Caerphilly, Ystrad Mynach, Risca, Pontypool, Maindee in Newport, Chepstow and Monmouth to reopen - PCC

South Wales Argus: STATION PLAN: Gwent police and crime commissioner Ian Johnston STATION PLAN: Gwent police and crime commissioner Ian Johnston

SEVEN Gwent police stations will re-open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, Gwent’s police and crime commissioner Ian Johnston confirmed yesterday, with two more opening for a few days a week.

Caerphilly, Ystrad Mynach, Risca, Pontypool, Maindee in Newport, Chepstow and Monmouth police stations will see front counter services brought back, while Brynmawr and Abertillery will reopen for two to three days per week each, sharing resources.

Caerphilly’s front counter will be set up in the town’s library while across Gwent; Raglan, Cwm, Llanhilleth, Cwmfelinfach and Newbridge police stations are being sold.

Options to provide Duffryn with some kind of front counter service are still being looked at, said Mr Johnston while his deputy Paul Harris said similar plans were “well advanced” for Alway and Bettws.

The decision by the commissioner follows extensive public consultation, spurred on by “the public’s disquiet about police stations closing” in 2012.

In April 2012 the then chief constable of Gwent police, Carmel Napier said she would press ahead with the force’s programme to close front counters in 17 stations despite a backlash from politicians.

The Argus reported in November last year that Mr Johnston was considering fully re-opening some of those stations, after he admitted police had “got it badly wrong” over the closure of Caerphilly police station’s front desk.

Speaking at yesterday’s police and crime panel meeting, which met at Monmouthshire council’s headquarters in Usk, Mr Johnston said: “The constant message from the public was, that’s what they want. The Chief [Constable Jeff Farrar] and I are at one on this, we are going to look at how we get it done in financial terms but it needs to be done.

“This will all be reviewed in 12 months,” he added.

UNISON branch secretary for Gwent Police, Linda Sweet said it was “really good news” and said it has become evident that the decision to close the stations was a bad one.

“A lot of my members, the station enquiry officers, were the first face that the public saw,” she said. “They were such an important cog in the wheel that has been lost. The job they still do in Newport and some other stations and their knowledge is invaluable.”

A document outlining the changes, written as a result of recent public consultation, is due to be published online on the commissioner’s website in the next few days.

Comments (19)

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4:24pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Ollie254 says...

Well done Mr Johnston, more uniformed bobbies out and about now please.
Well done Mr Johnston, more uniformed bobbies out and about now please. Ollie254

4:30pm Fri 24 Jan 14

varteg1 says...

Closed for economic reasons so it was said, seeing that the economy of the area is still under austerity measures, I suppose this latest stunt will feed through to our rates yet again.
Police stations closing seemed to impact on the lack of visible plods on the streets, again so said, due to economic reasons we have reduced presence, will opening these stations mean we may see actual beat patrols coming back, or is it a case of simply giving whatever numbers there are to be, somewhere to shelter while they do their paperwork?


Over the last thirty years, the only time a cop has been in my street is after a call was made to 999, I have never seen one without his protective steel envelope, the patrol car.

Those boots they wear are evidently not made for walking.

So people of Gwent, look to expect a rate rise.
Closed for economic reasons so it was said, seeing that the economy of the area is still under austerity measures, I suppose this latest stunt will feed through to our rates yet again. Police stations closing seemed to impact on the lack of visible plods on the streets, again so said, due to economic reasons we have reduced presence, will opening these stations mean we may see actual beat patrols coming back, or is it a case of simply giving whatever numbers there are to be, somewhere to shelter while they do their paperwork? Over the last thirty years, the only time a cop has been in my street is after a call was made to 999, I have never seen one without his protective steel envelope, the patrol car. Those boots they wear are evidently not made for walking. So people of Gwent, look to expect a rate rise. varteg1

4:47pm Fri 24 Jan 14

varteg1 says...

Just looked at a BBC report that states Newport is to try finding 25 millions of cuts which may hit social services, closures of libraries etc. Another report a couple of days ago referred to the cops wanting water cannons,'in case the austerity measures lead to civil unrest.'
Has this, chap now in charge of the Gwent force somehow found a fount of wealth Newport council is barred from accessing?

