The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, and Chief Constable Julian Williams have signed the Gwent Charter for Working Together.
Written by members of ‘People First’ groups across Gwent, the charter aims to encourage public bodies, charities and third sector organisations to listen and respect the rights of people with disabilities.
It also helps people who have a disability to be more aware of their rights and what they can and should be able to ask for.
Mr Cuthbert said: “This charter was written by members of People First and will play an important role in how public services will work with our most vulnerable residents.
“This is a fantastic piece of work by People First groups who are working with people with learning disabilities to speak out and gain confidence to take control of their lives.
“The charter’s principles of safeguarding, accessibility and helping to tackle hate crime are key parts of our everyday business. I am therefore delighted to welcome members of Newport People First here to witness the signing of the charter.”
As part of the commitment, Gwent Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have recently completed training to prepare for the introduction of the Keep Safe Cymru Scheme in Gwent.
Keep Safe Cymru is a card scheme that registers vital information about users such as any disabilities, communication needs or behavioural challenges which then informs a better police response.
Chief Constable Julian Williams said: “It was fantastic to welcome members of People First into Force today to enable us to sign this charter, which encourages various organisations to respect those with learning disabilities by providing choices and allowing vulnerable members of our communities to simply be themselves.
“Importantly, the charter provides awareness to those with disabilities to be aware of their rights and to have a voice, whilst upholding key parts of our everyday business. We are delighted to support this important piece of work at Gwent Police.”
The charter commits to support people:
To have equal rights
To work with us and be listened to
To be independent
To seek employment opportunities
Speaking at the signing, Newport People First project co-ordinator Keti Rock said: “The charter has been sent out to organisations across Gwent to sign, including all the major public bodies and support agencies in the region. We hope that by signing the charter, organisations will embed these principles into their everyday work.
"Our members have worked really hard on this charter and we are really pleased that the Commissioner and Chief Constable have committed to it today.”