Labour South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael – at his office in Bridgend –  has overseen a 19.9% increase in crime across the Vale of Glamorgan in just 12 months

In a period of just 12 months, crime across the Vale of  Glamorgan has undergone the highest increase of any local authority area  in Wales  – and has risen, in just 12 months, by a staggering 19.9%.

That huge 19.9% increase in crime in the Vale compares with a far lower rise – 9.2% – across the whole of Wales.

The alarming statistics are buried in a Vale of Glamorgan Council report due to be discussed by the council’s ruling cabinet today  – Monday July 3 2017.

Penarth’s long-obsolete CCTV cameras were installed by CableTel/NTL years ago as part of a deal to install cable tv in the town

The cabinet is also being recommended to rubber stamp an increase in the cost for operating the 77 CCTV cameras located across the area – the monitoring of which has been carried out for Vale by Bridgend County Borough Council in Bridgend since April 1st 2016.

Bridgend County Borough, however, hasn’t got enough operators to provide at 24/7 service and so – for  the 8 hours of every day when no operators are on duty – a just leaves the equipment recording.

The report says that “In September 2016 there were a number of cameras that were not fully operational. As at May 2017 all cameras are operational.”

[PDN Note: However South Wales Police has  yet to confirm whether any of the  CCTV cameras in Penarth town centre are fully back in action. In September 2016 PDN reported – and the police confirmed – that not a single one of Penarth’s CCTV cameras was working.  [ See PDN ]

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  1. Chris Franks says:

    I wonder if the loss of 20,000 police is a factor? Time for policing to be the responsiblity of the Welsh Assembly.

  2. Nigel Bull says:

    If we have responsibility for policing given to the Assembly, we would in effect have a National Police Service, open to political influence. There is a considerable element of this with the current commissioners who are not independent, but answerable to the parties that put them forward as their candidates. Will Labour MP’s and AM’s lay into A Micheal over these figures? I think not! Any Members of other parties will always be accused of making political hay if they criticise. That is why commissioners should not be aligned to any party.

    As for Mr Micheal, is he had a scrap of honour, it would be a resignation matter as it’s his direction of Police Policy that has resulted in these figures.

    In the Name Of God Go

    • Frank Evans says:

      Alun Michael is doing a fine job in very trying circumstances. He has my full support. I do take Mr Franks’ point about the desirability of bringing the police service under the wing of the Welsh Labour Government. An excellent point. I have truly seen the light!

      • Frank Evans says:

        Nu labour clone….
        A fine job. What the **** does he do?

      • DRT Andrews says:

        Oh dear Frank, arguing with oneself is really not a good sign. Never mind it can be sorted.

  3. Frank Evans says:

    Well done Alun. The half a million you and your office costs is well worth it. I wish I had that sort of retirement fund.

  4. Big Davey says:

    Here comes another max 5% precept from our deal Alun.

  5. The Tax payer says:

    What about all the crime that goes unreported that people just don’t bother to report. And that’s not counting all the road traffic issues that the police seem to turn a blind eye too. But to be fair to the few police we do have they can’t be everywhere at the same time so we need more of them and not with kid gloves on all the time having to be PC so to speak ???

  6. Paul E J says:

    Please do not politicise the police any further. I can say with some degree of authority based on experience what drives crime reduction and the role of the Commissioner, Welsh Assembly or Home Office are mere bit players.

    The Chief Constable has been in place for 8 years and before him two excellent Chief Constables and all three have managed the best force in the country through some very difficult times. Peter Vaughan is in my opinion the best that there is and he will be a sad loss. Transformation of the police service is a difficult task and maintaining operational policing the key to staying on top of crime. Crime prevention is where the battle is won, and patrol and neighbourhood policing is the bedrock of that strategy. When outside demands take human resources or COPS from these roles crime will rise. Not straight away because there is a lag effect but a few years after the changes when the next breed of villain no longer fear being know by name or caught by someone who is committed to targeting them.

