26 February 2009>
Gwent Police have been targeting car thieves and people who deal in stolen goods since the start of January as part of Operation Reunite.
In the Caerphilly county borough, they have been aided significantly by the ongoing hard work and support of Caerphilly County Borough Council's team of Community Safety Wardens and CCTV operators.
The operation was organised to combat a recent rise in thefts from vehicles and to find stolen goods, and return them to their rightful owners. Caerphilly council's team of Community Safety Wardens have been working in partnership with colleagues at Gwent Police in order to ensure the operation is a success.
Since the operation began, the Community Safety Wardens have identified a total of 524 items left on view in vehicles across the county borough – these items have ranged from money, mobile phones and keys, through to jewellery, a VCR and a briefcase.
Once an item is spotted by the wardens, the vehicle's registration number is noted and a letter sent to the owner, highlighting that an item has been noted in their vehicle on public view. The letter also contains information and advice on how to take steps to prevent becoming a victim of vehicle theft/theft of items from vehicles.
As part of Operation Reunite, the Community Safety Wardens also conducted high visibility patrols throughout identified "hotspot" locations for a total of 209 hours.
Similarly, Caerphilly council's team of CCTV operators have been working with colleagues at Gwent Police to ensure the success of Operation Reunite. The CCTV control room, and indeed the council's mobile CCTV vans have prioritised monitoring of car parks throughout the county borough for instances of car crime.
It is estimated that since the beginning of the operation, operators have spent a total of 320 hours monitoring car park surveillance cameras.
Cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Lyn Ackerman said, "This commendable operation has seen some extremely pleasing results. By working with our partners at Gwent Police, our teams of Community Safety Wardens and CCTV operators have played an active role in ensuring the success of Operation Reunite in the area.
This, I hope will continue for the foreseeable future, and help contribute to making the Caerphilly county borough an even safer place to live, work and visit."
Detective Inspector Peter Jones of Gwent Police, who has been co-ordinating the operation said, "Gwent Police has been running Operation Reunite since the beginning of January, in partnership with key stakeholders such as the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership.
The operation has so far resulted in over 100 arrests/interviews, over 100 cars being seized and a considerable amount of stolen property being recovered.
The results of the operation have been so encouraging, our activities in partnership with other agencies will continue for the foreseeable future."
Anyone who has any information about criminal activity in their area is being asked to contact Gwent Police on 01633 838111 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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