INSPECTORS BLOG: A message from Monmouthshire North Inspector, Arwel Hicks

As I write, the news is reporting the incident in Nice, France where many people have died or been injured in another terrorist attack. Three days of national mourning have been announced and my thoughts go out to those who have been caught up in this tragedy; be it victims, the injured or family members and friends, who will live with the events and the aftermath forever.

The Eisteddfod is nearly upon us and plans are in place to support the event by way of engagement within the Maes and further officers have been allocated to Abergavenny Town to support the community with the extra visitors. I have met regularly with the organisers and I have visited the site and it is very impressive with all its exhibition halls. The site is quickly transforming and disruption has been kept to a minimum. That said, the numbers of expected visitors are believed to be in region of a 100,000 over the week and we expect some issues with access to the town. With that in mind, could I ask all visitors to park in the designated Park and Rides and take the provided buses in. The Town will become gridlocked if we do not abide by this as only disabled parking is being provided within the vicinity of the Eisteddfod, so thinking you may ‘take a chance’ and get closer, you are going to be sorely disappointed and will end up contributing to the additional traffic and possible congestion. So, please Park and Ride.

The details of the parking are below and there will be plenty of signs to assist you:

Car Park 1: Public – Cwrt y Gollen, Crughywel , 1500
Car Park 2: Public – Penpergwm , 1500
Car Park 3: Public – Llanellen, 1500
Car Park 4: Event Traders – Llanfoist (TBC), 300
Maes B: Public, – Llanfoist, 300
Artists: Artists – Byfield Lane lower, 90
Total capacity: 5190

Another event happening this month is the Monmouth Festival. I understand there are some good bands again this year, so I hope the weather holds. The local Neighbourhood Team, led by Sergeant Dave Seymour will be there but I understand that it is very well managed by an experienced team. The free event runs from Friday 22nd July to Saturday 30th July, with the main music shows between 8pm and 11pm. The Monmouth Carnival will take place on the Sunday!

Last week saw a Royal visit in Abergavenny, with HRH The Prince of Wales attending St Mary’s Priory to dedicate a new stained glass window, The Jesse Tree. HRH The Prince of Wales has been Patron of the St Mary’s Development Trust since 1999 and this was his third official visit since the year 2000. The weather held and the spectators were able to see HRH as he met with dignitaries and spoke to local residents.

I have recently increased the numbers of Officers working out of Monmouth Police Station, although by only two, this will ensure increased coverage and support for our Monmouth residents and our rural inhabitants. The two Officers posted have already made an impact and disturbed people acting suspiciously in the Usk area. The vehicle, containing a number of males, failed to stop for the Officers and was pursued into the South Wales Police area where they crashed the stolen vehicle and made off. Unfortunately, the males were not apprehended but the investigation continues.

So far in July, we have had two dwelling burglaries. At one of these burglaries, a vehicle was stolen. The owners were away and the keys left in the house. If you are leaving vehicles when you are away, please consider hiding them well or give them to a family member or friend to secure. This includes spare keys to vehicles, as if they are stolen then they will be expensive to replace.

Parking continues as an issue within our Towns. Please park responsibly and not on pavements or causing obstruction. We will respond to calls by you regarding inconsiderate parking and we will, where appropriate, ticket offending vehicles. I recently received a letter of complaint regarding a ticket that had been issued outside Nevill Hall Hospital. There are limited numbers of spaces within the Hospital and consultation is taking place to construct more parking spaces but this is going to be a long process. The vehicle was parked, completely blocking the pavement, along the A40 (see above photo). The driver stated it wasn’t causing any obstruction. I will leave that for you to decide for yourself and imagine if you were visiting the Hospital with a wheelchair or pushchair, would you be able to pass without going onto the busy main road?

Well, that’s me for the next couple of weeks as I am off to sunny climes. I will be back for the tail end of the Eisteddfod and so if you see me out and about, stop me for a chat.

Source:: Gwent Police News

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