    The loss of such resources were fought vigorously in the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend. However since I retried the National policing priorities, the security landscape and the national and international demands on the UK have changed considerably. Let me highlight some of the things that impact performance in this area.

    1. Street lighting: prevents crime and increases a sense of safety. Why is this important? Because once people feel vulnerable to crime it starts to happen. They disengage and stop cooperating with people trying to tackle it. This is called broken windows syndrome.

    2. Resources: the drive for efficiency has meant centralization of many functions. This has two effects firstly there are less boots on the ground and foot patrol or night time hide and seek with the baddies does not take place. The second is that centralised resources will not retain the local knowledge of the area they came from or have any knowledge of the wider area they cover. I.e answering calls. If a call taker from Merthyr who has worked that area is dealing with a victim from Merthyr and directing resources from Merthyr to respond, BINGO it works well. In time however centralised resources will be recruited from where ever the call center is and it will slowly deteriorate. This is not however criticism of the Chief Constable as it is the only way to maintain numbers to cope with demand and sufficient officers to deal with critical incidents.

    3. Partnership: the Crime and Disorder act made it the responsibility of Local Authorities and other public sector organisations to manage crime and disorder. If all of those organisations have faced cuts over the last few years then each will shut up shop and concentrate on what they see as core functions. Whilst partnership will continue at strategic level the operational end is depleted. One example is street lighting being curtailed in an area another is the centralisation of CCTV, understandable to save the required cuts but with exactly the same outcome as all operators. Loss of local knowledge. Add to that cuts that mean there is no 24/7 operation and the partnership becomes in name only. The true success of CCTV is sufficient operators to monitor and direct resources to prevent crime, intervene early to stop escalation and target resources during serious incidents. If they are under resourced it is not the operators fault and if they are closed hey ho baddies will exploit it.

    4. Morale: The troops have been on the sharp end of a number of stinky sticks for a number of years. Let me share that one or two highly driven determined thief takers on each shift make all the difference in preventing and detecting crime. One or two lumps on a shift at kicking out time stop violent crime. People on foot patrol prevent crime. Unfortunately WAG, Home Office and some HR bods don’t understand the basics. This Was the reality and I am sure it is even worse.

    • The busier you are the more risk of complaints. Complaints are escalated to maintain public confidence etc, the Cop on the street starts to fear being disciplined.
    • Mistakes happen but in policing a mistake can result in an action plan, discipline and loss of job and pension. If they are alone, if they are only on a small team, if the Sgt is too busy to support and lead them. Mistakes happen and they are exposed. Teams become worried and start to do just what they have to get home safely.
    • What drives most satisfaction is doing a good job, feeling useful and feeling appreciated. When the IT and performance structures only finds your failings they will become more remote. When their numbers are so low that they just go call to call and never get to follow up last weeks victim to see how things have improved they see no end result to their interventions. A PCSO may be tasked and this is efficient in cost terms but demoralising in the long run as the gap between response officer and the public can only continue to widen.
    • In truth there has to be sufficient officers to allow them to do their jobs to their best of their conscience or we risk siege mentality setting in.
    • Conditions of service: The draining effect amended conditions of service particularly relating to pensions is nothing short of a scandal. To achieve this politicians have made the police out to be lazy racist yobs. Nothing could be further than the truth.
    • Pay freeze: do more for less is great as an organisational slogan in value for money. However when that more is more violence, more risk, more complaints and more uncertainty it effects morale in work. When the less is less security, less money, less leisure time and less pensionable benefit your home life plummets too.

    So don’t have a pop at the Commissioner, give the Chief Constable sufficient money to return to 3500 in force officer posts, with any new officers as constables on neighbourhood policing. Reconnect policing with its community.

    • Mark Foster says:

      Cut the bullshit.

      Provide the crime statistics by type, race and ethnicity for the UK and for Penarth and the Vale of Glamorgan and correlate it with population

  7. Papa Lazarou says:

    Build the wall..

    • snoggerdog says:

      feel safe from the rabble,DRT, they are all fondling their smartphones,they may end up bewildered but not roused.

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