PONTYPOOL RFC’S corporate director has called for help to deal with vandalism and anti-social behaviour plaguing Pontypool Park, including arson attacks and graffiti on the club stand and needles on the pitch.
The issue has disgusted club officials and volunteers for years with screwdrivers, nails and knife blades found sticking out of the try line in November 2012, and broken bottles driven into the field with sharp shards pointing upwards.
But problems continue to dog the historic club, with occurrences said to be rife on a weekly basis, and now Ben Jeffreys – one of the major factors behind Pooler’s resurgence from the brink of extinction – has called for action.
He said: “We are a constant target for arson attacks, drug use and general anti-social behaviour.
“The last fire left a 15-foot charred patch of damage to the stand. It had the potential to be quite serious.”
Human faeces and smashed-up seats have also been discovered in the past, while volunteers have to sweep the pitch before every home game to ensure it is safe for the players.
“They always find drug paraphernalia and other things,” added Mr Jeffreys.
A 24-hour dispersal order was applied to the Pontypool Civic Centre car parks off Glantorfaen Road on December 19, including the top floor of the Tesco overflow car park, following increasing incidents of youth disturbance.
It will provide police officers and community support officers with the powers to direct any groups of two or more people, or vehicles, to leave the specified area until Friday June 13, 2014.
Mr Jeffreys said: “We would welcome any initiative of that nature being rolled out at Pontypool Park.”
Pontypool crime and disorder reduction officer PC Andy Cleaton said the situation would have to be looked at.
“We can only apply for new dispersal orders where there is evidence of persistent anti-social behaviour an area,” he said.
“We always judge each situation as it arises and not just jump into using an order. We initially look at other methods, such as identifying the individuals, providing diversionary activities as well as provide general education about the affects of anti-social behaviour.
“Unfortunately, it’s not a one size fits all approach, but work is always on-going with the help of the neighbourhood teams to reduce anti-social behaviour in Torfaen.”
To contact Pontypool Neighbourhood Policing Team about incidents of anti-social behaviour at Pontypool Park, call 01495 232450.