Gwent Police held a community barbecue at the newly re-opened Ystrad Mynach Police Station on June 18.
The new Neighbourhood Inspector Ben Bond and Sergeant Sarah Greening were joined by Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Ian Johnston, to publicise the Neighbourhood Watch’s Online Watch Link (OWL).
The OWL initiative sends messages about crimes and problems to residents who have signed up in communities throughout Gwent.
It enables local police officers, residents and volunteers to easily communicate with each other.
Brian Wilkins, Chair of Blackwood and District Crime Prevention Panel, said: “OWL is a revelation, we used run around the streets pushing paper through doors but now we can send messages to members across the area.
“Preparedness won’t reduce crime but it helps lessen its effects on the public.”
The barbecue also gave the community the chance to meet their local police officers.
Sergeant Sarah Greening said: “It’s about getting the community together for a fun event and to promote OWL, which has been brilliant in giving out safety and crime prevention information to help keep people’s properties safe and secure.”
Esther Cashman went to the barbecue with her daughters, five-year-old Lizzie and Hannah, who is 18 months old.
She said: “It’s been great for the children to find the police more approachable and get their scooters security tagged.
“When I was little I was scared of the police but I want my daughters to see them as people who can help them out.”
PCC Ian Johnston said: “It’s about the Police Station being a part of the community, you can’t measure the importance of that.
“People will go away from this with a positive view of the police.
“I want to congratulate the organisers, very well done.”