PENARTH CRIME FIGURES CLIMB – AND THE MYSTERY OF THE DISAPPEARING DINERS

Penarth Town Council has been told that local crime is on the increase

Penarth Town Council has been told that local crime is on the increase

South Wales Police told Penarth Town Council  night there were 78 crimes reported in Penarth in September 2016  – compared with 61 crimes in September 2015 – an increase of 27% in 12 months.

The full council meeting, chaired by the Mayor Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) was presented with figures also showing that  last month (October 2016) there were 73 crimes reported – compared with 72 in October 2015 – an increase of 1.9%     

[PDN Note: South Wales Police have altered their reporting method and have retrospectively  modified historic statistics so they can no longer be compared with the data which was originally supplied to Penarth Town Council a year ago.]

Sergeant Julie Madoc of South Wales Police

Sergeant Julie Madoc of South Wales Police

Attending last night’s council meeting was Sergeant Julie Madoc  of Penarth Police who provided statistics for the previous two months and those for the same months in 2015.

The breakdown of the latest crime figures for October 2016 was as follows:-

  • Theft (primarily shoplifting)                       23
  • Damage to vehicle                                           7           
  • Theft from Motor Vehicle                              5
  • Burglary other                                                  4
  • Criminal damage                                             4
  • Dwelling Burglary                                            2
  • Other Notifiable Offence                                2
  • Sexual Offence                                                  2
  • Theft of Motor Vehicle                                    2                          
  • Fraud and Forgery                                            1
  • Assault with injury                                         10
  • Assault with intent to cause serious harm  2
  • Assault without injury                                     8
  • Breach of restraining order                            1

TOTAL                                                                     73

Speaking of October. Sgt Madoc said there had been 23 offences of theft  and an increase in shoplifting offences of  3.

The number of BIKE THEFTS had increased – but the Sgt Madoc said the police were being “very proactive” in dealing with these cases. She said 4 people had been identified and were due to be arrested shortly. One offender had been responsible for 12 offences in the Vale and in Cardiff . Police had put his image on Twitter and Facebook and he had been arrested “within 24 hours”.  Sgt Madoc said another  offender had committed 10 offences in the Vale, Penarth and Cardiff and his picture had also been published. Sgt Madoc said that a police officer’s own bike had been stolen in October “which was very upsetting for her “

There was normally an increase in SHOPLIFTING coming up to Christmas.  Sgt Madoc told councillors that PCSOs were now carrying out “Operation Shopwatch” – and were constantly patrolling the town centre of Penarth during the day and popping into local shops. This tactic, she said, was reducing opportunist thefts .

THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING DINERS:- 

The Captain's Wife restaurant at Swanbridge . Two sets of diners left the premises without paying and may be trying the same stunt on other local restaurants

The Captain’s Wife restaurant at Swanbridge . Police say two sets of diners left the premises without paying and may be trying the same stunt  at other local restaurants

Sgt Madoc said she wanted to bring councillors attention to 2 recent cases of restaurant diners disappearing without paying their bills or – to use police terminology – “making off without payment”.

The management of the The Captain’s Wife restaurant in Sully had directed its staff to report to the police all cases of people leaving the premises without paying their meals.There had been 2 recent incidents. The restaurant had said it did not want the police to investigate the cases,  but was now – as company policy – reporting each incident to the police .

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymuth Ward) queried why the statistics referred to  “Alexandra Ward” – a ward name which he said “is not in being any longer” . [There was no reference to either St Augustines or Plymouth Wards in the data provided by the police]

PARKING 

It can't have been easy to get this van on the zig zags in Windsor Road earlier this week.

This van on a zebra zig-zag in Windsor Road earlier this week had its “emergency” flashers on.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson noted that the “Number One issue” in Penarth was  parking . He said he was “sick and tired” of the number of instances of  illegal parking  – which he said was “on zig-zags, and around corners, and it’s very very deliberate”. The situation – he said was getting “worse and worse”.

