First Minster visits police headquarters

22nd December 2022

Chief Constable Pam Kelly and I were honoured to welcome the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, to Gwent Police’s new headquarters this week.

The First Minister had a tour of the new force control room and spent time speaking with the staff.

Gwent Police’s control room is the first point of contact for 999 and 101 calls. On average, call handlers deal with more than 600 communications a day, with hundreds more dealt with via email or social media. A significant number of these calls will relate to mental health in some way, and I was keen for the First Minister to understand the pressures that all of Wales’s police forces are facing as policing increasingly plugs the gaps in public service.

He also met with Gwent Police’s latest cohort of community support officers. We currently have 172 CSOs supporting Gwent’s communities and about 100 of these are paid for by the Welsh Government.

Community Support Officers are the link between the police and our communities, helping to develop trust and building greater community cohesion across Gwent. It is not an easy job and CSOs are often supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

I would like to thank the First Minister and his team for their visit.