A public meeting held by concerned Llanbradach residents in the wake of a recent sex attack on an 11-year-old girl has calmed the fears of villagers.
The meeting, on Wednesday night, took place at Llanbradach Community Centre after residents set up a Facebook group discussing recent incidents and the location of two projects which house vulnerable people.
There had been frank discussions on the website about the location of The Garth Owen Project and Jubilee House in the village. Residents got the chance to quiz representatives from the two projects and police detectives and officers involved in the investigation into the recent rape.
Superintendent Jon Burley, who is responsible for day to day neighbourhood policing in the Caerphilly County Borough, told the meeting the recent attack on the girl was completely unrelated to the two projects.
Resident Sally Reardon, who called for the meeting to take place, has posted her thoughts on the meeting on the Facebook group.
She said: “Everybody will take something from this meeting and the majority of people who attended, left feeling a lot more positive than they had when they arrived. Different people are entitled to have their own views but I am willing to share mine with you as I was the person who started this group.
“I feel much happier now that I fully understand how the two projects work. I had no idea that Jubilee House and Garth Owen only helped local people, so I feel as though anybody that now says “they are bringing trouble into our village” are totally wrong.
“I thought that the police and all of the representatives from both projects were extremely helpful and polite and that they were happy to answer any questions. I can only speak for myself but from here on in, I sincerely hope that as a community, we can help to support these projects that are clearly supporting us.”
Llanbradach ward councillor Colin Mann, who chaired the meeting, said: “We felt it was extremely important that residents had a briefing from the police and other organisations following the most recent incident in the park which followed a killing in the village last year.
“Residents got the opportunity to ask questions and I think the majority of them felt the meeting had been useful for them.
“The police team present reassured people following what have been two incidents in the village in a relatively short period of time. They pointed out that Llanbradach does have a very low level of crime despite the two extremely unusual recent incidents.
“Supt Burley stressed that the latest incident had no connection, whatsoever, either with residents at Jubilee House or those at Garth Owen, where there is 24-hour staffing.”
The Garth Owen Project provides housing for young people with support needs while Jubilee House provides housing to people recovering from mental health problems.
A fuller digest of the meeting is available from the Facebook group.