Group to Make Gwent Safer

Gwent PCC Ian Johnston has established the Safer Gwent group in order to work with key community safety partners and provide a strategic direction and structured approach across the five local authority areas of Gwent. The group will aim to address regional community safety issues that impact on local communities. Safer Gwent will coordinate joint initiatives and activities throughout the region but will not replace the statutory Community Safety Partnerships that exist and operate through each of the five local authority's Local Service Boards.

Safer Gwent is made up of representatives from the local authorities, the local health board, registered social landlords, voluntary sector, youth offending services and the probation and rehabilitation services.

The group aims to develop a collective community engagement approach to enhance partnership working with a view to achieving better outcomes in tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB), preventing reoffending and supporting victims.

Safer Gwent will meet quarterly and enable information sharing to facilitate enhanced partnership working; influence existing funding opportunities to support the Commissioner's Police and Crime Plan priorities; map existing community safety services to identify duplication and gaps in service provision; and provide information to support commissioning of community safety services.

The group met for the first time recently and identified future areas of work which include:

  • Tackling ASB and supporting victims;
  • Progressing Restorative Justice and Approaches measures with partners;
  • The provision of Positive Futures throughout Gwent - the project that uses sport to work with disengaged young people by providing them with diversionary activities and additional support such as mentoring. Highlighting the importance of Safer Gwent, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "This is a great example of partnership working to improve services at a time when budgets are shrinking and demand for our service is increasing. It's great to see so many groups and organisations working together to make the best use of our resources to make our communities safer. It's all about sharing best practice and working effectively together to achieve a common goal. We want less victims of crime in our communities and initiatives such as this one complement some of the priorities outlined in my Police and Crime plan which is to ensure that the people of Gwent are less affected by anti-social behaviour and are protected from serious harm."