MONMOUTH residents are too scared to leave their own homes following a series of burglaries over the last year, the town’s MP has said.

Senior police officers have confirmed to David Davies that there could be two separate gangs involved.

One is targeting high value cars and the other – believed to be responsible for many of the attacks on houses in Osbaston – is trying to escape with cash and valuables.

Further burglaries in November sparked fresh concerns and prompted the launch of a community watch team, with local residents taking security into their own hands by patrolling the streets.

Mr Davies revealed he had spoken at length with Gwent Police’s new inspector for Monmouthshire North, Arwel Hicks, and urged people to remain vigilant.

“I have been through all of the measures which the police are taking to try and catch those responsible,” said Mr Davies, who lives in Osbaston with his family.

“I also visited Abergavenny police station at the end of last year to meet some of the CID team working behind the scenes to gather evidence.

“I will leave it to the police to discuss what measures they want to make public, but there is certainly a lot going on.

“Unfortunately, luck has so far been with the criminals and there is no easy answer. They are very well organised, leave no DNA, are rarely seen and have been quick to use violence on the small number of occasions when they have been confronted.”

It would appear the gang behind many of the thefts are targeting properties early in the evening when the owners are away, Mr Davies added.

“We need to be particularly vigilant at these times for any strangers in our roads or any callers who might be trying to find out if a house is empty,” he said.

“The police have made this a top priority and any calls about suspicious activity in the Monmouth area will be treated as an absolute priority.”

In 2006, thieves broke into Mr Davies’ previous home in Monmouth stealing passports and cash while his wife, young children and visitors slept. He said he felt violated by the crime and sympathised with other victims.

“I know just how devastating this is and fully understand why people are feeling vulnerable,” he said.

“It is very concerning to hear that residents are now living in fear of leaving their own homes and, as a fellow neighbour, I am equally as worried.

“I will continue to hold regular talks with Gwent Police until these criminals have been apprehended.”

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