An alley gate erected to combat crime stopped a suspected shoplifter from escaping the police – just minutes after being installed.
New fencing and gates were erected on an estate in Fairwater in an attempt to tackle persistent anti-social behaviour. But onlookers were amazed when one of the gates helped stop a man escaping from officers just minutes after it had been placed into the ground.
Councillor Paul Mitchell was at Hazel Place to see three kissing gates being installed near Sunnybrook Court when he said he saw police officers chasing a man through the neighbourhood.
Police officers later told the Labour councillor the gates had played an important role in helping to catch the man.
Coun Mitchell said: “It was as the first gates were being put in – as the first gate was being installed off Hazel Place. I just couldn’t believe the coincidence.”
Coun Mitchell said the gate helped cut off an escape route for the man and he was later apprehended along Plas-Mawr Road.
He said: “As I was watching the gates going in, the police had come through Sunnybrook Court. They were searching for someone.
“The problem with these estates is that they are so open, you have got so many escape routes and the police can’t catch them because they have got to come from four or five different angles. I didn’t actually see the arrest but they did tell me that cutting off one of the escape routes helped in the apprehension of an individual.”
South Wales Police were yesterday unable to confirm whether the new gates had helped in catching a man in the area.
But before the fencing and kissing gates were installed, officers told how the initiative would help tackle anti-social behaviour.
Fairwater PCSO Mandy Malins said: “For many years the residents of Ash Place, Hazel Place and Sunnybrook Court have had to cope with groups of youths hanging around the area, drinking, smoking and being generally a nuisance in the area.
“Over the summer we spoke to every resident in the area to obtain their thoughts and a very common request was for gating at each end of the walkway. This was a total partnership project which will hopefully lead to a better quality of life for the local residents and a reduction in problems of anti-social behaviour in the area.”
A 28-year-old man from Pentrebane, Cardiff, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of shoplifting.