Something is our of whack here.

OR does he think we Gwent residents are totally stupid?
Just looked at a BBC report that states Newport is to try finding 25 millions of cuts which may hit social services, closures of libraries etc. Another report a couple of days ago referred to the cops wanting water cannons,'in case the austerity measures lead to civil unrest.' Has this, chap now in charge of the Gwent force somehow found a fount of wealth Newport council is barred from accessing? Something is our of whack here. OR does he think we Gwent residents are totally stupid? varteg1

5:54pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Jonnytrouble says...

I wonder how much this is going to cost the Council tax payers that pay Gwent Police ?
Just look at your next Council Tax increase and see if we are in for a massive shock...
If it stops crime im for it, but I doubt it ?
Plods luv going around in there cars ,,, for yrs they done it,,no old fashion by foot patrol and do you see the community ones around ?, when I do which is rare I then remember they do exist still !!!!!
I wonder how much this is going to cost the Council tax payers that pay Gwent Police ? Just look at your next Council Tax increase and see if we are in for a massive shock... If it stops crime im for it, but I doubt it ? Plods luv going around in there cars ,,, for yrs they done it,,no old fashion by foot patrol and do you see the community ones around ?, when I do which is rare I then remember they do exist still !!!!! Jonnytrouble

6:52pm Fri 24 Jan 14

bugsy93 says...

As with every other public service, the ever increasing number of office staff is outnumbering the amount on the front line.Visible policing cannot be achieved with people sat behind computers in offices.
Just look at the hundreds of cars parked around the Police HQ at Croesyceiliog.The pyramid is upside down where staffing in our tax funded services is concerned.
Get the uniforms back on the street not suits in offices.
As with every other public service, the ever increasing number of office staff is outnumbering the amount on the front line.Visible policing cannot be achieved with people sat behind computers in offices. Just look at the hundreds of cars parked around the Police HQ at Croesyceiliog.The pyramid is upside down where staffing in our tax funded services is concerned. Get the uniforms back on the street not suits in offices. bugsy93

12:02am Sat 25 Jan 14

Frankfurt says...

I think that Johnston is doing what he thinks best but it is an odd situation when you have libraries etc. closing, the NHS stretched beyond belief and he's reopening redundant police stations.
I think that Johnston is doing what he thinks best but it is an odd situation when you have libraries etc. closing, the NHS stretched beyond belief and he's reopening redundant police stations. Frankfurt

12:02am Sat 25 Jan 14

adams0411 says...

it seems whatever is done by the commissioner people will moan. Many asked for stations to reopen and this has been done, but look above and people moan.
Lets give them a chance to put things right, front office staff means officers are not committed with dealing with documents being produced and found property.
Give everyone a chance to prove this can work
it seems whatever is done by the commissioner people will moan. Many asked for stations to reopen and this has been done, but look above and people moan. Lets give them a chance to put things right, front office staff means officers are not committed with dealing with documents being produced and found property. Give everyone a chance to prove this can work adams0411

2:53am Sat 25 Jan 14

grumpyandopinionated says...

This is a step in the right direction if you ask me, having closed police stations only makes people feel like the police are inaccesable.

In truth I don't see how there was ever going to be any cost savings as most of the closed police stations still where used as bases so there is normally police there, so you still have to pay for some if not as much building running costs as having it closed. What will the extra cost of having 7 mainly civilian officers add to the balance sheet.

Probably the reason you don't see police on your street is that it's not a crime hotspot or it's just not an area that can easily be patroled on foot. I've never seen a police officer on my street either but theres one on the beat atleast once a day on the main road passing our junction :)

I totally agree that we do need more officers actually out on the beat as visibility means everything. There are alot of the PCSO officers about but they don't really have much cloat apart from being a pair of eyes, but I do notice that they do seem to be more chatty to the general public than the normal officers which is somehing that I find encouraging as it does build trust and in doing so they find out things, it was called doing police work back in the day before modern crime detection became more advanced, as police officers knew everyone or atleast someone that knew someone that was upto no good.

