Commissioner Clarifies Position on PACT

The PACT meetings were established to allow local communities to highlight their concerns and identify priorities for their Neighbourhood Policing Teams and other partner members to address.

However, following comments from numerous areas of Gwent that the meetings aren't as effective as they should be, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Ian Johnston, has been working with Gwent Police to review the way in which the Force interacts with the public.

Following the announcement of the review there have also been confused messages about the future of the meetings in many areas of Gwent which has caused concern for some. Clarifying his position on the PACT meetings and outlining some of the future plans, Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner, Ian Johnston, said: "PACT as we know it has been reviewed with partners with the aim of further improving community engagement with communities throughout Gwent.

However, as we have reiterated before, this does not mean that Gwent Police are withdrawing from engagement with the public. In fact, the purpose of the review was to make sure that there are better arrangements in place to allow people to engage with police and partners in a more meaningful way.

Engagement between the public and the Force, as always, will still be paramount and will continue to be at the heart of everything we do. I am confident that where the current arrangements are working well they will be continued and enhanced but where meetings are not attended by the public, other methods will be put in place.

There has to be engagement between the public and local policing teams. The problem is, when it fails to deliver, it can damage this important relationship. However, I am encouraged by the steps that are being taken to address this. It's also important to add that PACT won't go until it has been replaced by something which meets the requirements of the community and the other partners effectively. As we move away from some of these ineffective meetings we will need to allow time for local officers to agree alternate arrangements with the community.

We have asked that these arrangements are in place and in action by March 2014."

For further information about the Gwent Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner visit www.gwent.pcc.police.uk . Alternatively you may contact the Commissioner's office directly by phone on 01633 642200 or by email to commissioner@gwent.pnn.police.uk