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

STATION PLAN: Gwent police and crime commissioner Ian Johnston

STATION PLAN: Gwent police and crime commissioner Ian Johnston

First published in News

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.

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