Members received a presentation from Chief Superintendent Martin Jones on the Local Policing Plan.
At the start of the presentation Chief Superintendent Martin Jones paid tribute to Cllr.D.W.Davies and dedicated his presentation to him as Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Protection.
Chief Superintendent Martin Jones introduced Chief Superintendent Jo Maal who would be succeeding him when he retires in May 2019. Chief Superintendent Jo Maal expressed gratitude for the invitation to Council and confirmed that the excellent work developed would continue and build on.
Information was received on the future focus of South Wales Police and previous activities. One area was to further develop partnership working which was key in achieving the six wellbeing priorities of the Neath Port Talbot Public Services Board. One of which was the Early Intervention and Prevention work with children who had suffered adverse experiences during childhood. Police Support Officers had been linking with schools to provide a variety of activities to engage with children and build relationships to enable children to communicate concerns and identify areas of harm to them within communities, for example County Lines Drug Gangs. These gangs target vulnerable people/children within communities to promote and increase substance misuse and accompanying criminal activity.
Disrupting County Lines had been a priority, as a result the Critical Incident Group had been established at the request of the Joint Public Services Board of Neath Port Talbot and Swansea. The Critical Incident Group comprised of statutory partners and substance misuse agencies to develop a strategy to enable the Police to concentrate on disrupting the drug gangs rather than the Police supporting other public services with non-criminal activities. Chief Superintendent Jo Maal confirmed that combating substance misuse would continue to be a priority for the force and work would continue on a partnership level.
Additional areas for continued focus would be Domestic Violence with the emphasis on support to victims. Discussions were taking place with the Crown Prosecution Service to allow victimless court appearances. Intervention work with perpetrators was taking place for them to understand the implications of their actions.
Following on, knife crime had increased nationally, predominately in major cities. Locally, Stop and Search and Awareness Raising had been very effective in combating weapon carrying.
In answer to members queries it was acknowledged that there was a delay in answering 101 calls at peak times but it was noted that 101 was for non-emergency calls only. In addition, a new call back system had been installed which should reduce the call waiting time in future.
Discussions took place on the risks that accompany on-line activities. Cyber Crime was a priority and raising awareness campaigns had been undertaken with schools and voluntary organisations.
The Leader of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council on behalf of Council presented Chief Superintendent, Martin Jones with a gift and thanked him for all the support he had given to Neath Port Talbot County Borough and expressed best wishes for his future retirement. Congratulations were also given to Chief Superintendent Jo Maal on her appointment to the post of Chief Superintendent.