Commissioner welcomes crime reduction in Gwent but pledges more can be done for victims and communities

"I welcome the reductions in crimes recorded but more importantly in the reduction in victims as well. I congratulate officers and partners on working together to achieve this.

"However the decrease in public confidence is concerning. Service delivery and putting victims at the heart of everything we do is my priority. I will continue to challenge the force as I believe there are improvements to be made to increase satisfaction of communities and in the way local police in their area are dealing with things that matter to them.

"While numbers of victims are decreasing, last year there was still nearly 35,000 victims in Gwent. This is still too many and I believe we can improve. My priority is not only to reduce the numbers of victims but also to make sure we work with partners and make most efficient use of resources to provide them with the best service we possibly can"

Overall crime is down 17% across Gwent, the biggest reduction in crime in England and Wales.

The figures, which look at the 12 months to December 2012 as compared to the 12 months to December 2011, show that a total of 34436 crimes were committed during the latest period as compared to 41481 in the previous period. This means that overall there are over 7000 fewer victims of crime, or around 18 fewer crimes per day.

Operational Policing lead, Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Paul Symes said: "I'm pleased that during this period of time, we have seen less victims of crime. "The reduction is as always down to a real team effort with dedicated and committed police officers and police staff working closely with the public and an array of partners such as Neighbourhood Watch, local authorities and others to achieve this.

Our focus during this period has been to:

  • Target those offenders who cause most harm
  • Ensuring our teams are actively patrolling crime and ASB hotspots and
  • Adopting a problem solving approach to tackle the issues of concern to our communities.

It is also worth noting that during the same period the Gwent area saw 13,000 less incidents of ASB and I know the effect this has on the quality of life of the people of our communities. Gwent is a great place to live but some criminals in our towns and villages still feel that it's their right to commit crime, burgle homes, steal cars and target the vulnerable. For that reason, and I make no apologies for this, we've been focussing on putting criminals on the back foot through well thought through plans and operations.

We've been focussing on trying to create an environment in which criminals are in fear of being arrested, not people in the community worrying when they might become a victim of crime. I'm also pleased to be able to report that during this period of time we have also improved our performance on bringing offenders to justice and this is exactly what the public would expect. During this period of time we have also seen some great work by our neighbourhood policing teams who have been working hard with partners such as Neighbourhood Watch, local authorities and housing associations in problem solving out issues of concern to communities.

The net effect of all of these things is that during this period

  • House burglary has reduced by 18% with 1,571 fewer victims
  • Vehicle crime is down 26% with 1,735 fewer victims
  • Criminal damage is down by 21% with 1,989 fewer victims
  • Violence against the person is down by 12% with 1,411 fewer victims

    "My priority is not only to reduce the numbers of victims but also to make sure we work with partners and make most efficient use of resources to provide them with the best service we possibly can"