Working late at night I used to see the plod cars come around to check that there wasn't anyone up to no good and it always made me chuckle because any criminal could hear the car coming and just duck behind a wall or hedge so it just seemed like a waste of time and just something to do at night to pass the time. I don't understand why they don't just get out of the car and have a walkabout, they'd be more likely to stumble upon someone upto no good then.

But we can't moan they have alot on thier plate at the moment as it seems there has been a uturn with the gov seemingly trying to start to make them accountable for thier actions. Once they distance the IPC or create a new body then that will be the day that the police start to regain the trust of the people that they supposively serve.
This is a step in the right direction if you ask me, having closed police stations only makes people feel like the police are inaccesable. In truth I don't see how there was ever going to be any cost savings as most of the closed police stations still where used as bases so there is normally police there, so you still have to pay for some if not as much building running costs as having it closed. What will the extra cost of having 7 mainly civilian officers add to the balance sheet. Probably the reason you don't see police on your street is that it's not a crime hotspot or it's just not an area that can easily be patroled on foot. I've never seen a police officer on my street either but theres one on the beat atleast once a day on the main road passing our junction :) I totally agree that we do need more officers actually out on the beat as visibility means everything. There are alot of the PCSO officers about but they don't really have much cloat apart from being a pair of eyes, but I do notice that they do seem to be more chatty to the general public than the normal officers which is somehing that I find encouraging as it does build trust and in doing so they find out things, it was called doing police work back in the day before modern crime detection became more advanced, as police officers knew everyone or atleast someone that knew someone that was upto no good. Working late at night I used to see the plod cars come around to check that there wasn't anyone up to no good and it always made me chuckle because any criminal could hear the car coming and just duck behind a wall or hedge so it just seemed like a waste of time and just something to do at night to pass the time. I don't understand why they don't just get out of the car and have a walkabout, they'd be more likely to stumble upon someone upto no good then. But we can't moan they have alot on thier plate at the moment as it seems there has been a uturn with the gov seemingly trying to start to make them accountable for thier actions. Once they distance the IPC or create a new body then that will be the day that the police start to regain the trust of the people that they supposively serve. grumpyandopinionated

6:59am Sat 25 Jan 14

rightsideup says...

Frankfurt wrote:
I think that Johnston is doing what he thinks best but it is an odd situation when you have libraries etc. closing, the NHS stretched beyond belief and he's reopening redundant police stations.
I'd rather see an open police station than an open library!.
[quote][p][bold]Frankfurt[/bold] wrote: I think that Johnston is doing what he thinks best but it is an odd situation when you have libraries etc. closing, the NHS stretched beyond belief and he's reopening redundant police stations.[/p][/quote]I'd rather see an open police station than an open library!. rightsideup

12:25pm Sat 25 Jan 14

blackandamber says...

Ollie254 wrote:
Well done Mr Johnston, more uniformed bobbies out and about now please.
I we hadn't "voted" for Mr Johnson,his deputy and whoever else on his team being paid buy the tax payer, we could have afforded about ten new cops on the beat.
[quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: Well done Mr Johnston, more uniformed bobbies out and about now please.[/p][/quote]I we hadn't "voted" for Mr Johnson,his deputy and whoever else on his team being paid buy the tax payer, we could have afforded about ten new cops on the beat. blackandamber

1:07pm Sat 25 Jan 14

davidcp says...

Do you known why they go around in cars? I'll tell you.
1. The criminals do. Duh!
2. As there are less of them and people call to report stuff, they have to get there. It's a long walk from Lower Machen to Malpas (one 'patch' according to maps).
3. When they've been called they might have to do something about what they've been called to. How often does what happened happen in a small 100 sq yard bubble, I wonder?
4. Having done THAT something they might arrest someone. Unless I am mistaken, they can't interview arrested suspects over a mobile phone or radio, so they have to go to a station.
5. Writing a report on foot, on the beat, in the rain, means the CPS gets a soggy report. Better to write up what the public called them about on a desk, indoors. Where the computers are.
6. It's not like the Bill, where it's all wrapped up without a file in 60 mins including adverts. Surprise!

