Following last night's events at Ogmore-by-Sea, I have sent the letter below to local residents about the latest action to tackle this situation:
Further to the unacceptable public disorder at Ogmore by Sea last night, I met residents in the car park earlier today to discuss the issues. I am grateful to all who attended and for sharing their experiences and views on action that is needed.
To confirm, the Vale of Glamorgan Council have taken the decision to close the car park, for this weekend, as a first response. It was their decision and I have said that this will bring other challenges that need to be managed, particularly the overflow onto the main road and residential areas.
Since the meeting, I have spoken to the Operational Chief Superintendent for the Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan. This call allowed me to express the frustration and anger within the community and highlight the individual experiences that people had reported.
The Chief Superintendent also clarified several concerns raised by residents.
He has assured me that South Wales Police had not received any intelligence of the event prior to the incident. He agreed that the Police will monitor social media to ensure there are no further plans for similar events in Ogmore by Sea and other areas throughout the Vale.
The Chief Superintendent advised that two rival groups (we are aware of their associations) descended on the village and that they are looking through all the evidence available with view or making arrests. Some arrests have been made with more planned.
They have asked that if anyone has video recordings or any other information that will help with their investigations should pass them on. They are determined to be as active as possible in pursuing those responsible.
Chief Superintendent Rees agreed with my call that a multi-agency task force should be established to agree a co-ordinated approach around access and parking, litter, alcohol and other substance abuse, disorder in general, the need for social distancing, among other responsibilities. I believe that this is a positive way forward to prevent any further public disorder from being repeated. I am awaiting a response from the Vale Council.
He also agreed with my request to hold a joint meeting in the community very soon, where residents will be able to share their experiences with the Police directly. This will be an opportunity to underline the challenges faced and strengthen the relationship with local officers. The Police will also be able to update residents on any outcomes following their investigations.
I am determined that last night’s actions must lead to long term solutions. I have said many times that the Vale Council do not show the same priority or resource to Western Parts of the Vale as other locations in the local authority area. Other parts have ‘Resort Teams’ that manage many of the issues we raised. Ogmore-by-Sea, Southerndown, Llantwit etc deserve the same respect.
Please be assured that I will also press the local authority to act. Many of the actions needed fall within their responsibilities.
If I can provide any further assistance in the meantime, or if any further incidents occur, then please do not hesitate to contact me.
Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP
Vale of Glamorgan