INSPECTORS BLOG: Monmouthshire South Inspector, Phil Morris updates us...

At the end of November, I was invited to attend the Monmouthshire Volunteer Achievement Awards, in Caldicot and presented the award for Young Volunteer. These awards provide an excellent opportunity to recognise the hard work that members of the community do in their free time and demonstrates true community spirit.

The results of the recent Your Voice engagement process are now on the Gwent Police Website. Most of the priorities relate to anti-social behaviour, parking and speeding. I am working with Monmouthshire Council to review our approach to addressing speeding and road safety issues and the Community Support Officers will be focusing their efforts on the issues raised, in their wards.

At 2am, on Saturday morning, I was standing at the rear of the Abbey Hotel Tintern, following a call regarding people with torches being seen inside. We had surrounded the building and waited for the dog handler to arrive. During the search of the premises, we located a small group of males and females, in their late teens and early twenties, from Cardiff. They said that they had searched the internet for empty buildings and other sites of interest in the area, in order to look around in the early hours of the morning. I think the experience of being confronted with a police dog, has probably had the desired effect and I doubt if they will be continuing this hobby.

Shoplifting has continued over the last few weeks, in November, two women were captured on CCTV being responsible for thefts from ASDA and Waitrose, in Caldicot. The footage was circulated on social media and they were arrested on the 30tH November, following another shoplifting offence in ASDA supermarket in Neath. Further enquiries were made and they were interviewed for a number of other shoplifting offences, throughout the South Wales area. The two women were charged with six offences of theft, amounting to almost £2,000 worth of alcohol and were bailed to appear in Court on the 20th December. An off duty Special Constable from West Mercia also assisted in the arrest of a shoplifter from Tesco in Chepstow, he was charged with the theft of alcohol and a “going equipped” offence and will appear before Court in the New Year.

There have been thefts from sheds, one in Caerwent and another on Chepstow Road Caldicot. Three pedal cycles have been stolen, one from a garage on Firs Road in Caldicot, another from the side of a house and the third, from outside a pub- the last two were opportunist thefts and might not have been committed, if the bikes had been secured.

A 34 year old male who visits the Caldicot area was arrested in Newport in November. He was found in possession of tools that could be used for committing crime and searches were carried out at his home address and the address he visits in Caldicot. A number of pedal cycles were recovered from the Caldicot address and the male was charged with the theft of one cycle, the going equipped offence and failing to pay for fuel. Enquiries are ongoing to identify the owners of the other bikes and the offender was released on bail, with conditions to live outside Gwent.

There have also been a number of burglaries reported in Caldicot, one was in Churchmead, Caldicot where the living room window was forced open. A neighbour reported a white male, driving a white transit van, with ladders on the roof, in the area around the time of the offence, providing a tree cutting service. Another offence was a distraction burglary, two males called at the home of an elderly woman and asked if she wanted them to remove the moss from her guttering, one of the males distracted her, whilst the second forcibly removed a small safe, containing money and left the address. They were white males, late twenties early thirties, in a white Ford Transit van, also with ladders on the roof. I would ask that residents are vigilant and be mindful that some offenders will give the impression that they are legitimate workers, when they could be identifying future victims. A third offence occurred in Elan Way, it is not known how the offender gained entry and personal items, along with a laptop and Play Station were stolen.

On the 10th November, officers executed a warrant at Pendragon Close, Rogiet. They seized over 140 cannabis plants and arrested two males on suspicion of “harvesting” the plants, no-one lived at the property and it was being used to cultivate cannabis plants. They were released on police bail for further enquiries to be made.

In Chepstow, two sheds and a garage have been broken into in Thornwell Road, Maple Avenue and Burnt Barn Road. There has been a number offences relating to the theft of petrol and diesel in the St Christopher ward, fuel was syphoned from buses and even a motorcycle, in someone’s rear garden. During the first week of December, there were also two “creeper” burglaries; one in Preston Road, the other was in Bishop Close. A third creeper burglary occurred on the 17th December, the offender entered the home sometime between 6am and 7am, the home owner contacted the Police, officers attended and were able to arrest the offender, who was later charged with the burglary and released on bail with conditions.

More recently, we have also had three reindeers stolen from outside two homes in Caldicot and Magor and during the early hours of the 13th December, officers stopped a van, as they thought it was suspicious. The driver and passengers ran from the vehicle, leaving the hand brake off. The vehicle rolled into the police car and when the officers checked inside, they discovered a large amount of lead that we believe had been stolen from the Church Hall in Sycamore Terrace, Magor.

The week before Christmas will be busy for everyone, for those doing any last minute shopping, be vigilant for any “pick pockets”, these offenders would normal focus their efforts in the larger shopping centres. In other parts of Gwent, there has already been reports of burglaries and thefts of Christmas presents. Please ensure that all doors and windows are secured and nothing is left on display in cars, or front rooms. This will reduce the chances of being a victim of crime and spoiling everyone’s Christmas.

Have a good Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Inspector Phil Morris

Source:: Gwent Police News

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