Over the past few months Newport town’s parks, canal and High Street have been the target of vandalism and anti-social behaviour, which councillors say costs the taxpayer money to repair – and now they are pleading with the public to report such issues to police by calling 101.
Mayor of Newport, Councillor Lyn Fowler, said: “People have no faith in the 101 service as they have issues getting through, and as we do not have a police station and very few people see a policeman on the street, councillors get buttonholed in the street asking them to do something about a particular police matter – but all we can say is they must report it through 101.
“Because crime isn’t reported, we don’t get more police.”
Over the weekend, one of Newport in Bloom’s displays in the High Street was damaged as flowers were pulled from the planters.
Meanwhile, bollards were turned over in the street.
Councillor Peter Scott warned that if people did not report the incidents, they would not be able to examine the town’s CCTV to try and identify the culprits.
“If people don’t phone 101 and get it recorded nothing will happen,” he said. “It’s not good enough to just post it to Facebook – people think that’s solved it because they’ve told everyone.” The council and the police don’t use Facebook in that way to record incidents. The other side of it is Newport is currently regarded as a low-risk crime area because 101 evidence suggests we don’t have a lot going on.
“Other areas get a lot more police presence because people are ringing up. So don’t go on Facebook until you have rung 101. If they feel the urge to do so afterwards, that’s fine, but we must report anti-social behaviour.
“Don’t rely on social media, rely on the police to do their job.
“If things aren’t reported the CCTV can’t be looked at. We need people doing these things to know that CCTV is viewing them and it’s there for everyone’s safety.
“If vandals know it’s there, it might deter them from doing it.”