A GWENT Police crackdown on crime in the centre of Newport has led to a rise in violent incidents in Pill, a board meeting revealed yesterday.

A three-month operation has seen a reduction in violent crime in Newport city centre, but some of it has moved to Pill.

The Assistant Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Lorraine Bottomley, told the meeting of the Strategy and Performance Board that Pill is an area of concern.

Ms Bottomley said: “We’ve stemmed the violent crime in the city centre but there has been tension in Pill. A couple of communities have been rubbing up against each other.

“People know there have been crackdowns in the city centre, so have been drinking more locally.”

A dispersal order has also been introduced in Newport City Centre, which runs until January 1 2015.

Dispersal orders give police and community support officers the power to direct any groups of two or more people to leave a specified area if their behaviour is likely to cause members of the public to feel alarmed, harassed or distressed.

Anyone who refuses to leave, or returns to the area within 24 hours when ordered not to do so, can be arrested under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.

Chief Constable of Gwent Police Jeff Farrar also revealed yesterday there has been a four per cent increase in crime in Gwent, but he said the rise is down to the way crime has been recorded.

He said: “We have recorded an increase in crime in Gwent. But the rise is because of a change in the way we are now recording a crime.

“At the end of March, Gwent was identified as one of only three forces in the UK who showed an increase in crime.

“Now we’ve been told there are 29 forces out of 43 who have seen an increase. Our increased figures are due to an internal inspection into crime-recording.

“More crimes are being recorded – but because we are doing our job.”

Mr Farrar said crimes involving violence against a person but without injury, for example pushing and shoving, have increased by 36 per cent because they were fewer recorded before.

But Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston said: “We still have some work to do. It’s not where we want to be.”

The board also revealed a Victim Services Hub has been created thanks to funding from the Ministry of Justice.

The hub will aim to streamline the system for victim support, so people who phone Gwent Police hoping to find more information about their incident can access support quicker.