break in Usk. I do not like to refer to criminals as "professional" however their methods were effective. Enquiries are progressing with early indications suggesting they are from outside the force area. We are continuing to liaise with other forces and agencies to pursue the individuals and bring them to justice.
Christmas is fast approaching and our towns will see a swell of people coming to shop. Please ensure you keep your wallets and purses safe. Lanyards and bells are available at the stations, so pop in and collect them. These can secure your purses to your handbags and the bells, well they ring!
We will be running both overt and covert patrols to deter offenders and to keep you safe during the festive period so if you see PC Hollings or PC Butt in unusual guises, please don't blow their cover!
I will sign off now but just to reiterate a big, heartfelt thank you, to you all for the support you have given to me and my team. It's been a pleasure.
Stay safe and take care.