PONTYPOOL RFC has welcomed the installation of CCTV cameras at its Pontypool Park ground by Torfaen council.

The £13,000 system, which will be linked to a 24-hour monitoring station, has been introduced by council bosses as a bid to end shocking campaign of abuse on the home of the historic club.

It will also see operatives be able to issue public address warnings and call police should incidents of antisocial behaviour and crime continue.

Volunteers, including lifelong Pooler fan, Terry 'Tiger' Simons said he breathed a sigh of relief when he heard the plans would finally be followed through.

He said: "Lately the vandalism has been absolutely horrendous. It breaks your heart.

"Now at least we can see who is doing this."

"This is fantastic news for supporters,” added Mr Simons, 79, who has supported the club since he was a child.

The club began discussions with the council over security measures after seats were ripped out of the stand, needles were left on the playing field, its grandstand was de-faced, its historic scoreboard targeted.

There have also been numerous incidents of arson.

Torfaen Assembly Member Lynne Neagle has worked closely with the club and council to improve the situation.

She said: “This is a very welcome announcement. It’s great to see thiscome to fruition.

“I hope it has an impact in terms of deterring and detecting those responsible for these mindless acts.”

Pontypool RFC’s corporate director, Ben Jeffreys, said: “For the first time, the CCTV will enable us to understand the behaviour of those committing acts of antisocial behaviour and will hopefully deter such instances from occurring in the future.

“This is a major victory particularly for the club’s volunteers, who have suffered the consequences of this antisocial behaviour for far too many years.”

The council has also pledged to investigate the possibility of enclosing the site completely.

A Torfaen council spokesman said: “The club has accepted our offer of CCTV and we hope that it will deter the acts of antisocial behaviour which we have been seeing frequently over the last few months.

“We also continue to work with the club to investigate the feasibility of its request to enclose the site.”