South Wales Police have officially notified Penarth Town Council that a “local graffiti artist” has been arrested – but it now appears the local force has much bigger challenges on its hands as ritual Saturday night gang fights re-emerge in Penarth.
Police had issued a public appeal for help in identifying people whose images had been captures on CCTV in a back lane adjacent to Victoria Garage off Redlands Road.
Inspector Gary Smart – who is in charge of Penarth Police station [a.k.a. the South Wales Police Eastern Vale Operational HQ] has informed the Town Clerk Emma Boyden of the arrest and has told her that moves are being made to have the vandalised areas “cleaned up by the perpetrators”.
Inspector Smart has also apologised to Penarth Council for being unable to attend last night’s full council meeting (the last of the present council) and also for being unable to supply Penarth Town Council with a full set of the local crime statistics for the past two months – which is normally supplied to such meetings.
He has asked any councillors with specific queries to contact him direct.
Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell Ward) said “Clearly I’m very delighted that this person has been arrested . I know it’s caused a lot of havoc in Penarth. “ Cllr Wilson said he hoped this arrest would “send a positive message to other people” making it clear that “graffiti is criminal damage ” and although there were some who thought it was ” “art” in quotation marks” – some people carrying out “tagging” were indulging in anti-social behaviour. It was good that they were being made to clean up their “work”. The Vale Council, he said, had a good reputation for tackling graffiti and he had personally witnessed the efforts made by the youth offending team in carrying out such clean-ups.
Cllr Clive Williams (Independent Plymouth Ward) reminded councillors that there had been criminal damage at the cricket pitch [ Penarth Athletic Ground] about two months ago and this had been followed by “a physical attack” at Penarth Railway Station .
Cllr Williams said that last week 4 car windows had been smashed at the top of Westbourne Road and then on Saturday night 2 people had been taken to hospital after what he described as “another fracas – again down at the Athletic Ground”.
Cllr Williams said he was pointing these incidents out because three or four of these cases had happened on Vale of Glamorgan Council property. He wanted to know whether there was any evidence that these cases were linked – and whether there were “influences from outside the area”.
Cllr Williams said he had heard various rumous of people coming over from Cardiff Bay specifically to have fights. He had heard reports that some of the people involved had “had hammers in their hands”. “This” – Cllr Williams said ” is dangerous stuff”. If these incidents had occurred over a two month period Cllr Williams said he wanted to know if they were linked.
The Town Clerk said she would ask Inspector Smart (who was not present at the meeting) what intelligence he had on these incidents .
Meanwhile South Wales Police have – belatedly – confirmed that they were called to deal with a “disturbance involving a number of youths in Lavernock Road at around 10pm on Saturday, April 8.”
The incident is said to have happend near the Old Penarthians Rugby Club at the Cwrt y Vil recreation ground off Lavernock Road and police say an alleged assault on two youths is being investigated.
The Welsh Ambulance Service said an emergency ambulance was dispatched to Lavernock Road, Penarth on Saturday night and “two patients were taken to the University Hospital of Wales .”
Police are appealing to anyone with information to contact them by calling on 101 quoting reference 1700133036