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Newport police could deploy mobile cameras at anti-social behaviour hotspots

The Civic Centre in Newport (Credit: LDRS)

POLICE in Newport could deploy mobile cameras to areas of the city plagued by anti-social behaviour.

A senior officer confirmed on Thursday (February 29) that Gwent Police would gain access to the technology via a recent partnership with neighbouring South Wales Police.

At a Newport City Council meeting, Superintendent Jason White heard reports from several city areas of problems with youngsters engaging in “bad behaviour” and crime.

Superintendent Jason White speaking at a Newport City Council meeting in April 2023 (Pic: NCC)

These included Bettws councillor Kevin Whitehead reporting the “torching of a car” in Ogmore Crescent, and Gaer ward councillor Stephen Marshall complaining about anti-social behaviour in Maesglas.

He said there were problems with riders of “a lot of bikes” weaving among traffic, and evening “car rallies” along the A48 Southern Distributor Road and in a neighbourhood retail park.

There were also reports of young people congregating outside shops and a supermarket in Cardiff Road and “intimidating” people, Cllr Marshall added.

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Supt White told him police could “put in place mobile cameras to provide some reassurance” to those affected.

He described Maesglas as an area he was “passionate about” and acknowledged there were “peaks and troughs” in incidents of anti-social behaviour.

Lliswerry councillor Mark Howells said he anticipated similar problems outside some shops in his ward during the lighter evenings in the spring and summer.

And Allt-yr-yn councillor David Fouweather reported men “wandering around” the neighbourhood in the early hours of the morning, “trying car doors and testing front doors”.

This was “very worrying” for residents, he added.

Supt White told the meeting vehicle crime was down by 30% in Newport in February, but that had been preceded by a “steep increase” in such offences, both in the city and elsewhere.

There had also been a “significant” rise in car thefts in Cwmbran, he told councillors.

The officer repeated his regular pleas for residents to contact the force if they have concerns about anti-social behaviour or crime in their neighbourhoods.

“People can approach us,” he told the meeting.

Meanwhile, there has been a success story in the Shaftesbury area of Newport since the superintendent’s last appearance at the council.

Ward councillor Lauren James thanked the officer for resolving residents’ concerns around reports of drug activity at a property there.