Sgt Madoc said there was a consistent problem on a Sunday  when rugby matches were on [ near Penarth Athletic Ground]  cars were parked down to Evenlode Avenue. She said that her officers had tried to cone-off the area – but ROAD CONES  seemed to be popular items to take away . The police stock of cones had now depleted “considerably” – so much so that when the annual Firework Display was being held at the Athletic Ground, the police had found it necessary to borrow extra cones from Cardiff City Football Club.

Cllr Wilson said he had seen people leave their cars in the middle of the road for five minutes or more to visit a local chip shop.

Sgt Madoc agreed. When off-duty she had encountered a taxi double-parked outside a nursery. It had been necessary to show the driver her warrant card to persuade him to move. Through links with the schools, pupils were now being urged to ask their parents to park properly  .

Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines) said she had attended a meeting of the governors of Fairfield School the previous evening at which the governors had said they were “greatly concerned about the parking in the area”. Cllr Cook said “I realise there’s no easy answer –  particularly with the primary schools in Penarth some of which were Victorian and situated in very built-up areas. ” She said Fairfield School had done all it could to make parents aware of the need to park safely. Fairfield had invested in the Green Cone scheme – but the cones were driven-over   and constantly needed to be replaced .Cllr Cook said bluntly “Some parents don’t care”.

Cllr Cook said there was an official one-way system at Fairfield but “people regularly ignore the rules”. She said “This week a parent drove the wrong way up Dryden Road , parked the car in the middle of the road and she took the child to the school gates – you can imagine how irate people were”.

Cllr Cook also drew attention to the problems confronted by the school crossing patrol officer on Wordsworth Avenue  – which she described as “one of the most unenviable jobs in the world”. Cars regularly parked directly in front of the officer as she was trying  escort children across the road – drivers ignored her, parked on pavements and on grass verges. When local residents complained  they were “taken to task” and often suffered “considerable verbal abuse”. Meanwhile, Cllr Cook pointed out, the number of pupils at Fairfield had increased with further increases due in the future.

Sgt Madoc said the police had issued letters to parents asking them to be considerate . If the problem continued, “warning letters” would then placed on cars which informed the driver than in the event of any further infraction they would be “ticketed”.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) said that if a police officer  had arrived on the scene the errant drivers should be booked . “They’ve had all their chances. If a couple of tickets went out, that would have a huge effect”. Sgt Madoc said her officers had “started ticketing”. Cllr Roberts also noted the continuing issue of the potato delivery lorry outside the Plassey St chip shop which he had “photographed regularly”.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said what was called for was a change in the culture of drivers . They should never park on zig-zag lines – that was an offence at any time.

Sgt Jones asked whether it would be a good idea to get information from the local parking wardens [ Civilian Traffic Enforcement Officers employed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Bridgend County Borough Council]  in order to establish what action they were taking on local parking in Penarth.  Councillors agreed that it would be.

Cllr Anthony Ernest, Conservative Plymouth Ward

Cllr Anthony Ernest, Conservative Plymouth Ward

Cllr Anthony Ernest said that at the bottom of  Beach Road on Sundays – when traffic enforcement officers were not on duty cars were often parked part on the road and part on the pavement or wholly on the road.   Cars coming down the hill were confronted with parked cars  “sticking out into the carriageway“.

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) voted last night with Labour - against his own Conservative colleagues

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) wanted to know whether the offenders were “Penarthians “. Sgt Madoc said they came from Cardiff .

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Cllr Turner  also noted that the new format of crime statistics no longer included “domestic violence” as a category. This, he said, was often an issue at Christmas.  Sgt Madoc said the police were very proactive in this area and took “positive action every time” . A lot of equipment had been purchased for “Target hardening” including new locks.

HARASSMENT

Cllr Roberts also queried statistics on “harassment” [11 cases in October]  . Against the background of Brexit and the American Presidential election – he wondered whether there was now less tolerance and more aggression  or was this something local?

Sgt Madoc said if sometimes people alleged “harassment” as a result of something which had been said about them on Facebook. Sgt Madoc said she had questioned this because “I don’t feel that should be down as a harassment”  .

On Cllr Roberts’s broader point, Sgt Roberts said she trawled through every reported incident coming in on 999 and 101 calls and she said “Personally I have not noticed any difference”.

Cllr Roberts thanked Sgt Madoc and her officers for their excellent and unobtrusive  marshalling of the Remembrance Day parade the preceding Sunday.

