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Pembroke councillor meets chief constable to discuss policing strategies

Pembroke councillor Jonathan Grimes is pictured in Monkton with Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Constable Dr Richard Lewis (Pic: Jonathan Grimes)

A PEMBROKE councillor who had previously raised concerns about crime and antisocial behaviour in the town has recently met with the chief constable to discuss policing.

Concerns at the level of policing in Pembroke were raised by local county councillor, and town councillor, Jonathan Grimes at the February meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s licensing sub-committee.

During that meeting to discuss a licensing application, and hearing there had been no objections by statutory consultees like the police, Cllr Grimes said: “To be honest I’m not surprised, the police presence is woefully inadequate, antisocial behaviour is on the rise, drug-taking is on the rise, and the police response is woefully inadequate at the moment; it’s unusual to see police patrols after 10pm because most of the police patrols are carried out by PCSOs and PCSOs normally finish at 10pm.”

Cllr Grimes had raised memories of a “mass brawl” at the town’s annual fair last year, the police presence at which he has previously described as “underwhelming”.

“We had an incident last October at the Michaelmas Fair where there were no police available to deal with an antisocial incident, a fight.

“Policing is woefully inadequate in Pembroke at the moment.”

Since then, Cllr Grimes had arranged a meeting with Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Constable Dr Richard Lewis.

Cllr Grimes said: “I had invited the chief constable to visit Monkton in particular, as a result of previous meetings held with Monkton Priory School, Pembrokeshire County Council Housing Services and members of the local community with concerns over safety in our community.

“The level of anti-social behaviour, crime and drug abuse in our town is getting worse and I wanted Richard, as head of Dyfed-Powys Police, to meet with people living and working in our community to listen to them and to see how policing can be improved.

“We had the opportunity to meet with the headmaster of the school, Dylan Lawrence, who told the chief constable of the pressures children were facing as a result of anti-social behaviour in the community.

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“We also met with Danny Nash from PCC who explained the problems being faced by the housing department as a result antisocial behaviour and how it impacted on tenants.

“Finally, we were joined by Lyn and James from Pembroke Street Pastors who were able to give the chief constable their unique perspective on the problems facing our community and young people in particular.

“I would like to thank the chief constable for taking the time to visit Pembroke, listening to our concerns and for promising to go away to discuss the issues covered with his officers.

“We will continue to work with the Pembroke Dock and Pembroke Police to find a more effective way of policing our community – to make it a safer and more pleasant place to live.”

Responding to Cllr Grimes’ previous concerns, Dyfed-Powys Police Divisional Commander for Pembrokeshire Craig Templeton said:

“Whilst I do not agree with Cllr Grimes’ comments regarding policing within Pembroke, or the lack of officers to attend a previous incident last October, I am always ready to listen to concerns raised from within our communities about any policing issue.

“Pembrokeshire is one of the safest places to live, work and visit in the UK and there are many hardworking officers and staff ensuring that this is the case.”