CRIME AND COMMUNITY

Grangetown PACT meetings in 2017 will all be held at Grangetown Hub (Library) in Havelock Place on the first Tuesday of alternate months, at 7pm on the following dates:



Tuesday 3 October 2017
Tuesday 5 December 2017

Grangetown community police  

Workshop looks at everyday Grangetown crime impact - as local cases spike at six year high

"Do you feel safe in Grangetown" was the title of an interactive workshop on Wednesday evening, asking local people what they feel about crime and day-to-day anti-social annoyances and behaviour.

The event at the Grange Bowls Pavilion (July 5th) aimed to be quite informal but the focus group aimed to put ideas together which can help develop the next local community safety week.

It comes as the latest available crime statistics available show recorded crime in Grangetown is running at a six-and-a-half year high. There were 293 crimes recorded locally in April - that's around 10 a day. This is the highest number recorded since October 2011 and the second highest month in available records on the police mapping website.

A quarter of these were incidents of anti-social behaviour, followed by violence or sexual offences (around two a day) and damage or arson - which has seen the biggest spike, 38 incidents. There were 23 incidents of vehicle crime and 10 bike thefts in the month. There were also 25 incidents of shop-lifting, including five on the retail park, which sometimes accounts for a jump in the figures.

This is a 42% increase on the crimes reported for the same month in 2016, or around 30% more than April 2015.

Over the year to April, there were 662 crimes of anti-social behaviour reported. Drug offences recorded were one a week. Just over 8% of all crimes reported ended up in court.

Meanwhile, it is five months since the last Grangetown PACT meeting was held - with postponements blamed on the recent local and general elections and the requirements of purdah. Public servants like police are kept away from events which might put them in a position of political or electoral controversy. The next PACT is due to take place on August 1st at Grangetown Hub.

The crime workshop is being organised by Cardiff University's Crime and Security Research Institute, Community Gateway and Grangetown Community Action.

One of the organisers said: "It will explore where everyday crimes such as littering, fly tipping, theft and vandalism take place in Grangetown. It’s also an opportunity to think about how these crimes impact those living and working in the area. Small crimes such as fly tipping can really change how people feel about their community."

Prostitution operation hailed a success

A two-month operation to try to tackle problems around prostitution has been hailed a success by police.

They joined forces with agencies in Grangetown - and two neighbouring areas - where sex working has become a nuisance for local residents.

Issues have been raised regularly by residents at numerous PACT meetings, especially in the Taff Embankment and Pentre Gardens areas in recent months.

Operation Grey Neptune focused on Grangetown, Cardiff Bay and Splott and managed to reach 13 women, aiming at breaking the cycle of prostitution which can be the result of personal problems or circumstances. Support included access to help with drug addiction, health and housing.

In the last year, police have received 131 complaints about prostitution in the three areas.

Nici Evans, partnership development manager for Cardiff Partnership Board, said the approach was to help the women overcome problems in their lives and avoid them becoming criminalised.

"In Cardiff, many women have been referred onto the pathway and have received the appropriate support and management," she said. "This is a unique way of marrying enforcement with harm reduction and keeping both residents and women safe."

During the operation, three men were also dealt with for soliciting.

Pc Alex Bourner said: “This operation was a success - it is vital that sex workers are given the support they need to break their cycle of offending. Prostitution not only puts those who practice it in situations of serious risk, but it also has a detrimental impact upon those who live their lives in full view of where it goes on. We have received many complaints from residents about crime and anti-social behaviour which effects the quality of life of the community."

Councillor condemns more Gardens fire trouble

New Grangetown councillor Tariq Awan is looking to meet police after condemning more anti-social behaviour involving fires being lit in Grange Gardens.

Fire crews were called out again on the Wednesday after Bonfire Night - with youths setting fire to refuse.

It follows more incidents in the run-up to November 5th when fireworks were thrown at a fire crew as they tried to put out a fire lit in the park on Tuesday night.

The crew was forced to withdraw after being confronted by a group of youths.

Residents reported more fireworks being set off and fire being lit two days later.

But hopes of it easing off were dashed after this latest incident.

Cycling on pavements annoys residents

Cyclists using the pavements in parts of Grangetown was one of the hot topics at the latest PACT meeting between residents, police and councillors.

