Everyone has an Important Part to Play

30th March 2017

In his latest column, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, highlights the important role partners in the community have to play in supporting the work of the Police in preventing and reducing crime . . .

"The Police cannot be responsible for policing alone and most problems are best solved by the whole community working together.

Only through strong partnership working with other organisations and by putting the needs of the individual at the heart of what we do can we seek to provide the best possible quality of life for our citizens, in particular our most vulnerable. This approach is strongly embedded in the way my office and the Police Force work here in Gwent.

Through efficient joined-up working we can prevent and reduce levels of crime, resulting in fewer victims. This is why there is a clear focus on ensuring strong, collaborative working with other key partners throughout my Police and Crime Plan.

Our work in Newport is a prime example of where we are seeing this positive approach in action. Following a meeting of the Newport Public Services Board last month (which representatives from my office and Gwent Police attend), the partners on the Board and Pillgwenlly residents proposed a number of positive and coordinated actions to tackle some of the pressing issues raised by the community of Pillgwenlly.

These include developing a vision for Pillgwenllly through public involvement; developing a medium to long term action plan for economy, skills, health and wellbeing; coordinating all partner activity in the area through this approach and ensuring ongoing communication and engagement with the local community.

It is vital to ensure that we support our communities to become more resilient and empower them to harness local resources and expertise to help themselves. This is why it is important for me to impress that this is something that we are doing with the residents of Pillgwenlly and not something we are imposing on them.

Another example which epitomises the collaborative approach we are taking is the launch of the new Emergency Services Station in Abertillery last month. The newly remodelled fire station in the town sees all three blue light services based under the same roof for the first time in South Wales. This has enabled Gwent Police to re-establish a permanent base in the town following the closure of the police station. Through innovative collaborations like this, we can continue to provide enhanced services to communities across Gwent whilst reducing costs. I am in advanced discussions with emergency service partners about how this model could be replicated elsewhere so that the Force can maintain a strong presence in the heart of our communities.

Policing is a public service like any other. It's vital that we work together and this means that all key public services, whether devolved or not, must collaborate to get the very best benefit for communities and individuals. I have great hope that the measures in place in Wales will enable us to cement the principles and practices of full collaboration. This is something that should happen in the very best of times but is even more important during austerity."