We all need to pull together

15fed Hydref 2015

It's not just the responsibility of the Police to prevent people from becoming victims of crime and to keep our communities safe. We all need to pull together and we all have a responsibility to make Gwent a safe place to live and work.

Some problems are best solved by the whole community working together and this approach is strongly embedded in the way we work here in Gwent. People on the ground in the community are often much better placed to deal with local problems by linking in with a range of existing services in their community.

This is exactly why I established the Safer Gwent group back in April. Safer Gwent has brought together a range of partners in the community with a view of achieving better outcomes in preventing and reducing crime; taking more effective action to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB); supporting victims and protecting people from serious harm. The group is made up of representatives from other emergency services, local authorities, the local health board, registered social landlords, voluntary sector, youth offending services and the probation and rehabilitation services.

This is a prime example of partnership working to improve services at a time when public sector budgets are shrinking and demand for our service is increasing. It's great to see so many groups and organisations working together to make the best use of our resources to make our communities safer.

This is also the reason why I funded the Gwent Association Voluntary Organisation (GAVO) and Torfaen Voluntary Alliance (TVA) to employ a third sector liaison officer who is now responsible for establishing strong links between the voluntary and community sector and my office. The aim of the role is to develop relationships and increase awareness of how we can work together to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.

And through my Partnership Fund, which awards cash seized from criminals to community projects, I have provided funding and support to a number of community groups who have embraced this way of working and they are achieving positive results for their community whilst meeting my police and crime priorities for Gwent.

The neighbourhood working model used by Gwent Police is also bearing fruit and is bringing local groups, charities, councillors and youth organisations together to have their say on recurring incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour. During a recent community walkabout in Newport, I met with the Lliswerry Action Group at the Moorland Park Community Centre where partners and local councillors discussed problem-solving initiatives. It was a good environment, and people were pulling together - and that's what we want.
I am committed to supporting this partnership approach and it's only by being innovative with the dwindling resources we have available to us that we can work together as a community to deliver the best quality of service available for the people of Gwent.