Commissioner's update for April

This outlines priorities for policing in Gwent and how we and the Force are going to achieve them.

I have taken every opportunity to talk about the plan with the people I have met since its launch, both in our communities and with police officers.

The plan does not contain any great surprises and reaction has been positive, particularly regarding the emphasis I have placed on quality of service and public satisfaction with policing.

If you would like to find out more about it, please visit: http://www.gwent.pcc.police.uk/plan/

The Home Office crime statistics were released this month. I welcome the reduction in crime recorded in Gwent, but more importantly the fact that this means a reduction in the number of victims. I congratulate officers and partners on working together to achieve these impressive results.

The same set of statistics however, showed a decrease in public confidence which is the area of particular concern to me.

Service delivery and putting victims at the heart of everything we do is my priority and I will continue to challenge the Force to ensure improvements are made and communities feel confident in their local police force and satisfied that officers are effectively dealing with the things that matter most to them.

This month I signed up to the Youth Charter which outlines my pledge to engage with young people. In living up to that pledge I will be providing young people with the opportunity to make a contribution in their local community and hopefully assist them to reach their full potential.

I was also delighted to award over £50,000 from the Police Property Act Fund to local community groups in an effort to help prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and divert people away from crime.

Throughout the year my Deputy and I will be visiting these projects to see exactly how that money is being spent.

The virtual Neighbourhood Watch network, OWL (Online Watch Link), also received £30,000 to continue running in Gwent for the next year. OWL is an extremely valuable tool which keeps communities in touch with what is happening in their neighbourhoods and offers vital crime prevention advice.

I also supported the Force in Operation Rogue Trader - this was a week-long operation which was run nationwide and was designed to raise awareness and deter those criminals who deliberately target vulnerable individuals and routinely and deliberately overcharge for unnecessary or unsatisfactory work.

Every month I chair a Strategy and Performance Board meeting which is a decision making forum where I monitor force performance and hold the Chief Constable to account to ensure that you have an efficient and effective police force. From next month I have decided to open these monthly meetings to the public.

You are invited to submit questions in advance so they can be answered in the meeting. The meetings will be held in different local authority areas in Gwent to make them as accessible as possible.

The first meeting will be at Monmouthshire County Hall, Rhadyr, Usk at 10am on Tuesday May 21st.

Questions should be submitted at least seven days before the meeting via the channels below.

You can see for yourself all the meetings and conferences/events my deputy and I have attended this month at: http://www.gwent.pcc.police.uk/engagement/events-and-meetings/.

Thank you for reading this update.

If you wish to contact me for any reason, or if you have any comments or suggestions about policing in the Gwent area you can e-mail me: commissioner@gwent.pnn.police.uk, telephone me 01633 642200, fax me 01633 643095 or write to me at the address below:

Ian Johnston, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Police Headquarters, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran, Gwent NP44 2XJ.

You can also follow my office on Twitter @gwentpcc which provides day to day updates of my work on your behalf, or Facebook.