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Supporting our most Vulnerable despite cuts

Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert

In his latest column, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, highlights the demands facing our local police services . . . .

“As we begin the new financial year, we are again faced with ever increasing demands and ever decreasing budgets.

Back in March, I joined my fellow PCCs in calling upon the Prime Minister to provide “a clear and honest picture” of the policing budget. Due to insufficient funding from the UK Government; increased recorded crime; and more complex crimes being committed, I had no choice other than to turn to the local population and increase the Precept by 4.37%. This decision is not one I have taken lightly and I recognise that this increase will be challenging for some of our residents, however, this was the right decision for keeping our communities safe, receiving endorsement from the public in my consultation.

Despite on-going budget cuts, I welcomed Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) latest Effectiveness Report. Whilst it was disappointing to see Gwent Police requiring improvement in certain areas, I was pleased to hear that Gwent Police has improved the way it identifies vulnerable people. Since my election, I have witnessed the impressive efforts and work which has been undertaken by Gwent Police staff, my office and other partners in the community in pulling together a range of projects and initiatives to enhance the quality of service provision for all victims of crime. I will continue to support the Chief Constable to ensure this remains a priority.

Awareness of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking has continued to increase since my last column. I was honoured to pledge my support to Joyce Watson AM’s event at the Senedd back in January, highlighting the impact these heinous crimes have on their victims. At the event, key partners and leading political figures in Wales were asked to take positive action and pledge their commitment to help eradicate these crimes for good.  Yet again, the attendance was overwhelming and I wish to express a special thank you to one survivor who demonstrated true courage and bravely in sharing his experiences as a victim of sex trafficking with those at the event.

We have seen many highlights over the last financial year and I look forward to sharing my Annual Report with you in the coming months, highlighting the work my office has conducted over the last 12 months to keep you, the people of Gwent, safe.

If you have any police and crime issues you would like to discuss with my office, you can email them to commissioner@gwent.pnn.police.uk or call my office on 01633 642 200.”