Penarth Town Council last night received the April and May 2016 crime statistics for the town which show a 25% increase – from 61 crimes in March 2016 to 76 crimes in May 2016.
The latest figures were presented to councillors last night by Inspector Gary Smart who released the crime statistics for April and May this year .
In April 2016 there a total of 78 crimes were committed whereas in May the figure for the month was 76. Shoplifting continues to be a concern as do crimes of violence
The crime figures for Penarth for April 2016 and May 2016’s are shown with May’s figures alongside April’s in brackets :-
- Burglary 2 (3)
- Burglary Other 3 (4)
- Criminal Damage 4 (4)
- Drugs 3 (5)
- Other Offence 9 (6)
- Other Theft (Shoplifting) 16 (19)
- Sexual Offence 1 (0)
- Theft from Motor Vehicle 8 (2)
- Theft of Motor Vehicle 1 (0)
- Damage to Motor Vehicle 9 (7)
- Violence against the Person other 8 (15)
- Violence against the Person 14 (11)
Totals Crimes for April 78 . Crimes for May 76
Inspector Gary Smart, making his first presentation of crime statistics to Penarth Town Council, told councillors that the figures were “pretty much what you would expect really”. The police were, he said “working hard in the area, as always, to bring down crime as much as we can” . The current crime rate was he said “what could be expected at this time of the year”.
In terms of “notable incidents” Inspector Smart referred to a push-bike robbery in Cedar Way Penarth in May [ PDN Note: A police statement had said “A large group of around 10 black youths approached the 14 and 16-year-old male victims, assaulted them and took their bicycles”]. Inspector Smart said that the suspects involved were from not from Penarth but from Cardiff and that enquiries were “ongoing”.
Inspector Smart said that there had been one “hate crime” – a confrontation between two people which was still being investigated . [ PDN Note: In fact the police statistics show that in Penarth there were 2 “Hate Crimes “in April 2016 and 1 “Hate Crime” in May 2016]
The Mayor ofPenarth Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) asked Inspector Smart for a list of initiatives currently being undertaken by local police. Inspector Smart said he would provide that information.
Cllr Janet Birch (Labour Stanwell) – who has consistently requested over a period of four years that the police provide proper figures for domestic violence – re-iterated her request to Inspector Smart . She asked why the police did not provide specific figures for cases of domestic abuse .
Inspector Smart said South Wales Police were obliged to provide statistics in the format laid down by the government for National Crime Statistics. In that format , domestic violence cases would be categorised as “assault“. He said that every morning at Bridgend police headquarters the police looked at every domestic violence incident that occurred. In response to Cllr Birch’s request , Inspector Smart said he would see if he could get the figures for her. Cllr Birch retorted that even Alun Michael (South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner) had promised to produce the figures.
Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) asked for clarification of the categories for “Violence against the person other” and “Violence against the person Physical”.
Inspector Smart said the latter category was “an assault which had resulted in an injury” whereas the former category could be a “verbal assault”.
Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward ) noted the “hate crimes” recorded in April and May. He said these were unusual and asked Inspector Smart what the background was. Inspector Smart said one incident had occurred on a bus – and could have been classified as either being a Barry or a Penarth crime. Hate crimes were something which South Wales police “always keep an eye on” and ” do go that extra mile to get victims to go onto our site and support us through the courts” . After initial investigation, he said “Hate Crime Officers would go in to obtain additional information”. Hate crimes could be “racial hatred” or someone using language against a specific person – he said .
Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) followed up on an incident which Cllr Clive Williams had related of aggressive behaviour from another motorist as Cllr Williams had been waiting to enter the parking ground at the Heath Hospital. Cllr Wilson asked whether motorists knew who should give way in various circumstances. He said there were people who were “not really aware of courtesy on the roads – and it’s becoming more and more of a common problem”.
Cllr Wilson thought that occasionally a bit of advice from the police – perhaps on websites – which gave information on what motorists should do in various circumstances would be useful – for example a number of people consistently parked in front of dropped kerbs – and he asked Inspector Smart what his view was.
Inspector Smart said that he had been involved in a driving improvement scheme for South Wales Police and said anything that would improve courtesy would be good . There was no place of road rage, he said.
At the outset of the council meeting the Mayor of Penarth Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) had invited councillors to participate in two-minutes’ silence in memory of Jo Cox – the Labour MP for Batley and Spen who was killed in the street in her constituency.
Cllr Cuddy said “Perhaps we could take a moment to remember the life of Jo Cox who was very human, and who developed the politics of humanity as well – in contrast to some of the noxic dispatches which have been going on in recent parts”