 

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.
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18 Responses to PENARTH CRIME FIGURES CLIMB – AND THE MYSTERY OF THE DISAPPEARING DINERS

  1. martin houghton says:

    ‘Cllr Roberts also queried statistics on “harassment” [11 cases in October] . Against the background of Brexit and the American Presidential election – he wondered whether there was now less tolerance and more aggression or was this something local?’

    Local council debate is generally deplorable and without effect, but when it descends into trivia it debases the intelligence of the community it claims to present. On minimal votes of course. Yes, both Brexit and the American election appear to be the national scapegoat excuses right now for everything apparently rotting in our system, but such whinging only denies the existence of causes much closer to home. It also fails to appropriately reflect history.
    And they must truly exhaust themselves with repetitive utterances; parking being the prime example. Talk but no action. No vision. Devoid of solutions.
    This level of bureaucracy is redundant.

  2. Martin Coffee says:

    Barry’s enforcement offices do not have adequate powers to deal with the dangerous and illegal parking in Penarth and can little more than enforce the town centre parking restrictions. Dealing with the dangerous and illegal parking is beyond their powers. The police add to the problems by pussyfooting with warnings rather than hitting antisocial drivers when it hurts, in their pockets.

    What is needed is for Barry to take more powers regarding parking enforcement, employ more officers directly, and operate a zero tolerance policy regarding ticketing. The trouble is that with an election due our representatives are frightened of losing the petrol head vote. Indeed we’re already seen one of our representatives on the town council after their support.

    Tickets, tickets, and more tickets is the only way to stop these antisocial car people. Cardiff manage this so why is it beyond Barry?

  3. Stephen Davies says:

    Good to see that Cllr Mark Wilson thinks this is the number one issue!
    Cllr Mark Wilson noted that the “Number One issue” in Penarth was parking . He said he was “sick and tired” of the number of instances of illegal parking – which he said was “on zig-zags, and around corners, and it’s very very deliberate”. The situation – he said was getting “worse and worse”.

  4. Nemesis says:

    Also the police are doing nothing about the Lycra clad lunatic’s on bikes using the hill down to the barrage as a racetrack and going the wrong way around the roundabout , someone will be killed one day I am sure . And if I did the same In a car I would quite rightly get 6 points for dangerous driving , yet the cyclists get away with it every day .

    • Dave says:

      Coming down the hill you have a clear view of the roundabout and area on a bike. If something is there its easy to spot. Stopping and going around the adverse camber correctly on a bike is more dangerous from a bikers perspective. Whilst it is is not the correct thing to do I don’t think its a major issue for Penarth. You could point at the condition of the roads or a million other visible services issues alongside superb planning and building approvals😉

      • Martin Coffee says:

        The reason cyclists go the wrong way around the roundabout is to save having to slow down and to get to their destination 5 seconds faster.
        What I don’t understand is why cyclists think that the Highway Code does not apply to them. The Highway Code is there to ensure that road users behave in a safe and PREDICTABLE way for the benefit of ALL road users including pedestrians. Cyclists going the wrong way around the roundabout are proceeding in an unsafe and unpredictable manner to the risk of other road users.
        One of these days there will be an accident as someone, most probably a child, will run out in front of them.The police and PCSOs should have the power to seize and not return bikes ridden in this manner.

      • Dave says:

        Agree with what coffee is saying and its not the five seconds its the road condition and furniture of the round about and the camber. The alignment of the hill and roundabout and its geometry need to be sorted. Again this is not to save five seconds but coming down the hill hard braking and then going right across the junction at an angle on a bike is not good or safe particularly in icy conditions as I am sure other cyclists will agree. Also from a cyclists viewpoint on the hill as I said you can see all in front of you, if there are other cars,people etc that are in clear site and in the area this would make the illegal maneuver dangerous and thus the riders should accept that and behave correctly.. On a clear view with nothing anywhere then if no one sees you do it then did you😉 These cyclist vs the world comments or anti / pro cycle can play for ever. If you ever cycle then I can assure you that you are very aware of others as they generally don’t see you wherever you are. In the end you are the one that going to get injured not the car driver and regarding hitting pedestrians then most cyclists also know that toddlers on the barrage think they are the only person on the planet so have to give them at least a 10 foot either side and go past real slow and then if they are on scooters / skates you have to allow for them randomly altering direction completely for no reason other than its fun !
        Bored now………………..

