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Tackling Community Concerns in Rhymney

The partners meet to discuss concerns with issues around substance misuse and anti-social behaviour in the Upper Rhymney Valley area.

Police and partners have highlighted their joint commitment to tackle issues in the Upper Rhymney Valley following a constructive meeting with elected representatives and local authority members last week.

The meeting was chaired by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, and provided Gwent Police and local authority partners with the opportunity to discuss how they can tackle issues around substance misuse and anti-social behaviour in the community. 

The meeting was organised by Gwent Police at the request of Dawn Bowden AM and Gerald Jones MP after residents highlighted concerns with issues around substance misuse and anti-social behaviour in their area. In attendance were local elected officials, police representatives and members of the local authority.

The meeting included a presentation on the policing response from the local Inspector. There was an agreement by all of the partners, including elected representatives, that they would work together to tackle the issues raised. Moving forward, they agreed to develop a suitable structure and plan for joint working in the area and to organise a community event. The partners also agreed to look at developing and producing a regular community newsletter that would include key updates and provide details and contacts for all the relevant agencies that can offer help and support locally. The collective also agreed to provide regular updates for the community on the progress made against the concerns raised.

Following the meeting, Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert said: “This was an extremely productive and positive meeting. I understand how the severe nuisance caused by anti-social behaviour and the sight of people clearly affected by drug taking can negatively impact local communities. I was pleased to see so many partners attend to discuss how we can move forward with resolving the issues that have been affecting residents. I was keen to ensure that everyone had an opportunity to raise their concerns and the attendance from the local policing team, partners and elected officials evidenced the coordinated approach we have now agreed to tackle these issues in the Upper Rhymney Valley.

The local Inspector went into detail on what measures can be taken to report crime to gather local intelligence and reassured local representatives that the neighbourhood policing teams are aware of these issues and are responding to reports. We urged local representatives in turn to encourage residents to report matters of concern so that any patterns of behaviour can be established. This will be of enormous value to our neighbourhood policing teams.”

Gerald Jones, the MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, said: “The meeting was an opportunity for myself, Dawn Bowden AM and elected council representatives to voice the concerns that residents have raised with us.  The meeting was a constructive step towards better communication between all the parties involved and the community. There are a number of agencies involved in tackling residents’ concerns and it is important that residents know what support is available in the community to deal the issues that have been raised. I am committed to working with all partners to ensure a better quality of life for local residents.”

Dawn Bowden, the AM for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, said: “We had a full opportunity to consider a range of concerns that had been raised by local residents with us in recent months. We are very keen to work with the local community and to support the Police and other partners in making more progress on these matters. Our focus must be on working together, tackling problems when they arise and providing support to the community. I know that only by working together can we improve how people currently feel about the situation. As locally elected representatives and with other local partners this very important work will continue in the coming months.”