INSPECTORS BLOG: Catch up with Monmouthshire North Inspector, Arwel Hicks

It was a busy month for Monmouthshire North; with the Monmouth Festival and the National Eisteddfod in Abergavenny.

As with all these types of events, they are very well managed by the organisers and our role is really limited to engagement and policing any disorder. The pre-meets and briefings held between the organisers, Police, Monmouthshire County Council and Traffic Management allows for a cohesive plan and, from my point of view, a pretty much flawless execution. Those with a Military background will remember the “six P’s” and the efforts of the people engaged in arranging and conducting these events certainly proved this.

The week-long festival of music in Monmouth, my sources tell me, was well attended, and our Team engaged, reported minimal disruption and I think the weather held too. I think there were some reports of young people congregating on Chippenham Fields but these type of events do attract the younger element but I believe, apart from some litter, no crimes or damage were reported.

The National Eisteddfod too concluded without any major hitches. Reports state that 130,000 people attended. My main concern was that of the additional traffic that would descend upon the Town but the Park and Rides were very well used and efficiently run. So a big thanks to Mr Dave Matthews in Traffic Management and Monmouthshire County Council for all their hard work. That said we did have to issue tickets along Merthyr Road, as people were ignoring the Urban Clearway signs. This inconsiderate parking frustrated the flow of buses to and from Maes A and B and the Park and Rides.

On Maes A; Gwent Police’s School liaison officers headed up our engagement stand supported by our partners from Victim Support’s Hate Crime co-ordinators. We also had staff attending from our Commissioner’s Office. Well done all. I could see that they were busy throughout the five days.

Maes B; The music and younger crowd site also went very well. There have been a couple of crimes reported and these will be investigated. One incident of disorder, by a few lads, was dealt with appropriately by the Security Staff and our patrolling officers. A minor injury was received by one of the men but they met with the offender and Police, the next day, to resolve the issue and apparently ‘hugged it out’! I’m not sure that’s an official outcome in the world of policing!

Can I take this opportunity to specifically thank Mr Huw Aled Jones, my main point of contact during the planning and running of the event. Nothing seemed to faze him and everything was dealt with calmly and proportionately. Diolch, Huw. Hopefully we will not have to wait another 100 years for the Eisteddfod to return to Abergavenny.

In other news: There has been some good work by officers surrounding rural crime. We have made arrests concerning the theft of farm vehicles and PC Evans, on Saturday night, went hunting and found a vehicle suspected in attempting to steal a Quad in a neighbouring Force. PC Evans kept the commentary going until specialist support arrived in the form of Helicopters, Area Support Units and Dogs. The pursuit ended up in forestry by Merthyr Tydfil and after a four track the driver was located and arrested. This epitomises a real team ethic, great tenacity by all officers and an overall cracking result.

PC Butt, who has recently joined our Neighbourhood Team, is leading our trial of ‘Eyes and Ears’. This is a form given to our rural residents to log suspicious incidents. The trial is in its infancy; however early indications are positive. Anyone wishing to have the initiative explained please get in contact with PC Butt at Monmouth Police Station.

I hope you’re all having a great summer and if you’re going away, don’t forget to be security concious.

Take care

Inspector Arwel Hicks

Source:: Gwent Police News

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