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Councillor questions closure of police room in Amman Valley school

A community based police room at a school in Garnant, which was championed by County Councillor Kevin Madge closed in December leaving the community scratching their heads as to what happened.

Cllr Madge contacted Wales News online to say that the room, which was based at the Ysgol y Bedol since 2005 had closed without notice over Christmas.

Mr Madge said: ”Everything was taken out overnight. All the photographs of police community activity over 15 years have gone. The room  was a success story. We were leading the way and it had a massive impact on reducing crime and vandalism in the area. Everyone knew who his or her police officers and community officers were. I have written to the Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn and I will be writing to the Chief Constable. I want to know who gave the authority to close this room down. It was only costing £2.5k and that is nothing compared to the savings made when you consider the cost of crime. This is a deprived area. I understand money is tight but we were told this facility was safe. The money was going into helping with a lot of community-based work. I am hoping Mr Llywelyn will look into the matter and reopen the room. We  contacted the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for a comment and a spokesperson said it was an ‘operational matter’.

Superintendent Craig Templeton said: “I understand there may have been some frustration and confusion around the room facility at Ysgol y Bedol – but it remains a community room that officers will continue to use for local surgeries. We have taken away the IT equipment because due to modern technology we no longer require the room as a base at the school.

“I can reassure residents that officers are still going to be spending a lot of time in the community and will still be patrolling the area and police surgeries will continue to take place. Dyfed-Powys Police is undergoing a reshaping of policing – but for the better, we are keen to get the opinions of the public and will happily take guidance and advice from anyone in the community.

“The area still remains a safe and secure place to live and nothing has changed in terms of reduction in service and we have not withdrawn from the community, in fact we have more staff out and about instead of being in an office.
“If anyone would like to speak to us about their concerns we are always approachable and available to discuss these with you.”

The next Police and Communities Together meeting at Ysgol y Bedol will go ahead as usual on Wednesday, February 5.

The following link to the Glanamman and Garnant NPT web page also lists all future police and community meetings being held in the room:

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