TORFAEN Assembly Member (AM) Lynne Neagle has said she is “confident” joint efforts can put an end to the campaign of “mindless vandalism” plaguing Pontypool Park.
The historic club has been subjected to a shocking barrage of abuse lasting months with multiple arson attacks, damage to the main stand, including ripped out seats, and attempts on the iconic scoreboard.
Mrs Neagle said it was a distressing situation.
“It’s really saddening that Pontypool RFC are being subjected to these continued acts of mindless vandalism, particularly given the club’s rich heritage and its long and proud tradition at the heart of the community,” she said.
“I’m really keen to do whatever I can to support both the club, the council, and the police as they work together and seek a long-term solution.”
Mrs Neagle attended a ‘multi-agency problem-solving’ meeting set up by Gwent Police, with the club and Torfaen council, last week.
Torfaen council has since offered to install CCTV in the main stand of the rugby ground to deter further attacks and acts of anti-social behaviour.
The action is currently being costed, while the local authority is also seeking legal advice over enclosing the site to restrict access.
AM Mrs Neagle added: “There are a number of options being actively explored to tighten security, including the installation of CCTV and taking steps to enclose the ground. There are also going to be increased police patrols in the area. The truth is, there’s probably no single answer – but with all parties working together, I’m confident these issues will be resolved.”
Both the club and the council have been keen to thank Mrs Neagle for what they called “constant support” throughout the process.
If the rugby club can fence off the ground it would also be able to apply for the WRU A Licence, to progress back to the WRU Principality Premiership division should it gain promotion from SWALEC Championship.
Anyone with any concerns or information about vandalism or ASB at Pontypool Park is asked to call Gwent Police on 101.