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Officers in Abergavenny have been working in partnership with Monmouthshire County Council to tackle anti-social driving in Fairfield car park in the Town Centre.

Fairfield car park

Fairfield car park

The problem…

Increasing reports of vehicles gathering in car parks and surrounding streets have been received and the resulting anti-social behaviour from large groups of people being at the location, including noise nuisance. During June and July, residents have reported the noise from beeping horns, music and large groups have stopped them from sleeping with their windows open. Reports of large amounts of litter including takeaway wrappers being thrown on the floor during the weekend have also been raised.
Raising awareness

Officers organised an event in the car park in the summer and encouraged drivers and local residents to come along. The aim of the event was to educate the drivers about safe driving along with partner agencies such as South Wales Fire and Rescue and understand how the behaviour of some was hugely affecting local residents. Also, the drivers had their chance to have their say and talk to the planning team of the council regarding a change to the layout of the car park.

These plans detail a trial phase where full access to the car park will be restricted during certain times in order to try and reduce the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour involving vehicles. Consultation with local members and organisations has taken place to make sure that no disruption is caused to legitimate users of the car park.

The event was well attended, however the noise nuisance problems continued. As a result, local Inspector Huw Jones authorised a Dispersal Order for the car park, bus station and surrounding streets for two weekends.

Anti-social behaviour is not acceptable!

The orders provide Police Officers and Community Support Officers with the powers to direct anyone to leave a specified area if they are involved in anti-social behaviour or if officers think their behaviour may lead to anti-social behaviour. If they return to that area after being moved on, they face being arrested.

During the period of the Dispersal Orders, only one report of anti-social driving was received and over 18 drivers were given dispersal notices asking them to leave the area.

Inspector Huw Jones, said: “A Dispersal Order aims to deal with, as well as prevent any incidents from taking place. We did receive positive feedback from residents following the Dispersal Order and event and I’d like to thank them for their support.

“The problem of anti-social behaviour in the area has been a long term issue which we are working with Monmouthshire County Council to tackle. This Dispersal Order is just one in a range of methods we are using to reduce incidents. Local officers have worked to engage with a wide range of partner agencies including local residents and drivers to look at ways of overcoming this issue however if people continue to act in a way that causes distress to the local community they will be dealt with.”

The changes to the car park are now underway and feedback from local residents has been positive with less reports being received of anti-social behaviour and litter. If you do see any anti-social behaviour please contact Gwent Police by calling 101 or in an emergency, dial 999.

Gwent Police

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