CRIME AND COMMUNITY

Grangetown PACT meetings in 2018 will all be held at Grangetown Hub (Library) in Havelock Place on the first Tuesday of alternate months, at 7pm on the following dates:

Tues 2nd October, 7pm
Tues 4th December

Grangetown community police

Action demanded on street drug dealing

Frustrated residents have demanded CCTV and a crackdown on drug dealers in Grangetown.

At a busy meeting of PACT, with community police and all three ward councillors on Tuesday night, groups of residents spoke of their lives being made a misery by street-dealing, right outside their homes.

One of a dozen Ferndale Street residents present at the meeting said: "They never even take a day off - it's happening from 10 in the morning, I can see it from my window. They are the same group, looking out and handing over drugs."

Residents in the Oakley Place and Court Road areas also spoke of "constant" drug dealing. One resident spoke of a "sub culture" which had been present for years but also of people coming in from outside to trade; another spoke of two men being spotted, bare chested, injecting drugs in the street.

One resident brought a bag of empty laughing gas cannisters, collected from her street. Keep Grangetown Tidy have also reported litter from the cannisters as being a continuing issue. Although not illegal, it is being used by youths creating anti-social behaviour.

The meeting was also told of annoyance from street drinking in Corporation Road and Clare Road/Court Road, people under the influence of Spice - including homeless people moving into Grangetown. Another resident spotted men who abandoned cycles, to inject drugs by the Embankment that morning.

Councillors told the meeting they wanted CCTV but resources were limited and police needed evidence to build a case. Residents were urged to report any suspicions, descriptions of suspected dealers and their vehicles to 101, so the pieces of the jigsaw could be built across Grangetown to build a case for action. But there were frustrations also about the 101 service being poor, and lack of communication about what drugs officers were doing, especially in tackling street dealing.

Litter action plan

Meanwhile, councillors say they have lobbied council leaders to make Grangetown a pilot action area to tackle litter and fly-tipping, with more bins and a better waste management programme.

Councillor Lynda Thorne said "Grangetown was not like other areas," with its proximity to the Principality and Cardiff City stadiums and city centre and the numbers walking through the area and the commuting bringing particular pressures.

She also wanted to tackle those landlords and letting agencies who were irresponsible in their waste management. The turnover and diversity of tenants in the private rented sector - which makes up about a quarter of homes in Grangetown - was an issue in getting the message across. Some residents at the PACT meeting urged the council to adopt a tougher enforcement policy.

Community defiant after Nazi vandal attack


The hope not hate message being spread Councillor Ashley Lister and MP Stephen Doughty on Saturday in front of the park keeper's hut, which has been cleaned up.

The Grangetown community has reacted with defiance after racists daubed swastikas, graffiti and Nazi slogans in the area around Grange Gardens on Friday.

Police are investigating the damage, which was quickly removed from walls and a park keeper's hut by council officials, after being discovered early in the morning by residents.

It provoked a strong reaction on social media and is believed to have been a targeted attack, ahead of an anti-racism march, which took place from Grange Gardens on Saturday.

Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty called it "utterly sick and disgusting" while Councillor Ashley Lister believed the perpertrators were from outside the area and the incident "would not be tolerated" by people living in Grangetown.

"You can't break the community of Grangetown," said youth worker Ali Abdi, who helped organise a multi-cultural youth football event with children from 15 different nationalities later on Friday evening in the park.

South Wales Police said: "The offensive graffiti in Grangetown has been removed. There will be a full investigation with every intention of arrest and prosecution of perpetrators. CCTV and house-to-house enquiries underway and posters recovered at the scene have been sent for forensic examination.

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."

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.

NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING TEAM:

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

PC Gemma Richards (Middle Grangetown) Force Number: 5552 Contact Number: 07825262489 Email: gemma.richards2@south-wales.pnn.police.uk

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

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

PCSO Enam Hoque Coastel Grangetown Force Number: 55828 Contact Number: 07825503414 Email: enamul.hoque@south-wales.pnn.police.uk

PCSO Luke Jones (Coastal Grangetown and Retail Parks) Force Number: 56526 Email: luke.jones@south-wales.pnn.police.uk

PCSO Nazrul Islam (Upper Grangetown) Force Number: 56573 Email: nazrul.islam@south-wales.pnn.police.uk

PCSO Nia Smith (Coastal Grangetown And Retail Parks) Force Number: 53952 Contact Number: 07805301193 Email: nia.thomas@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