Funny thing is, I bet the people who want them walking the beat don't want them to see their bald tyres, untaxed cars, pavement parking, etc. They just want then to see OTHER people's misdemeanours.
Do you known why they go around in cars? I'll tell you. 1. The criminals do. Duh! 2. As there are less of them and people call to report stuff, they have to get there. It's a long walk from Lower Machen to Malpas (one 'patch' according to maps). 3. When they've been called they might have to do something about what they've been called to. How often does what happened happen in a small 100 sq yard bubble, I wonder? 4. Having done THAT something they might arrest someone. Unless I am mistaken, they can't interview arrested suspects over a mobile phone or radio, so they have to go to a station. 5. Writing a report on foot, on the beat, in the rain, means the CPS gets a soggy report. Better to write up what the public called them about on a desk, indoors. Where the computers are. 6. It's not like the Bill, where it's all wrapped up without a file in 60 mins including adverts. Surprise! Funny thing is, I bet the people who want them walking the beat don't want them to see their bald tyres, untaxed cars, pavement parking, etc. They just want then to see OTHER people's misdemeanours. davidcp

5:13pm Sat 25 Jan 14

The Red Claw says...

davidcp wrote:
Do you known why they go around in cars? I'll tell you.
1. The criminals do. Duh!
2. As there are less of them and people call to report stuff, they have to get there. It's a long walk from Lower Machen to Malpas (one 'patch' according to maps).
3. When they've been called they might have to do something about what they've been called to. How often does what happened happen in a small 100 sq yard bubble, I wonder?
4. Having done THAT something they might arrest someone. Unless I am mistaken, they can't interview arrested suspects over a mobile phone or radio, so they have to go to a station.
5. Writing a report on foot, on the beat, in the rain, means the CPS gets a soggy report. Better to write up what the public called them about on a desk, indoors. Where the computers are.
6. It's not like the Bill, where it's all wrapped up without a file in 60 mins including adverts. Surprise!

Funny thing is, I bet the people who want them walking the beat don't want them to see their bald tyres, untaxed cars, pavement parking, etc. They just want then to see OTHER people's misdemeanours.
You are correct, motor transport is an absolutely essential requirement of modern and efficient law enforcement.
Going around in cars certainly enabled some Gwent officers to throughly investigate the log flume at Barry Island, and also enabled a trouser dropping firearms officer to ensure that his female friend got home safe and well.
Further afield and more recently, access to cars gave the opportunity for a police officer in Durham to apparently demonstrate to an arrested person that he could drive at 140mph whilst on their way back to the nick!
[quote][p][bold]davidcp[/bold] wrote: Do you known why they go around in cars? I'll tell you. 1. The criminals do. Duh! 2. As there are less of them and people call to report stuff, they have to get there. It's a long walk from Lower Machen to Malpas (one 'patch' according to maps). 3. When they've been called they might have to do something about what they've been called to. How often does what happened happen in a small 100 sq yard bubble, I wonder? 4. Having done THAT something they might arrest someone. Unless I am mistaken, they can't interview arrested suspects over a mobile phone or radio, so they have to go to a station. 5. Writing a report on foot, on the beat, in the rain, means the CPS gets a soggy report. Better to write up what the public called them about on a desk, indoors. Where the computers are. 6. It's not like the Bill, where it's all wrapped up without a file in 60 mins including adverts. Surprise! Funny thing is, I bet the people who want them walking the beat don't want them to see their bald tyres, untaxed cars, pavement parking, etc. They just want then to see OTHER people's misdemeanours.[/p][/quote]You are correct, motor transport is an absolutely essential requirement of modern and efficient law enforcement. Going around in cars certainly enabled some Gwent officers to throughly investigate the log flume at Barry Island, and also enabled a trouser dropping firearms officer to ensure that his female friend got home safe and well. Further afield and more recently, access to cars gave the opportunity for a police officer in Durham to apparently demonstrate to an arrested person that he could drive at 140mph whilst on their way back to the nick! The Red Claw

