Gwent PCC Welcomes Feedback from Latest HMICFRS Report on Gwent Police

22nd March 2018

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, today welcomed the acknowledgement in Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) latest Effectiveness Report that Gwent Police is “Preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour” and “Investigating crime and reducing reoffending” despite “dramatic increases in demand and ongoing financial pressures”.

The annual inspection of force effectiveness conducted by the police watchdog praised Gwent Police for its awareness of vulnerability and whilst noting that improvement was required in areas including supporting victims and its use of body worn cameras in domestic abuse incidents, were confident that Gwent Police could improve.

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “Gwent Police has been consistently rated as good over the last three years and has been recognised as one of the most improved services in England and Wales by the Inspectorate. The service has been rated as ‘Good’ overall in the last four reports published by HMICFRS this financial year.

Whilst it was disappointing to see Gwent Police requiring improvement in certain areas in this specific report, I welcome the findings of today’s publication, which highlight where the service can improve upon. It was pleasing to hear that Gwent Police has a good awareness of vulnerability across the service area and has improved the way it identifies vulnerable people when they first contact the service. It was also good to see a special mention for the work undertaken by the Specialist Mental Health Practitioners working in the control room to support people with mental health conditions.

The consistency around the use of Body-worn cameras to record evidence at domestic abuse incidents is already being addressed by the service since the inspection was carried out. Launched last month, Gwent is the first Police service in Wales to have a dedicated virtual reality facility to train officers on how to handle domestic abuse incidents. Officers are briefed on the importance of switching on their Body-worn cameras when they arrive at an incident and it now forms a compulsory part of their training.

The report also highlights that Gwent Police has improved the way it tackles serious and organised crime, specifically acknowledging the work being conducted around ‘county lines’ and through the missing children’s hub. However, it does note that there is room for improvement with regards to how Gwent Police prevents such crimes.”

Mr Cuthbert added: “Since my election, I have witnessed for myself the impressive efforts and the huge amount of work which has been undertaken by Gwent Police, my office and other partners in the community in pulling together a range of projects and initiatives to enhance the quality of service provision for all victims of crime.

The Chief Constable and I will embrace the constructive advice from HMICFRS and you can rest assured that we are fully committed to ensuring that victims of crime have the best service possible.”

Gwent Police Chief Constable Julian Williams said, “Although it is disappointing to lose our ‘Good’ rating, I am extremely encouraged by the work already happening within Gwent Police to improve performance in key areas such as supporting victims and protecting vulnerable people. We are never complacent and I am committed to ensuring we deliver on Gwent Police’s core promise to protect and reassure the communities we serve.”