PATROLS to stop fires being started in Pontypool Park and targetting off-road bikers are among the main issues police have been working on in the area.

In an update to residents on work being carried out, Gwent police said that with summer approaching, there are reports of youngsters starting fires, particularly in Pontypool Park near the grandstand.

Fires started on the mountainsides have devastated areas of beauty, property and rare wildlife, it was added.

Regular patrols are conducted in the park but people are urged to report anything suspicious.

The neighbourhood policing team is also currently running Operation Cassowary, targeting off-road bikers in the area.

It is illegal to ride bikes on the road without adequate tax, insurance and MOT and also on any of the mountainsides around Pontypool. Officers will be issuing legal warnings to anyone found riding illegally, which may result in the confiscation of bikes.

The council’s dog warden has also been informed of several reports of dogs running loose in the past few weeks.

Dogs must be kept on leads when out in public and must also not be able to escape from properties and cause harm to other animals and people.

Polcie said some dog owners in the area are now due to receive visits from officers.

In addition, police said, there has been several reports of sheds being broken into and items stolen in the Wainfelin area so officers have urged owners to secure them with good quality locks, with valuable items like mountain bikes and electrical equipment kept in a secure area elsewhere.

Ladders should be placed in brackets fixed to a wall and security lights and alarms fitted if possible. It was also suggested that dense foliage be cut-back so would-be thieves can be seen from houses.

Residents are also complaining that young people are playing football late at night in the cage adjacent to Trevethin Workingmen’s Club. It is asked that consideration is given to local residents who cannot sleep because of the noise caused by the football hitting the cage sides.

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