Police were kept busy night and day in July and August as Penarth crime figures soared

Police were kept busy night and day in July and August as Penarth crime figures soared

The summer of 2016 may be over for Penarth – but it appears that the warm(ish) weather and the influx of visitors brought with it an unwelcome crime wave. 

July 2016  figures presented to Penarth Town Council by South Wales Police show that  crime was over 56% higher than it was in July 2015.

Penarth Crimes:  July 2015 = 67:  July 2016 = 106 

In August 2016 South Wales Police say there were 102 recorded crimes in Penarth which – it’s claimed – is “exactly the same” as the 102 crimes committed in August 2015 .[PDN Note: In fact police told Penarth Council a year ago that in August 2015 there had actually been 83 crimes  in the town ( not102” crimes as is now reported). If the original “83” figure was correct, that would mean there has been a 22% increase in August crimes in Penarth, year-on-year]  

Inspector Gary Smart of South Wales Police

Inspector Gary Smart of South Wales Police

Presenting the figures to councillors  Inspector Gary Smart said the July increase in crime was – in part –  explained by the fact that South Wales Police now record a “crime” in their statistics as soon as  someone reports that a crime has taken place. This represents a change in the previous procedure [when a “crime” would be not be recorded until it had been investigated ] .

Inspector Smart also told councillors that another factor was that a prolific local burglar had been at “about on the streets” in July. This person had now been arrested (by Gwent Police).

Commenting on the apparent increase in crime in Penarth in August, Inspector Smart again pointed to the change in the way police crime figures were now being recorded and said that  “perhaps sometimes the crimes aren’t as first believed by  the public” .  On the overall figures, Inspector Smart told Penarth Council “I think this is a good result and is probably better than last year”.

Cllr Janice Birch (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Janice Birch (Labour Stanwell)

On Domestic Violence in Penarth, Inspector Smart said that he had been asked in an earlier meeting [by Cllr Janice Birch, Labour Stanwell]  for a breakdown of figures. [There were 2 such cases in July and 4 in August.]  He said the “offence rate in the Penarth area is relatively low – although every victim of domestic violence is a terrible thing”     .

In the current month (October 2016) Inspector Smart said that there were 3 “on-going operations” under way. These included a national “anti-slavery” operation called  “Operation Perceptional”. He was not saying there were any problems of that nature in Penarth but was something the police looked into, in order to ensure it did not exist here.

Other operations were “Operation Spectre “– which is an knife-crime prevention operation being conducted across the UK. The incidence of knife-crime in South Wales he said, was    low but school liaison officers were going into local schools . He stressed that this was a preventative measure and emphasised it t was not the case that there were “people on the streets running around with knives” in  South Wales.

Inspector Smart said he would personally be running a further anti-social behaviour operation across Penarth and the Vale of Glamorgan in the Halloween and Christmas period in which there would be “a lot more officers on the streets than normal”. 

Acknowledging councillors concerns about motoring and parking offences, Inspector Smart said the force was also undertaking initiatives to improve “courtesy on the road”.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)  raised traffic issues and reported the concerns of a constituent about parking in Penarth and on a case in which drivers had parked simultaneously on zebra-crossing zig-zags on both sides of the road . Cllr Williams asked whether it was possible in some way to “name and shame” the offenders and asked how the council could help the police in such matters.

Inspector Smart said he would personally respond to Cllr Williams’s ward constituent and would liaise with the Vale of Glamorgan Council [which is responsible for parking enforcement in Penarth] .

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) said he would like to know what the law was in respect of disabled people parking on double-yellow lines . Inspector Smart said that disabled people are allowed to park on double yellows provided they do not cause an obstruction. When disabled drivers were issued with disabled driver badges, he said, they were briefed on where they could park.

The Mayor of Penarth and Leader of the Council Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines)

The Mayor of Penarth and Leader of the Council Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines)

The Mayor Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) asked whether this was a police matter or something to be dealt with by the local authority.   Inspector Smart said it was “both”. The police could deal with highway obstruction – although it was often a matter of “driver education”   .

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)  asked about the problem of drivers  parking on corners so that “sight-lines” were obstructed for motorists emerging at road junctions. He said “selfish parking” was a matter of basic road courtesy – as the inspector had alluded to earlier . Inspector  Smart said each case was  “judgement call for whoever attends it”.

Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines) said she found there were problems in the quiet residential roads of Penarth where vehicles  parked on the pavement leaving insufficient room for a wheelchair to get past . She said she had sometimes got “so incensed” she had taken the matter into her own hands and “stuck notices on the front of a car” – bearing the message “ could a wheelchair get by you?” . Cllr Cook said “We need to do something” .

Inspector Smart said each case should be taken on its merits – and it was up to the Highways Agency to create places where people could park.

The crime statistics for Penarth for July and August 2016 are as follows with the August figure in brackets. [PDN NOTE: The official police figures contain the confusing categories of  “Violence against the person (Non Violent” and “Violence against the Person (Violent)”. The distinction is not explained. Also the categories of  “Burglary” and of “Hate Crime” – the latter of which had been included in previous reports at the request of Cllr Neil Thomas, have not been included by Penarth Police in this set of figures]    :- 

  • Criminal Damage = 5 July (4 )August
  • Drugs  = 2 (1)
  • Other (i.e shoplifting) =  2 (2)
  • Theft =  20 (24)
  • Sexual Offence 2 (2)
  • Robbery =  0 (2)
  • Theft from motor vehicle =  3 (7)
  • Theft of Motor Vehicle  = 1 (1)
  • Damage to vehicle  = 5 (5)
  • Violence against the person (Non Violent) [PDN Note:Official police categorisation] = 5 (11)
  • Domestic related = 2 (4)
  • Violence against the person (Violent)  [PDN Note:Official police categorisation] = 5 (11)
  • Domestic related = 2 (4)
  • Section 39 Common Assault = 5 (10)
  • Section 47 Actual Bodily Harm = 0 (0)
  • Section 18 Grievous Bodily Harm= 0 (0)
  • Causing death by careless driving (1) (August only)

Total Crimes = 67  (102)

PDN NOTE: The crime figures in the official police spreadsheet which was  given to councillors at the council meeting do not add up to the totals given . PDN is asking South Wales Police for a corrected version .


About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Ollie says:

    What’s the basis for blaming these crime figures on ‘an influx of visitors’? I don’t see any mention of it in the comments by Police. He seems to mostly attribute it to new ways of recording it.

  2. RetailGuru says:

    It’s been a noisy, anti-social summer. I’ve called 101 three times, and have seen no response whatsoever from the police.

  3. Anne Greagsby says:

    Unfortunately NO actual action agreed to deal with inconsiderate parking. Until the vale council make an effort to change the rules this is in the hands of the police who largely ignore pavement parking, parking at bus stops and corners.

    • whatsoccurin says:

      I agree-it is a bit like when you see graffiti in shopping centres-it basically says “no-one cares”-I think In Penarth, inconsiderate parking and negligible enforcement seems to be saying “do what you like-no-one cares in this place”-this then escalates into ante-social behaviour and more serious crime-the surprise is that there are not more road accidents and injuries.

      • JimiB says:

        I bet the traffic warden, who only comes 2 or 3 times a week to Penarth, doesn’t go outside the town centre. Just look at the parking, on yellow lines, on corners, on the road leading to the beach, which has double yellow lines, with vertical double lines. It’s full of cars when there is an event on. Yes, this often looks like-no-one cares, too.

  4. Martin Coffee says:

    As I understand it Barry’s enforcement officers can only deal with matters where there are specific parking restrictions such as yellow lines and marked bays. The police are responsible for everything else such as zig zag lines and roads without parking restrictions.

    I’m afraid that the “words of advice” method used by the police is not working. What we need is tickets and tow-aways.

    I’m fed up with the lack of action which is creating a danger for all road users, vehicular or otherwise.

    Since our representatives in Barry are starting to take an interest in the forthcoming election perhaps we should express our concerns to them as well!

  5. Bobbie Bay says:

    “Inspector Smart said each case should be taken on its merits – and it was up to the Highways Agency to create places where people could park.”

    Is that Inspector Smart speak for I’m not enforcing the law?

    • Martin Coffee says:

      He meant the local highway authority not the Highways Agency who are responsible for the National Network.

  6. Paul Fenton says:

    Before I comment on the fixtures have PDN checked their published figures as correct? I personally make it 70 (91). Where are the burglary statistics?I know for a fact there were a spate during these periods. Look forward to some clarification.

