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Calls for police to tackle Newport’s persistent drug-related crime

General street view of Wheeler Street in Newport (Pic: Google)

PERSISTENT problems with drug-related crime are blighting the Shaftesbury area of Newport, a local councillor has warned.

Lauren James told a council meeting on Tuesday (January 23) that residents of Wheeler Street had sounded the alarm about “drug-dealing” and “needles being found outside people’s front doors”.

Despite the community sharing concerns with police for “at least six months” the issues remained, Cllr James said.

Residents “don’t seem to be getting anywhere” in their calls for action, and had “recently been told that they have to start all over again due to a change in staffing”, she added.

The Green Party councillor was speaking to Gwent Police superintendent Jason White during a police questions section of Wednesday’s full council meeting.

She said she was “quite concerned” about the residents’ experiences and asked Supt White to reassure the “worried” Shaftesbury community.

Supt White said he was “concerned” there had been “mixed messages” around staff changes, which shouldn’t change “the way we police”.

“I would encourage residents to link in with their local community support officers (PCSOs) or their local police constables or contact Crimestoppers,” he said.

Gwent Police also runs a “24/7” online service – which can be contacted anonymously – at its force control room, he added.

Local information remains a key tool for police investigating drug-related crime, Supt White said, adding: “Please, please, please, we can’t do it unless we have that community intelligence. Once we have got that, believe me, we will act on it.”