George Floyd – one year on

25th May 2021

The murder of George Floyd one year ago sent shockwaves around the world.

It is the job of the police to protect and serve their communities wherever they may be in the world. This was a serious failure of policing in the USA.

Mr Floyd’s murderer has now been brought to justice but trust in policing has been damaged.

The effects of the social restrictions put in place to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, have further exacerbated existing political differences, and social and economic anxieties.

Our Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities in Gwent have been disproportionately affected by this.

I was proud to take the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement that rose up following George Floyd’s death and I am committed to rebuilding the trust with our communities.

Working together with the Chief Constable I want to reassure our communities that anyone dealing with the police in Gwent will be treated equally, fairly and with respect.

Hate, in any form, will not be tolerated here.

One of the positives that we can take away from the pandemic is that we are now in more regular contact with our communities.

Weekly calls now take place between the police, my office, partners and the community which are important forums for information sharing and relationship building.

These have resulted in some incredibly valuable conversations, some of which have been challenging, but crucially we are united in wanting the best possible outcomes for our communities.

I am confident that, together with Chief Constable Pam Kelly and her team at Gwent Police, we are driving a culture change that puts the voices of our communities at the heart of our processes, our policies and our decision making.

We must remember that we are better together, and that by learning the lessons of the past, we will create a better future.