The meeting heard complaints that the problem had got much worse - and was particularly bad along Clare Road and Penarth Road, but also in some side streets too.

Councillor Lynda Thorne said if for any reason cyclists couldn't use the road - or cycle lanes - they should dismount and walk on pavements with their ike. Residents complained that cyclists were driving too fast, without lights in the dark and some could be rude or aggressive in expecting pedestrians to get out of their way.

There was also an issue of cyclists travelling too fast without consideration for pedestrians down the ramp section of Taff Trail underneath the railway bridge on Taff Embankment.

Cycling on the pavement is an offence under the Highways Act, and police can impose a fixed penalty. Community police told the meeting they had instructed cyclists when they had come across incidents and it would be a PACT priority.

There was some discussion as to whether some cyclists were confused about the law, given the number of cycle lanes and trails which existed; also that the traffic through Grangetown on the main routes was so heavy that some cyclists were not feelings safe to be on the road.

Police are to look at education initiatives too.

Meanwhile, the meeting heard that action against drug-dealing was continuing to be a priority - with an arrest and seizure in Clive Street earlier that day. In total, there had been 51 convictions in Grangetown and Butetown for Class A drug offences since September 2015.

Safety Week: Dog owners urged to sniff out crime

Dog walkers are being urged to have a nose for crime, in a new campaign which was launched as part of the second Grangetown Safety Week.

Paws On Patrol is urging dog walkers to keep their eyes peeled while out and about and report anything suspicious which may be crime.

AUGUST 2016: Councillor wants 20mph limit

A Grangetown councillor is to ask for 20mph speed limits to be imposed in roads immediately around three local primary schools.

Chris Lomax told Grangetown’s PACT meeting he would be contacting Cardiff Council to ask about curbs in North Clive Street and Lucknow Street (St Patrick’s), Virgil Street (Ninian Park) and Holmesdale Street (Grangetown Primary).

"Parents can sometimes be distracted picking children up from school and it’s difficult enough without cars travelling too fast," he told the meeting.

20mph zones have already started in parts of Cathays and Plasnewydd after a successful pilot and are set to be rolled out in Riverside and Canton.

Grangetown has also been mentioned for the future but Councillor Lomax said he would like the area included as soon as possible. He saw no reason why all streets other than main roads could not be included.

Councillor Lomax told the meeting he would be contacting cabinet member for transport Ramesh Patel, who later tweeted that he would look into it when Mr Lomax got in touch.

Meanwhile, August's PACT meeting also heard:

  • A police waymarker/PACT priority will stay in place to tackle drug dealing in the streets around Court Road. Extra patrols were in place and residents with suspicions/descriptions are asked to call 101
  • An arrest in the Mardy Street area followed the recovery of heroin and a cannabis factory.
  • A drone is being deployed as part of a city-wide crackdown against off-road bikes. Residents are asked to report descriptions of bikes/riders – photos if safe to do so. One off-road biker from the area fined after local community support officer work.
  • Residents complaining off parking on double yellow lines to use cashpoints/shop; delivery lorries on double yellow lines; speeding traffic in the Cornwall Street area.

For consistency, all future PACT meetings are to be held at the Grangetown Hyb (Library) until further notice, usually on the first Tuesday in alternate months. The next one though will be in the second week of October during a planned community safety week.

May PACT meeting: Warning after car break-ins

Police are warning motorists after a spate of car break-ins in Grangetown.

Residents are also being warned to keep a look-out for youths on bikes who have been targeting valuables in cars.

The group, usually dressed in hoodies, have been known to target vehicles with valuables on display or left unsecured.

PCSO Hannah Campbell-Todd told Grangetown PACT meeting that the thieves operated "very, very quickly" and warned drivers not to leave their vehicles unlocked for an instant - while also making sure valuables were not left behind when cars were locked.

A van driver left the window of his white van open in Mardy Street and a wallet was stolen.

Vehicles have also been targeted on Havelock Place and on Thomas Street and Bishop Streets.

Two cars were also broken into overnight on Tuesday.

If you see a group or individual acting suspiciously around cars call 999 for an immediate response.

