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Pontypridd Traders Support Safer Town Operations

Pontypridd businesses are joining the crackdown on crime and anti-social behaviour in their town centre.

Newly-formed “Street Briefings” are a new and positive way for officers from the Council and South Wales Police to interact with traders and learn more about issues that affect their high street.

Many small businesses are unable to attend meetings during the day, so police and business crime coordinators – operating under the umbrella of the Safer Town Centre Group - have taken those meetings to the open doors of the businesses themselves!

Now they can openly discuss issues with the traders without them having to leave their businesses during daytimes.

The entire project has been a huge success with between 50 and 60 Pontypridd traders coming forward to discuss their concerns and share the opinions of the general public they come into contact with on a daily basis.

The positive impact of the Street Briefings also includes a reassuring police presence in the main shopping street during weekdays.

The initiative will continue on the run-up to Christmas as further schemes are introduced to try and ensure visitors have a happy, enjoyable and above all safe visit to Pontypridd town centre.

Cllr Paul Cannon, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, Tourism & Heritage said: “With so many initiatives in place again this year, the public are assured a visit to Pontypridd is a positive experience, whether shopping with the family or out celebrating with a meal or a drink in the evening.

“Safe town centres are strong town centres and we are working hard to create that environment through schemes undertaken alongside partner agencies in Pontypridd

“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. I hope that serves as a warning to others and also as a reassurance to our 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 and safe visit to Pontypridd”.

Local Policing Inspector Greg Prosser, said: “It is vital that shoppers and revellers do not feel intimidated by people who cause anti social behaviour or commit crime in our town centres.

“Policing operations will be carried out regularly alongside our partners throughout December, to deter people from offending, but also make arrests when they do.

“Pontypridd town centre has plenty to offer this Christmas. I hope people enjoy themselves, but urge everyone to take responsibility for actions whatever their plans.”

During the past few years the Safer Town Centre Group has successfully increased policing, use of CCTV and the introduction of alley gating schemes in recognised “hot spots” to eradicate various alcohol and drug-related offences.

They also launched an innovative radio surveillance system for effective communication between businesses, the CCTV control room and police.

At just £4 per week digital radios are given to independent traders who can contact one another for support should they witness any illegal activities ranging from shoplifting to anti social behavior on the main street.

Traders are also supporting this year’s Operation Grey Cobra to specifically target shoplifting in Pontypridd as Christmas approaches when there is traditionally a rise in the amount of theft and handling stolen equipment offences.

The operation also seeks to reduce occurrences of anti social behaviour and general disorder with early intervention and action taking place to deal with such incidents.

The various schemes to keep Pontypridd safe aren’t only taking place during the day of course. During the evenings public houses and licensed venues are linked by radio surveillance which keeps all agencies in close contact, along with British Transport Police in Pontypridd Train Station.

Other initiatives include sending Christmas Cards from South Wales Police to prolific offenders reminding them that they are banned from entering the town centre.

Door staff at large licensed venues in Pontypridd are equipping their door staff with body cameras as part of the Pubwatch Christmas scheme. This allows staff to capture footage and images of anyone committing an offence.

Another positive project is the ‘Street Pastor’ scheme set up by local church volunteers who work on weekend evenings to engage with people on the street, especially those who are vulnerable and offer them support.

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.