PONTYPOOL RFC have formally approached Gwent Police for a temporary dispersal order to combat anti-social behaviour at Pontypool Park.

Discussions are said to be continuing with Torfaen council over securing the site, and installing a fencing system to prevent access to the ground which has been the target of arson attacks, vandalism to the main stand, and most recently the iconic scoreboard.

But in the interim the club hopes the police will monitor the park in a similar manner to that of car parks in the town centre, where a dispersal order was implemented in December following persistent disturbance.

Pooler boss Ben Jeffreys said: “There is a sense of inevitability that something more severe awaits Pontypool Park if we do not protect the facility in rapid time.”

Following damage to the cherished scoreboard earlier this month, lifelong Pontypool RFC fans pleaded for an end to what has been a shocking campaign of abuse – with needles also being left on the pitch and screwdrivers, nails and knife blades even being driven into the try line.

Club stalwart Terry ‘Tiger’ Simons, who has dedicated his life to the club since watching his first match at the ground aged 10, said it was “breaking the heart of the club”.

Gwent Police said it would be contacting the historic club, although it had not seen a spike in reports of ASB.

A spokeswoman said: “Following concerns raised by the club, the neighbourhood policing team will be contacting them to discuss these further.”

Anyone who witnesses crime or ASB at the park is asked to call and report it by calling 101.