Gwent PCC Delivers Annual Report
Gwent PCC Ian Johnston is required by law to publish an Annual Report and the latest report covers the period from April 2014 to March 2015. It highlights the key achievements of his office; the challenges they have faced and how the police and his office have delivered against the priorities outlined in his Police and Crime Plan for Gwent (2013-17).
The Commissioner's priorities for Gwent include delivering the best quality of service available, preventing and reducing crime; taking more effective action to tackle anti-social behaviour; protecting people from serious harm and making the best use of resources whilst providing value for money.
Mr Johnston presented his report to the Gwent Police and Crime Panel last Friday. The key achievements and progress over the last year as highlighted in the report include:
- His decision to keep open front counter services at several police stations which had been closed or had limited opening hours;
- His continued commitment to put victims at the heart of everything including the development and launch of Connect Gwent - a new multi-agency hub for all victims of crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) which is the first of its kind in Wales;
- A move to the new Gwent Police operating model which introduces a new era in the way that the Force delivers services to the public and how they conduct their day-to-day business;
- An improved police presence in communities and the redeployment of 15 Police Officers and 5 Police Sergeants from custody units back into the community in the last year;
- Developing his commitment to community safety through the establishment of a new multi-agency board called Safer Gwent;
- His continued work in support of restorative justice and restorative approaches in the community;
- And his continued support for the development and growth of Positive Futures, a project which uses sport and physical activity to help inspire young people, some of whom might be at risk of committing ASB.
Mr Johnston also told the panel that he was pleased to see an increase in public confidence in Gwent Police and highlighted that work is continuing in this area.
Reflecting on the last year, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "In preparing this report I have considered feedback from the public, force performance, the challenges of on-going financial cuts and a changing criminal justice system. Whilst we have seen an increase in recorded crime there has been an overall reduction in actual crime and anti-social behaviour which demonstrates the professionalism, commitment and dedication of officers and staff here in Gwent.
During the last year I have conducted a wide ranging engagement programme and received feedback from the public on the way they wish to be policed. This was used by the Chief Constable in his operational delivery review which has resulted in more visible police officers in our communities. I have also developed my commitment to put victims at the heart of everything we do and used my voice in the community to raise awareness on areas of concern such as hate crime."
Looking forward and outlining some of the challenges ahead, Mr Johnston added: "I continue to be committed to working with the Chief Constable and other partners to ensure that the communities of Gwent receive a high quality, effective and value for money police service. I believe we have made some great progress over the past year and intend to build on this in the next period to realise the Police and Crime Priorities.
Providing accessible policing amid on-going cuts to the Police budget is one of the biggest challenges we face and we are in a position where we have to achieve more with the resources we currently have. As part of this, we will be working to make another £26m savings in order to meet our targets.
With the growing threat of cybercrime and challenges with safeguarding children online, I am aware that we need to be more collaborative and innovative in our approach to tackling crime and in ensuring our officers have access to the latest technology in support of their demanding roles.
It's been a challenging yet fulfilling year but I'm now looking forward to the next 12 months and will continue to work hard on improving policing and driving forward essential partnerships to keep our communities safe. My focus, as always, will remain on putting victims first and in ensuring the people of Gwent have the best service possible."
You can now view the full version of the annual report here