Pontypridd promises visitors a safe and enjoyable Christmas thanks to a whole range of initiatives being implemented during the festive period in the town centre.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Safety Partnership, which coordinates and drives the efforts of all agencies working to secure a safer County Borough have long-since introduced innovative schemes in Pontypridd to combat specific issues that are affecting the community.
Collectively they have proved an outstanding success. Pontypridd has undergone a widespread £10.5million regeneration project which has transformed the town centre, creating attractive public areas, new paving and roadways and enhancements to buildings.
The busy summer paved the way for a consistent increase in shoppers and visitors to the town centre who appreciate the safety measures introduced both day and night. By working in partnership, Rhondda Cynon Taf and South Wales Police along with Pontypridd Town Council, University of South Wales, local traders, business people and voluntary organizations have made a positive mark on the town.
With so many proactive initiatives in place, the public are assured a visit to the town centre is a positive experience, whether shopping with the family, enjoying the entertainment in Ynysangharad War Memorial Pak or out celebrating with a meal or a drink in the evening.
Over the Christmas period the many festive revelers and party goers who plan to enjoy the restaurants, pubs and clubs that Pontypridd has to offer to ensure everyone has a fun, safe and enjoyable night out.
Cllr Paul Cannon, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Community Safety, said: “We all know safe town centres are strong town centres.
“But we have had to work hard to create that environment and schemes undertaken by the Partnership and specifically the Pontypridd agencies must take credit for that. Those involved have committed to take the work and initiatives forward with huge enthusiasm and professionalism and they are now reaping the rewards of their success.
“We do not want offenders or louts in our town centres and we have sent a strong message to them that they can be banned, by way of exclusion orders and ASBOS.
“I hope that serves as a warning to others and also as a reassurance to our town centre visitors that they have a network of committed professionals working together on their behalf.
“Together they help to change people’s perceptions of Pontypridd and help reassure them when they are informed of the significant amount of operations being undertaken. We want everyone to have a very happy, but more importantly safe, Christmas visit to Pontypridd”
A range of high visibility crime prevention initiatives and undercover enforcement operations have helped keep the town centre safe for all.
One of the measures introduced was a hand-held CCTV monitoring device and a portable chest camera given to Pontypridd Town PCs who can check on a location at the other side of town in an instant, jumping from camera to camera and zooming in to specific areas.
The chest-mounted CCTV camera is useful for gathering evidence when responding to incidents, such as drunken fights and disturbances.
A reassuring additional police presence will also be visible throughout the period with the introduction of a mobile police station in the town centre where incidents can be dealt with or any concerns raised with an officer. The mobile stations, already located on a Wednesday and Saturday during the week are also being introduced on the busy Friday and Saturday evenings.
The presence of police officers in Pontypridd has also been improved with their popular “Cuppa with a Copper” scheme, allowing members of the public to discuss any issues with them. It also gives officers the opportunity to visit particular areas of concern and they will shortly have a regular visitors’ area in the indoor market.
Another very positive project that is helping people stay safe in town, is the ‘Street Pastor’ scheme set up by local church groups with support from partners. These are dedicated and fully trained church volunteers who work on weekend evenings to engage with people on the street, especially those who are vulnerable and offer them unconditional support.
When the night-out is over the taxi-marshalling scheme is in place to ensure fully trained and accredited security staff work around the popular taxi collection point outside the train station, ensuring people wait and get in the taxis in an organised and considerate manner.
The measures put in place are not only benefiting visitors to the town, but landlords and shopkeepers too with the Storenet and Nitenet scheme which runs around the clock throughout Pontypridd. The radio surveillance system provides effective communication within the town and in particular coordinating responses to criminal activity and safety issues with the CCTV control room and the police.
It has long been recognised that issues generated by the festive period, especially alcohol-related crime and disorder and the personal safety/health implications of overindulgence, require a multi-agency response.
Staff training and awareness, especially around underage sales, managing potential disorder incidents and serving those who are already heavily intoxicated – reduce bad behaviour in the town. Currently Operation Lamplight is in place to prevent the sale of alcohol to those already intoxicated. This takes place alongside the use of plastic glasses to prevent injury, the use of bottle toppers to prevent drinks from being spiked and powers banning offenders from all town centres shops due to their behaviour.
If you have any information relating to criminal behaviour, contact the police on 101, attend Pontypridd Police Station or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111