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DATA on vandalism across Pembrokeshire county will be more closely monitored in future, when a new system of recording incidents is introduced.

Pembrokeshire county councillor Viv Stoddart questioned the lack of available data at a services overview and scrutiny meeting last week. (Thursday, 9th March).

Her notice of motion about the cost of vandalism to the local authority had been backed in 2020 and called for incidents on council property to be recorded and six monthly updates made.

“If there was a problem with logging incident, why are we only told about it now,” said Cllr Stoddart.

She welcomed the news that a new system, that is being used by the housing service as well, Northgate, will capture this data in future is likely to be up and running by June.

Cllr Tim Evans agreed and said he had been expecting a report of incidents and costs of repairs, which would be used as evidence to “justify” toilet closures if necessary.

A report to the services overview and scrutiny committee said that the “current ticketing system” which includes vandalism reports does not allow for isolation of the data as reports come from various sources and there can be more than 35,000 tickets a year.

Cabinet member for the environment Cllr Cris Tomos confirmed that the call centre logging system did not have the capacity to record specific details and “to go back through the 35,000 call logs would be quite a task.”

It was acknowledged that plans to look closer at vandalism reports had been “overtaken” by covid-19.

Included in the report are larger incidents in the last six months including a number of break ins at former Hakin Infants School, which is now fully boarded up, as well as break ins at Hubberston and Hakin Junior school sites.

Fortnightly visits are currently being made to the council’s empty school buildings.

The committee also received Dyfed-Powys Police data that indicated 15 incidents recorded for vandalism, graffiti, daubing, and corrosive substance in 2021 so far, with a total of 123 recorded in 2020.

This is broken down by town with one in Haverfordwest, seven in Milford Haven, two in Pembroke Dock and five in Tenby and Narberth.

More information on why there was a significant increase in incidents in 2019 will be requested and a further report to the situation at council buildings be made once the new reporting system is in place.

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