Happy New Year

I would like to start 2020 by wishing you all a happy New Year, and thanking the police officers and staff, and emergency services colleagues, who were on duty over the festive period.

It is particularly hard to be away from your families at this time of year and I, and I am sure all of the residents in Gwent, greatly appreciate everything you do to keep our communities safe.

Last year was a particularly busy one, both for my office and Gwent Police.

The constant evolution of criminality continues to pose significant challenges to policing at a time when services have faced additional pressures through a sustained period of reductions in government funding.

As a result, I took the decision in 2019 to update my Police and Crime Plan, the document that provides strategic direction for policing in Gwent.

Throughout the plan, I have weaved the narrative of serious and organised crime to emphasise its importance and ensure the protection of our most vulnerable residents remains a priority for Gwent Police.

The main focus of the plan continues to be preventing crime and I will continue to aim to provide the best service possible to improve community safety, protection for vulnerable people and support for victims of crime, with a particular focus on victims of serious harm.

You can read the plan in full on my website.

Fortunately I am supported by the new Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Pam Kelly, who I appointed in August. Her knowledge, experience and commitment to the people of Gwent was demonstrated throughout the selection process and I am looking forward to working with her closely throughout 2020. We share a vision for Gwent where our communities are safe, vibrant places to live and work, and where, together with our partners, we can provide the best quality of life for our residents.

The last year has been characterised by uncertainty around Brexit and I have never known a time in UK politics where communities have been so divided along political lines.

But now the general election is behind us we must move on. Whatever your political views, now is a time for tolerance and understanding. We must work together to build greater cohesion between our communities.

I am sure that 2020 will bring its own challenges but I am confident that by working together we can tackle them head on. We are all stronger when we stand together.

I wish everyone in Gwent a happy New Year.