The PACT meeting has agreed to make drug dealing in the north Grangetown and Pentre Gardens areas a continued priority. Since the last meeting, there had been an arrest for a drugs offence and drugs recovered after a routine stopping of a car. A cannabis factory was also neutralised in Pentre Gardens although suspects are still being sought.

There had also been five warrants issued for prostitution offences.

Residents also complained of continued issues with litter and fly-tipping. Ashley Lister, secretary of Grangetown Community Action, said there had been a positive meeting with the new waste enforcement officer for the area, who had already been involved in enforcement action at addresses where waste was being left out on the wrong days.

Meanwhile, police have asked cyclists to make sure their bikes are secured after 20 thefts in Grangetown and Butetown in recent weeks. The next monthly PACT meeting is being held at Channel View, 7pm on Wednesday 6th July.

Cannabis factory raided with drug dealing a PACT priority


Cannabis seized in a Grangetown raid this week

A cannabis factory has been shut down after a police raid near the Taff Embankment in Grangetown in April.

Police seized a number of plants from the old garage building near Pentre Gardens.

Drug dealing is a PACT priority this month. Suspicions of drug dealing in the north Grangetown area were raised at the April meeting with police promising to target the issue in the next month, alongside ongoing operations in the area.

Taff Mead residents have also been on the alert for suspicious vehicles in the neighbourhood of Pentre Gardens and urged people to call 101. Residents in the wider area off Cornwall Street and Court Road were also asked to report any descriptions of suspicious cars or people to 101 - even anonymously - to help build up intelligence.

Police have already heightened patrols via waymarkers in the Windsor Quay and Pentre Gardens area, in which drugs are also issues. Ferry Road is another area, involving shoplifting at the retail park.

Residents again raised issues regarding fly-tipping and litter, while abandoned cars and lorry deliveries in Clare Road were other issues.

Safe zone for prostitutes idea raised

A Grangetown councillor has backed the idea of a safe zone for prostitutes - away from residential areas - as a "last resort" for dealing with the problem in Grangetown and Adamsdown.

Councillor Ashley Govier told Grangetown's PACT meeting he was raising the issue with officials and was prepared to put forward a motion on the issue to council in the New Year.

A task and finish group, led by fellow Grangetown councillor Lynda Thorne, reported two years ago. "Exploring the benefits of diverting street sex work will be considered," says the report. There has also been a fact-finding visit to Liverpool to look at a safe zone operating there. The idea has also been raised by Gwent Police recently in Newport although with a mixed reaction from local politicians.

Although there is hostility from South Wales police to the suggestion in Cardiff and he admits there are lots of legal and political issues to overcome, Mr Govier told residents: "We're at that stage that no matter what we do, we'll never put an end to it. We've got to think radically about what we're going to do about it."

He said there were women with real problems, who could be in danger, and such a zone could provide a safer environment away from residential areas, with access to support and contraception. A snapshot survey in 2010 interviewed 17 prostitutes and found many had drug problems and experienced violence, as well as facing abuse in their own backgrounds.

Community police said they were issuing street cautions to women and there had been two arrests recently of repeat offenders. Prostitution is also one of the Grangetown PACT priorities for the next month. One resident said the problem seemed to be spreading to his neighbourhood.

The Taff Embankment area has long had a problem, with residents' complaints for years about kerb crawlers and nuisance early in the morning and late at night. Around 15 years ago, Taff Mead residents had a street watch patrolling the streets to move the problem one. In recent years, the Streetlife charity has worked with police to try and work on minimising nuisance and offering support to street workers.

Grangetown - like the Docks - has a long association with the "oldest profession." Victorian newspapers are full of stories of prostitution in "disorderly houses" - including houses in north Grangetown not long after they were built.

Meanwhile, the PACT meeting also made anti-social behaviour in the Llanmaes Street lanes area another priority.

Police said they had kept on top of drug issues in the Cornwall Street area with dozens of patrols, two cautions and a cannabis factory was found in Stafford Road. Council enforcement officers had issued 185 parking notices in August, while Mr Govier said issues involving the new red and yellow waste bags were still occurring. He also said the Greener Grangetown project was scheduled to start in March.

Fly-tipping and litter not drug dealing is biggest problem for residents

A door-to-door survey of more than 500 residents in Grangetown by community police found fly-tipping, litter and anti-social behaviour the biggest gripes.

