Inspector Neil Jones
Firstly, I would like to take the time to pass on my best wishes to you and your families at this time of year, I hope you all have a safe, enjoyable and peaceful Christmas and New Year. Please spare a thought for my officers and other emergency/essential services who will be at work over the holiday period.
This is a busy time for officers, but I still welcome the month long operation against driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs which began on Friday 1st December. Police forces across the country will be using intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the festive period. If you suspect someone is driving while unfit to do so, please report it immediately to police on 101 (or 999 if they are posing imminent danger) or phone it through anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
We’re also urging people, if they know someone who drink or drug drives, to text Gwent Police 24/7 anonymously to help keep our roads safe on a new texting service. All we need is the Car Registration, Make, Model, Location, Time and Driver details if known - 07464 645 100 (this is not a free number, texts are charged at normal rate).
As I write, officers are completing their investigations after executing a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act in Magor. A 65 year old man from the Newport area was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the production of a controlled drug, after entry was gained to a container which housed a substantial cannabis cultivation. Whilst it was pleasing to see the collaboration of local and Area Support Unit officers at the scene; most pleasing was the fact that they acted upon and developed information initially provided to us by members of the public. Thank you!
On a similar note, Gwent Police use Gwent Now, Facebook and Twitter to inform and communicate with the public. I am pleased to report another success where the public responded to our appeals and identified the suspect for an incident at Thornwell Football Club, the 35 year old man, from the Chepstow area, now awaits his day in court.
The Neighbourhood Team, amongst other priorities, continues operations targeting shop theft and anti-social behaviour. One of our repeat offenders, a 44 year old woman from the Caldicot area was arrested and pleaded guilty to a number of offences in court this month, she is due to be sentenced in the New Year. We also arrested and charged three youths aged 15, 16 and a 19 year old who had travelled from Slough and stole mobile phones from a shop in Chepstow town centre.
I’m aware of reported concerns of some Caldicot residents regarding anti-social behaviour and crime in their area and look forward to a meeting to be scheduled in December. On a positive note there has been a significant drop in the thefts from vehicles in the area after our colleagues in the Area Support Unit arrested three suspects following a pursuit and foot chase. The men aged between 21 and 32 from Greater London, Reading and Neath were charged with driving offences and going equipped to steal.
The police are more available than ever to the public and you are able to contact myself or your local teams by telephone, mobile, e-mail, Twitter or attend one of our police surgeries to discuss non urgent matters. Given our role and shifts, we are not always able to immediately answer telephone calls, but leave us a message and we will get back to you. Full details on how to contact us can be found here: https://www.gwent.police.uk/your-area/monmouthshire-area/
I must also take time to acknowledge the commitment and bravery of PC Mark Waters who responded to a report of a suicidal woman on the Severn Bridge. Mark located the woman in a maintenance cage below the bridge and climbed below with little concern for his own welfare to pull her back to safety; just as she moved to jump. Incidents involving mental health are often the most challenging for Police Officers, Mark certainly rose to the challenge on this day.