"Residents need to be encouraged to take more responsibility, pride and increase aspiration, which will assist communities in helping themselves and building community cohesion and spirit.” (Respondent to questionnaire at Big Cheese Festival 30th - 31st July 2016)
Community cohesion is about supporting diverse groups of people to live, study and work successfully alongside one other. If people are secure, feel a sense of belonging, are respected and feel able to express themselves and celebrate their identity and beliefs, they will be less inclined to feel threatened by or negative towards others who are different to themselves. A key component of this is promoting understanding and harmonious relationships between local people and newcomers to the county borough, and developing a shared sense of belonging.
We know that for most people the county borough is a good place to live and work, but we cannot take this for granted. Community cohesion can break down, not because of differences between and within different groups of people, but because of the social, economic and environmental challenges that people face and which can (if left unchecked) undermine feelings of trust and security. ‘The Caerphilly We Want’ community area workshops for this well-being assessment clearly identified that local people value community spirit and feel that it should be positive and improve opportunities for people to socialise and contribute to their communities.
The Safer Gwent Strategic Assessment 2018-19 provides a snapshot of data covering matters affecting the personal safety of the inhabitants of Gwent. The purpose of the strategic assessment is to provide a detailed evaluation of crime, disorder and other issues to enable evidence based decisions to be made (both Gwent wide and at a local authority level) regarding priorities for the forthcoming year. The assessment provides a baseline of information that enables partners to make decisions that ensure joined-up delivery in support of the Police and Crime Plan, the Strategic Policing requirement and individual organisational requirements.
For Caerphilly county borough, the number of Police Recorded Crimes has increased from 12,748 in 2017-18 to 15,707 in 2018-19, an increase of 23.2%. This is higher than the overall increase for the Force of 21.8% over the same time period. However, in 2018-19 Caerphilly county borough had a rate of recorded crime of 86.9 per 1,000 population, the second lowest across Gwent behind Monmouthshire (63.2) and lower than the Force average of 99.6. Newport has the highest rate of recorded crime across Gwent at 132.2.
Within the Blackwood ward, Violence Without Injury (234 crimes) and Public Order Offences (178 crimes) were predominant. In relation to the Violence Without Injury category, Common Assault and Battery saw the most offences (120 crimes) and accounted for 51.3% of all offences within this crime group, with just over a quarter (26.7% or 32 crimes) domestic related. In terms of Public Order, most offences were in the Causing Intentional Harassment, Alarm or Distress group, which accounted for 53.9% of the overall total of offences.
Within the Bargoed ward, Violence Without Injury (188 crimes) and Criminal Damage and Arson (136 crimes) were the most problematic. In relation to the Violence Without Injury category, Common Assault and Battery saw the most offences (77 crimes) and accounted for 41% of all offences within this crime group. 36.4% (28 crimes) of offences within this category were domestic related. In relation to Criminal Damage, the offence that was most problematic was Damage to Vehicle, which accounted for 33.1% of Damage offences.
Serious Acquisitive Crime (SAC) consists of Burglary - Residential, Vehicle and Robbery offences. These crimes frequently have a high impact on their victims, and are often heard about locally, can make local/national media and decrease public confidence and the feeling of a safe environment.
The number of SAC offences increased from 1,552 in 2017-18 to 1,592 in 2018-19, an increase of 2.6%. This was higher that the Force average of 0.8% but lower than the increase of 5.8% in Newport over the same time period. The number of offences decreased in all the other areas of Gwent. The rate of SAC offences per 1,000 population for Caerphilly county borough in 2018-19 was 8.81, lower than the Force average of 10.6, and 2nd lowest behind Monmouthshire (6.73).
Cybercrime is an umbrella term used to describe two closely linked but distinct ranges of criminal activity:
- Cyber-dependent crimes – crimes that can be committed only through the use of ICT devices, where the devices are both the tool for committing the crime and the target of the crime (i.e. developing and propagating malware for financial gain; hacking to steal, damage distort or destroy data and/or network or activity).
- Cyber-enabled crimes – traditional crimes that can be increased in scale or reach by the use of computers, computer networks or other forms of ICT (such as cyber-enabled fraud and data theft).
Caerphilly county borough has seen a 42.1% increase between 2017-18 and 2018-19, from 475 to 675. This is slightly below the Force average of 45.8% and second lowest behind Newport (28.3%). Blaenau Gwent experienced an increase of 84.2% over the same time period. The rate for this category per 1,000 population within the county borough is 3.73, again slightly below the Force average of 3.82 and the second lowest rate behind Monmouthshire (2.31).
Violence Against the Person includes the offences of Violence with Injury, Violence without Injury and Homicide offences.
Caerphilly county borough saw an increase of 37.1% between 2017-18 and 2018-19, with the number of offences increasing from 4,265 to 5,848. This increase was almost identical to the Force average of 37.3%, and third lowest in Gwent behind Blaenau Gwent (30.6%) and Torfaen (33%). The rate for this category per 1,000 population within the county borough was 32.3, slightly lower than the Force average of 34.0 and second lowest behind Monmouthshire (20.0).
For Criminal Damage and Arson offences, Caerphilly county borough saw an increase of 10.7% between 2017-18 and 2018-19, with the number of offences increasing from 2,532 to 2,804. This increase was higher than the Force average of 9.2%, and third lowest in Gwent behind Newport (2.7%) and Blaenau Gwent (10.4%). The rate for this category per 1,000 population within the county borough was 15.5, slightly lower than the Force average of 16.0 and second lowest behind Monmouthshire (8.1).
Domestic Abuse is defined as any incident of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 and over who are or have been intimate partners, or who are family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
For Domestic Abuse offences, Caerphilly county borough saw an increase of 9.1% between 2017-18 and 2018-19, with the number of offences increasing from 3,250 to 3,547. This increase was higher than the Force average of 4.2%, and third highest in Gwent behind Monmouthshire (10%) and Blaenau Gwent (9.2%). The rate for this category per 1,000 population within the county borough was 19.6, slightly lower than the Force average of 20.1 and second lowest behind Monmouthshire (9.8).
Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) covers a wide range of unacceptable activity that causes harm to an individual, to the community or the environment. Police recorded anti-social behaviour has seen some significant changes in recent years, so patterns and trends are reported with the caveat that some of the changes may be administrative rather than changes in behaviour.
For ASB offences, Caerphilly county borough saw a decrease of 44.2% between 2017-18 and 2018-19, with the number of offences falling from 4,957 to 2,766. This decrease was slightly larger than the Force average decrease of 40.1%, and the highest in Gwent. The rate for this category per 1,000 population within the county borough was 15.3, lower than the Force average of 18.3 and second lowest behind Monmouthshire (11.2). The wards of Blackwood (248 offences), Bargoed (156) and Ystrad Mynach (132) saw the highest number of offences in 2018-19.