With the start of the summer holidays, we usually see an increase in calls reporting anti-social behaviour, however this year I'm pleased to say that the numbers of incidents are lower than the same period last year. We have had thirty-three calls in Chepstow and thirty-nine calls for Caldicot for anti-social behaviour, during July. In the previous months the number of incidents has almost reached fifty and most of these incidents relate to neighbourhood disputes and not youths causing a disturbance, which has previously been the majority of this type of call.
As the schools are now closed, could I ask that any residents who overlook any school premises be extra vigilant during August for trespassers. We had three incidents connected with Caldicot Comprehensive last month, on the 15th July entry was gained, but nothing was stolen, however fire extinguishers were stolen on the 24th July. Four teenagers have been interviewed for one of these offences and the matter has been referred to our Youth Offending Team for further action.
There were a number of thefts from vehicles last month, particularly in two wards - The Elms and Mill. Having reviewed the crimes and compared the information with the same period last year, two crimes relating to theft from vehicles were reported between April and July 2016, eighteen crimes have been committed this year. A youth was arrested in April for some of these offences and property was returned to the owners, however, the crimes have continued and five incidents were reported on the 31st July. Fortunately, one of the victims had installed CCTV and we were able to identify the offender, who is a "resident" of the Caldicot area, he was arrested and admitted three offences. He said that he did not have a permanent address, therefore he was charged and remanded to go before the next available court. The sentence imposed by the court was three months imprisonment, suspended for twelve months and he was released the same day. My officers have informed me that they have seen him in the Caldicot area since his release.
The majority of these offences were as a result of vehicles being left open and items being left on display. I would urge everyone to ensure that they lock all of their vehicles and not leave any items on view. If you are able to install additional alarms, security lighting or CCTV, this would not only act as a deterrent, but could enable us to identify and arrest the suspects.
In July, an insecure garage in Castle Lodge Crescent, Caldicot was entered and a bike was stolen, along with money from the owner's car, which was unlocked. On the 24th July, Sudbrook Cricket Club was broken into during the early hours of the morning and confectionary and soft drinks were taken. Also, a house in Byron Place, Caldicot was entered during the night of the 23rd/24th July, whilst the owners were asleep. A TV, play station and other items were stolen.
During the evening of the 15th July, a house in Castle Wood, Chepstow, was entered, it would appear that the offender gained entry into the property, whilst the owners were home and had stolen a laptop and an Apple TV box. Crime Scene Investigators attended and as a result of their investigation a 37 year old male from the Chepstow area was arrested and charged with the offence. We are now awaiting the outcome of his appearance at court. We have also received two reports of purses being stolen from handbags in the Chepstow area. One occurred whilst someone was shopping in a local supermarket, the other was when the victim was in a local pub.
A number of crimes that were committed in July are opportunistic. Whilst this area is one of the lowest crime areas in Britain, I would ask that resident continue to be vigilant regarding securing their property. Vehicles need to be locked and no items should be left on view, although we are in the middle of Summer, I would also recommend that homes are secured and that windows and doors are locked, to prevent easy entry.