Newport’s nature trail and play area along Canal Side West, and the neighbouring semi derelict property, have been a target for vandals and, according to some residents, a hideaway for drug use recently. I was innocently walking past the site (whilst delivering leaflets!) when I saw two suspicious characters walking out of the nature trail area dressed in black clothing, unshaven, quite thin and very pale, and there was also a car parked out of place alongside the road nearby. To compound my suspicions when I shouted ‘good morning’ they failed to respond and turned to walk back into the nature trail.
I thought something was not quite right, and did what any responsible citizen would do – called the Police Control Centre on the non-emergency number on 0845 60 60 222 . This was at 11.28am. At 11.46am I got a call from the Howdenshire Neighbourhood Police Team’s Inspector on a totally unrelated matter, as I sat on the canal bank wall to talk on the phone, a police car sped by and stopped directly in front of the suspicious vehicle - this was at 11.48am.
After about twenty minutes the vehicle with the two suspicious characters passed by, closely followed by the police car, which stopped when they saw me. The officers gave me a brief update of their findings and said they would continue to monitor the area.
I guess the moral of the story is that the Police non-emergency number really does work, and to get a response within 20mins from the Howdenshire Neighbourhood Policing Team is fantastic and a credit to Inspector Mike Bower and his team.