The survey on August 13th was part of Operation Perception after an alleged murder and other major crimes in recent weeks.


This fly-tipping was highlighted by a resident in Jubilee Street.

A total of 40% of the 520 residents questioned said they had no issues, while 60% said they had some issues. Only 20 reported drug dealing as an issue for them. Residents were questioned in an area strething from Grange Gardens across to Clive Street and up to Penarth Road.

Grangetown PACT meeting heard from community police, that overall reported crime was "the lowest for a generation in Grangetown". Latest available stats for residents - for June - however show crime the highest for a year, and 8% of reported crimes had led to court action and only 16 people had been jailed in the year to June 2015. Drugs accounted for less than 2.5% of reported crimes. More than a quarter is for anti-social behaviour.

Nevertheless, there was still concern at suspicions of street drug-dealing in parts of north Grangetown and it will remain a PACT priority. Two men had been charged with crack cocaine and heroin offences after arrests in the Penarth Road area, while six men from the Riverside area face trial for allegations of dealing crack and heroin in Grangetown.

Police said they had undertaken more than 600 patrols in the Cornwall Street area alone in the 40 days since the last meeting with residents.

The other PACT priority for the next few weeks is cracking down on off-road biking.

Meanwhile, fly-tipping and litter remained a concern. Ashley Lister of Keep Grangetown Tidy said the group so far had picked 146 bags of litter and waste, involving 300 hours of voluntary work.

Police said reports of prostitution in the Taff Embankment area had tailed off but more operations were planned and they had been involved in meetings with the Street Life charity. Meanwhile, they warned motorists to be vigilant and not to leave valuables in cars after a spate of break-ins in neighbouring Butetown.

You can now join the Keep Grangetown Tidy Facebook group at facebook.com/keepgrangetowntidy and please also follow @TidyGrangetown on Twitter.

JULY PACT MEETING: Police and residents appeal after prostitution increase

Residents in the Taff Embankment area are being urged to report any prostitution problems to police, after a rise in reported problems in recent weeks.

Grangetown PACT meeting heard there have been four or five new women from outside the area operating after a relatively quiet period for the locality. Residents were urged to call 101 with any sightings, with view to a crackdown as well as police and council working with agencies like Streetlife to help offer support to the sex workers themselves.

Meanwhile, the local Taff Mead residents' group - which has an active email list - is also urging people to report sightings. There have also been local worries of drug-dealing and there was a break-in in broad daylight in the Pentre Gardens area, where the burglar got in through a front door.

Residents are understanding of the social problems prostitutes often have, as well as the issue of solving it by not just pushing the problem onto an adjoining neighbourhood.

As one said, local residents and police "have done a lot to try to eliminate sex working in our area and we need to make sure we address this now so that it doesn't become entrenched again."

The appeal from the residents is: "PLEASE PHONE 101 if you see sex workers to give descriptions of the women, the times they are working etc. The sex workers seem to be working together and are more organisd than they have been so we need to take action. We realise that phoning101 to report sex workers can be tedious but we would ask that you take the time to report any evidence of prostitutes soliciting in our area. The more 101 calls we make, the more seriously the police will have to take our concerns about prostitutes working in our area."


There was concern after the fire on 8th July spread to homes in Allerton Street, caused by a cannabis factory in one attic.

NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING TEAM:

Local police constables and community support officers
Call 101 or messages can be left with police on Blackberries:

Pc Ian Booker (Force No: 4955) Contact Number: 07584770605 Email: ian.booker@south-wales.pnn.police.uk

PC Laura Wickett (5422) Contact Number: 07584003694 Email: laura.wickett@south-wales.pnn.police.uk

PCSO Ceri Evans (52744) Contact Number: 07584883475 Email: ceri.evans@south-wales.pnn.police.uk

PCSO Dan Holloway (55324) Contact Number: 07584003979 Email: Daniel. Holloway@south-wales.pnn.police.uk

PCSO Hannah Campbell-Todd (56210) Contact Number: 07805 301566 Email: Hannah.Campbell-Todd@south-wales.pnn.police.uk

Grangetown community police

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner: Alun Michael Website 01656 869366, email: commissioner@south-wales.pnn.police.uk

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