5:32pm Sat 25 Jan 14

keithbob says...

does that include bettws police station,theres never anyone in there when i walk past there!
does that include bettws police station,theres never anyone in there when i walk past there! keithbob

8:14pm Sat 25 Jan 14

varteg1 says...

rightsideup wrote:
Frankfurt wrote:
I think that Johnston is doing what he thinks best but it is an odd situation when you have libraries etc. closing, the NHS stretched beyond belief and he's reopening redundant police stations.
I'd rather see an open police station than an open library!.
Miss the point why don't you.

Libraries benefit the rate payers, take them, away and stir up anger, tell Joe Public his local library is to close whilst at the same time a cop shop, closed for 'economic' reasons, is to reopen and all that can be expected is resentment by the law abiding element whose enjoyment in a book is deemed of less value than a place of comfort for the invisible police force.
If the force managed to operate sans closed stations, then irrespective of why they are to be reopened, then they, in effect, do not need to be reopened.

Wiser and more experienced heads than Johnson deemed them obsolete, and he, with hardly any real support for his appointment can offer little excuse, other than seeking popularity, fore putting them back on roster.
[quote][p][bold]rightsideup[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Frankfurt[/bold] wrote: I think that Johnston is doing what he thinks best but it is an odd situation when you have libraries etc. closing, the NHS stretched beyond belief and he's reopening redundant police stations.[/p][/quote]I'd rather see an open police station than an open library!.[/p][/quote]Miss the point why don't you. Libraries benefit the rate payers, take them, away and stir up anger, tell Joe Public his local library is to close whilst at the same time a cop shop, closed for 'economic' reasons, is to reopen and all that can be expected is resentment by the law abiding element whose enjoyment in a book is deemed of less value than a place of comfort for the invisible police force. If the force managed to operate sans closed stations, then irrespective of why they are to be reopened, then they, in effect, do not need to be reopened. Wiser and more experienced heads than Johnson deemed them obsolete, and he, with hardly any real support for his appointment can offer little excuse, other than seeking popularity, fore putting them back on roster. varteg1

8:15pm Sat 25 Jan 14

varteg1 says...

rightsideup wrote:
Frankfurt wrote:
I think that Johnston is doing what he thinks best but it is an odd situation when you have libraries etc. closing, the NHS stretched beyond belief and he's reopening redundant police stations.
I'd rather see an open police station than an open library!.
Miss the point why don't you.

Libraries benefit the rate payers, take them, away and stir up anger, tell Joe Public his local library is to close whilst at the same time a cop shop, closed for 'economic' reasons, is to reopen and all that can be expected is resentment by the law abiding element whose enjoyment in a book is deemed of less value than a place of comfort for the invisible police force.
If the force managed to operate sans closed stations, then irrespective of why they are to be reopened, then they, in effect, do not need to be reopened.

Wiser and more experienced heads than Johnson deemed them obsolete, and he, with hardly any real support for his appointment can offer little excuse, other than seeking popularity, fore putting them back on roster.
[quote][p][bold]rightsideup[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Frankfurt[/bold] wrote: I think that Johnston is doing what he thinks best but it is an odd situation when you have libraries etc. closing, the NHS stretched beyond belief and he's reopening redundant police stations.[/p][/quote]I'd rather see an open police station than an open library!.[/p][/quote]Miss the point why don't you. Libraries benefit the rate payers, take them, away and stir up anger, tell Joe Public his local library is to close whilst at the same time a cop shop, closed for 'economic' reasons, is to reopen and all that can be expected is resentment by the law abiding element whose enjoyment in a book is deemed of less value than a place of comfort for the invisible police force. If the force managed to operate sans closed stations, then irrespective of why they are to be reopened, then they, in effect, do not need to be reopened. Wiser and more experienced heads than Johnson deemed them obsolete, and he, with hardly any real support for his appointment can offer little excuse, other than seeking popularity, fore putting them back on roster. varteg1

8:55pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Cageycat says...