      • Richie says:

        You can bleat on about bad parking until you’re lungs give out but until the powers-that-be (and I’m not referring to the VoG Council) do something to tackle the ludicrous amount of cars on today’s roads, the problems you all raise will never go away. End of.

      • Nemisis says:

        Tell that to the poor driver that ends up killing one of you because of your stupidity , and then your family when the police call at the door to tell them your dead because you think the Highway Code is not applicable to you .

  5. Nemisis says:

    On the subject of parking everyday when headlands school either opens or closes , the que of tax payers funded taxis picking up and dropping off leads from the school past the entrance to Northciffe double parked making a busy and dangerous bend even more hazardous.

  6. snoggerdog says:

    transfer sgt dixon from dock green,he used to move the teddyboys on,his notebook would soon be full of car numbers,i think he would have a problem with some “hate crimes”though, L.B.T.G.whats that then sir?

  7. Andrew Worsley says:

    This shows how sometimes the ‘new’ way of doing things is not always better, we of a certain generation remember the Dixon Of Dock Green type of Police and Policing . Walking the beat and being helpful to the general public in all sorts of ways , even when they walked the beat in pairs , most of them were sociable (not all ) and they knew what their job was and did it well and in touch with the people they served and also where the eyes and ears of the community , and they got the information on ‘dodgy’ characters just by stopping to chat to certain people or shopkeepers . Move forward and the Police were put in cars eventually over time withdrawing the Police from the streets almost entirely . In Penarth at the present time you hardly ever see the Police apart from a car driving past or a van , so the link with the people on the streets is now broken . In their place they have put PCSO’s as token Police , ‘some’ poorly trained and unprofessional in their duties and as they have not gotten to know the locals over a period of time (not a few weeks or months) they can be biased and easily influenced. And as for the yellow jackets worn by all the Police now , why bother wearing a uniform to conceal it by a jacket that makes them look like road workers . And yes I know it makes them more visible , but surely they are not needed IN EVERY INSTANCE ??? as I say it ruins the look of the uniform even if the Police got them as a job lot!!!.

    • whatsoccurin says:

      I think you are being a bit harsh on P.C.S.Os but in many areas we do not have a police presence of any kind.I have occasionally rang the 101 number but the response is unenthusiastic at best and is usually punctuated by “what do you expect us to do?” followed by interrogation about your own details, in which they imply it is only a form filling exercise, and if they ascertain you have rung previously “you are obviously a time waster!” Penarth is hardly the Bronx but a visible police presence is essential.

  8. Michael Garland says:

    Perhaps Sgt Madoc would like to meet with Sully and Lavernock Community Council or arrange a PACT meeting in the Community in order to discuss the rising crime statistics in the Sully/Lavernock area, including ‘the disappearing diners’ at the Captains Wife in Sully.

  9. Paul Fenton says:

    Well done Cllr Rosemary Cook for highlighting the dangerous and illegal parking outside Fairfield Primary during school times. I regularly drop my grandchildren off at the school and the main offenders are the ones that leave it to the last minute,that is just before 9am and 330pm respectively. I’ve previously contacted the police a few months ago and also complained to the PCSO Officer Sid. I personally have never seen any police presence during the aforementioned times despite residents and parents continually complaining of the danger to Fairfield pupils attending at those times all to no avail. There is only one way these irresponsible drivers will learn and that is by booking and prosecuting them. I urge the police to take action before a child is seriously injured.

  10. Fed Up Of Penarth says:

    Cut to the chase Sgt Madoc issue some tickets problem solved! Us residents around Fairfield School are now coping with teachers parking on the road this is making things even worse. Byron Place park on every corner and every grass verge. The Gardens once a desirable are now mud.

    Oh and well done Councillors! Not often I can say that. You’ve raised people’s concerns.

  11. snoggerdog says:

    the british way of doing things “raising concerns” .

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