    • newsnet says:

      The figures come from two sources, comprising :-
      (1) the notes of the oral account given by the inspector at the council meeting and
      (2) the police spreadsheet issued to councillors at the same meeting.
      The oral account (1) given at the council meeting quoted the crime figures for July 2016 as “106” BUT in the spreadsheet (2) issued by the police the total of crimes for July 2016 was quoted as “67”. On the same spreadsheet the headings were missing from the heads of the columns and councillors were told the police had had “trouble in printing them out”.
      The spreadsheet figures are also differently categorised and differently formatted from the former spreadsheets provided by the police to Penarth Council- and the crime category “burglary” did not appear on the new spreadsheet.
      Now that you have raised this, we have double-checked the column-totals at the base of the official police spreadsheet issued to the council meeting and find that they are all incorrect and do not tally with the subtotals of various crime categories. We can only speculate that reason for this disparity is that category “burglary” (which does not appear on the new spreadsheet) – SHOULD have been included but has mistakenly been left-off it, but the actual FIGURES for burglary HAVE been included in the spreadsheet totals.
      This still doesn’t account for the “106” figure for July quoted at the council meeting.
      We will now ask the police to let us have a revised and corrected copy of their crime spreadsheet.

  7. Paul says:

    Well yeh, I expect they would, especially as they got thugs coming in from Cardiff, ready to rumble!

  8. snoggerdog says:

    isnt cllr cooke commiting criminal damage with her stickers?

  9. Andrew Worsley says:

    Whats wrong with having a Laughing Policeman , RetailGuru….. he is probably a jolly old soul and we need more of his type , watching Policemen in pairs walking down the street chortling to themselves would be uplifting , imagine the publicity too?? Come to Penarth and see how happy our Police , if you report a crime to them they will either chortle or guffaw with delight , before trying to be serious and if you give them half a crown they will probably laugh even more, how utterly delightful and olde worldly, and charming too . Much better than the dour and miserable face of the present Police Commissioner, he walks round looking like he lost a week. Much nicer to have Bobbies which is a much better name for the Police too , well done Mr Smart you keep that cheerful persona.

    • RetailGuru says:

      Andrew, I would applaud and respect Inspector Gary IF he was actually tackling crime. Crime up 56% and all you can say is “keep that cheerful persona”! We need people who are serious about tackling crime, not buffoons who think minor crime is ‘one of those things’.

  10. Andrew Worsley says:

    Lighten up RetailGuru I was being humorous , but I am aware that quite a lot of people in Penarth have no detectable sense of humour , gossip is the local pastime and the more outrageous the better , not that the victim will discover whats being said about them , that’s where the fun comes in especially for the malicious gossips. As I say a sense of humour is seldom required in Penarth if it is used its viewed with confusion for the most part , and taken seriously, your response to my joke is an object lesson in that very thing
    and illustrates it perfectly.

    • RetailGuru says:

      Andrew, people that know me say that my sense of humour is very much intact. Your posts however are odd, confusing and not actually funny in the slightest. Best that you think of something else to do with your time….

  11. Andrew Worsley says:

    Oh RetailGuru what a disappointment just when I thought we were all grown ups here we get the odd one out . Im glad you ensured you added PEOPLE THAT KNOW ME SAY MY HUMOUR IS VERY MUCH INTACT (is that a presumption or have you actually asked them )?. And that line is a well known ploy used by MPs and the media to reinforce or try to back up an idea or statement they make we hear it all the time such as “lots of people agree with me” or “many people are against this or that ” we are supposed to take the persons word as he or she has now told us lots of other people , who we will never know of have the same point of view , it means nothing. Well as you say they know you, well I don’t , and as you say my posts are odd it just shows the ‘limits’ of your sense of humour , they are only confusing if your not open minded and remember when I said people in Penarth are not known for their sense of humour and anyone who SOH is under developed will dismiss some humour as UNFUNNY , ODD, STRANGE , NOT AMUSING , AND THE VERDICT THEY ARRIVE AT IS THEY ARE NORMAL YOU ARE NOT as you have willingly and unknowingly illustrated beautifully … I couldn’t have done it better myself . Now instead of acting like a child or a smarty pants or grump, just ignore my posts theres a good lad . Oh and don’t presume to tell me what to do with my time, as I could say the same to you, But im not AS RUDE OR CHILDISH . Oh and by the way some people find my posts interesting if not amusing and unlike yours that’s a fact

Comments are closed.