Police Officers still worked from the closed stations, an open station just means you can walk in and see a civilian front office staff member. Besides hardly anyone actually goes into the station, most prefer to ring from and see an officer at their own home! That's why officers are always in cars.
It is not cost effective to have the front offices staffed when there are minimal visitors, the PCC is just putting pressure on Gwent Police to find resources and the funds to pay them.
Police Officers still worked from the closed stations, an open station just means you can walk in and see a civilian front office staff member. Besides hardly anyone actually goes into the station, most prefer to ring from and see an officer at their own home! That's why officers are always in cars. It is not cost effective to have the front offices staffed when there are minimal visitors, the PCC is just putting pressure on Gwent Police to find resources and the funds to pay them. Cageycat

11:30pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Ollie254 says...

blackandamber wrote:
Ollie254 wrote:
Well done Mr Johnston, more uniformed bobbies out and about now please.
I we hadn't "voted" for Mr Johnson,his deputy and whoever else on his team being paid buy the tax payer, we could have afforded about ten new cops on the beat.
Mrs Napier closed Police Stations against the wishes of the public and the Labour MP,s who criticised her at the time but now bemoan her leaving. She could do that because she did not have to ask us if she could keep her job every 5 years with some CC,s using us as a stepping stone to a bigger force and better job. The difference with the PCC is that he has to gain our support. If the ability to exercise our control over the Police, rather than the Chief Constable jumping to the Home Secretaries tune, is only 10 police officers then that is a price worth paying. We need to make our wishes known now as we have some leverage.
[quote][p][bold]blackandamber[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: Well done Mr Johnston, more uniformed bobbies out and about now please.[/p][/quote]I we hadn't "voted" for Mr Johnson,his deputy and whoever else on his team being paid buy the tax payer, we could have afforded about ten new cops on the beat.[/p][/quote]Mrs Napier closed Police Stations against the wishes of the public and the Labour MP,s who criticised her at the time but now bemoan her leaving. She could do that because she did not have to ask us if she could keep her job every 5 years with some CC,s using us as a stepping stone to a bigger force and better job. The difference with the PCC is that he has to gain our support. If the ability to exercise our control over the Police, rather than the Chief Constable jumping to the Home Secretaries tune, is only 10 police officers then that is a price worth paying. We need to make our wishes known now as we have some leverage. Ollie254

11:31pm Sat 25 Jan 14

gingertom says...

Newbridge police station is being sold off which is a relatively new building that has never functioned as a proper police station, it is such a waste and it is opposite the renovated Caerphilly cbc toilets which are also being closed. Businesses are going to the wall through the new pavement scheme which was disguised as a so called regeneration of Newbridge.
Newbridge police station is being sold off which is a relatively new building that has never functioned as a proper police station, it is such a waste and it is opposite the renovated Caerphilly cbc toilets which are also being closed. Businesses are going to the wall through the new pavement scheme which was disguised as a so called regeneration of Newbridge. gingertom

8:40am Mon 27 Jan 14

davidcp says...

"You are correct, motor transport is an absolutely essential requirement of modern and efficient law enforcement.
Going around in cars certainly enabled some Gwent officers to throughly investigate the log flume at Barry Island, and also enabled a trouser dropping firearms officer to ensure that his female friend got home safe and well.
Further afield and more recently, access to cars gave the opportunity for a police officer in Durham to apparently demonstrate to an arrested person that he could drive at 140mph whilst on their way back to the nick!"

And a member of the public once stole some sweets so, by your logic, you're all thieves.
"You are correct, motor transport is an absolutely essential requirement of modern and efficient law enforcement. Going around in cars certainly enabled some Gwent officers to throughly investigate the log flume at Barry Island, and also enabled a trouser dropping firearms officer to ensure that his female friend got home safe and well. Further afield and more recently, access to cars gave the opportunity for a police officer in Durham to apparently demonstrate to an arrested person that he could drive at 140mph whilst on their way back to the nick!" And a member of the public once stole some sweets so, by your logic, you're all thieves. davidcp

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