Commissioner welcomes latest PEEL inspection of Gwent Police

Gwent Police is ‘good’ at reducing crime and keeping people safe.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue (HMICFRS) inspected Gwent Police in November last year and found that the force rated ‘good’ for its overall effectiveness. This includes investigating crime, protecting vulnerable people, and tackling serious and organised crime.

The inspection report also states that the force is rated ‘good’ for its efficiency which includes meeting current demands and its use of resources, as well as planning for the future.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “This report evidences that Gwent Police is delivering a good and effective service for its residents.

“I am particularly pleased to see the force commended for delivering in a number of my Police and Crime Plan priority areas such crime prevention, supporting victims and effective service delivery.

“It has also made significant improvements since the last inspection in the vital areas of domestic abuse and serious organised crime, and has improved the way it prioritises investigations.

“No force is perfect and the report does highlight some areas that require work, but I am extremely grateful to the Chief Constable, and her officers and staff, for undertaking this work in very challenging times.”

HMICFRS found that the force is good at catching criminals and resolving investigations.

Inspectors also praised the support offered to victims during investigations, with 89 per cent of survey respondents satisfied with how easy it was to contact Gwent Police and the time officers took to arrive on scene.

The report also recognises Gwent Police’s desire to continue to improve the way in which it supports and updates victims. In particular, the report highlights that Gwent Police is good at responding to incidents involving vulnerable victims, attending quickly enough to keep them safe.

It acknowledges that protecting vulnerable people is a clear priority for the force, with significant progress made in responding to the victims of domestic abuse since the last inspection.

The inspectors found that the force has used a wide range of information to understand future demand, and has a good understanding of what the public currently wants from it. They also found that the force is good at prioritising its resources with a comprehensive medium-term financial plan in place.

Chief Constable Pam Kelly said: “Our goal is to make sure that the people of Gwent have confidence in their force to help them feel safe in their communities.

“We are pleased with this inspection report which I hope will reassure local residents that we are working hard to deliver services that make a real difference to tackling crime and supporting victims, while making efficient use of the funding we receive.

“There is always more for us to achieve and this inspection report is a useful benchmark to judge our performance and to identify where more focus is still required.”

The inspection identified areas where Gwent Police could further improve.

While the inspection recognised that leaders are good at understanding the importance of engaging with the people we serve and treating them with fairness and respect, more training in unconscious bias would support Gwent Police in this approach.

The inspection also found that Gwent Police needs to improve the extent to which it understands how force is being used. While recognising the significant improvements that have been made, there is still more to be done.

A similar issue was raised around monitoring its use of stop and search, while acknowledging that the force has met the recommendations made during its last inspection.