BLOG - A message from Caerphilly South Inspector, Gareth Jones - 8th April 2016

Hello All... Welcome back to my  monthly update for Caerphilly South policing area. For the benefit of new readers, this local policing area was formed in April 2015 as part of local reorganisation of Gwent Police into three local policing areas serving the Rhymney Valley. As such, our area incorporates seven local wards, St Martins, Morgan Jones, Penyrheol, Aber Valley, 'Bedwas ,Trethomas and Machen', St James and Llanbradach and we serve a diverse population of around 55,739 persons within a substantial part of the Caerphilly basin.

As a policing service and in common with other public bodies we are facing tough, financial and logistical challenges of late , but I can assure you we are doing our level best to maintain a quality service to those in need across a broad range of circumstances. It my 28 years as a police officer, I have seen more change than most and recognise the demands placed upon us are increasingly welfare and crisis concerns and less about crime. More about that in a minute... My officers have to display an increasingly broad level of skills and understanding which is reflected in the type of training they are receiving.

Gwent police is still undergoing a  massive change programme, all with the purpose of working more leanly and efficiently, bringing  benefits to the public. Many of these changes have brought improvements to  our crime recording and investigation processes and IT and Communications solutions with officers now carrying Samsung Notepads to update 'on the go'. I have also previously mentioned the body worn camera rollout making a camera available to every operational uniform officer, already capturing some excellent evidential material. We are also currently introducing a new Windows based Command and Control System called 'STORM'.
Some issues affecting the area recently include a  spate of burglaries in Mountain Road, where offenders have targeted more remote properties , enquiries are on-going to identify offenders. Please ensure that you review your security and ensure you have security lighting where appropriate.

Staying with crime, rates for March have been well within our average rates and there are no significant patterns to report. I would ask that as the weather improves, please ensure that you don't leave windows ajar when out and the seasonal crime of shed burglaries targeting garden equipment, tools, pedal cycles and fishing equipment will again be a focus for attention. With the usual spring exodus to the local DIY store, consider buying a new lock or shed alarm and check your security generally. Please contact our Crime and Disorder Reduction Officer PC 2035 Stuart Lewis at Bedwas for any specific advice or stop and chat to one of our Community Support Officers for general advice on crime and security or other community matters.

On the subject of community issues Your Voice surveys - and Your Voice Meetings... some early meetings set for St James Ward: 6.30pm - 7.30pm, on Monday 4th April at the Van Community Centre and, 'Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen' Ward  (BTM) 10.30am - 12.30pm on Saturday 9th April at the Council Offices, Old Newport Road, Bedwas. You are welcome to attend to discuss those matters of concern to you.

Anti-social Behaviour within the town centre, particularly in relation to youths climbing commercial premises and running on the rooftops or 'free running' is still a  cause for concern. We are working with council and town centre businesses and managers to reduce this issue. I issued a Dispersal Notice last weekend between Friday and Sunday as part of a wider anti-social behaviour operation. Three youths were detained and issued with notices and parents informed. A diversionary activity is planned in the Caerphilly Leisure Centre on Sunday 10th April 6-8pm.

My last appeal is in relation to the increase in grass fires we see at this time of year. In early March before recent rainfall we experienced a number of fires in the Rudry area again and we will continue to patrol to deter and apprehend those responsible. As the Easter holiday continues and the ground drying again, I would ask all parents to be vigilant about their children's activities, this activity not only destroys farm land, hedgerows and property it causes unnecessary harm and suffering to wildlife particularly birds who begin to nest, not to mention the clear and obvious danger the children may be in. We continue to work in partnership with the Fire and Rescue Service and other partners on an intelligence led approach.

A BIG thank you to all the residents that asked questions during my first Twitter Takeover on the 9th March. For one hour I asked our followers to tweet in any issues they had with neighbourhood policing... It wasn't long before questions started flooding in. I'll definitely be doing this again so look out for future dates on my blog and the website or by following @gwentpolice - @gpbedwas - @gpcaerphilly

Last but by no means least , this week was the 4th anniversary of the disappearance of Mr Trevor Elias from Abertridwr. Officers are aware that on Thursday April 5th, 2012, Trevor, who was 77 years old at the time, was last seen outside the Leigh Club between 11.15pm and 12.15am and before that had been at The Buffs Club on Abertridwr Square.

Trevor was seen on CCTV at 12.23am on Friday April 6th walking passed the Cenotaph in Senghenydd and heading down Commercial Street in the direction of Abertridwr. It is also known that two women were seen walking ahead of Mr Elias on Commercial Street toward Senghenydd Square at approximately 12.20am and these still haven't been identified.

It is also believed that three vehicles and a man would also have passed Trevor as they came up Commercial Street heading toward Abertridwr. Trevor was reported missing on Saturday April 7th, 2012. He is described as being approximately six feet tall, of very thin build, and has brown short hair. He wears glasses. If anyone has any information about Trevor's whereabouts that night or since they are asked to call Gwent Police on 101.

If you are still on your Easter break, I hope it's been enjoyable... remember that we are now running five surgeries a week 11am - 1pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Caerphilly library. Why not drop by and have a chat about local issue to one of my staff. I will also be advertising a monthly surgery at the library.

Diolch, Thank you for reading.

Inspector Gareth Jones
Caerphilly South