New Deputy PCC for Gwent Appointed

6th October 2016

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, has announced the appointment of Eleri Thomas MBE as his new Deputy today.

Mr Cuthbert received 46 applications for the Deputy PCC role and, following two rounds of interviews, Ms Eleri Thomas has been announced as the successful candidate. Ms Thomas, who was the former Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Children's Commissioner for Wales, was officially appointed following a confirmation hearing at a meeting of the Gwent Police and Crime Panel at Monmouthshire County Council's Headquarters in Usk today. Members of the panel had the opportunity to question Ms Thomas who will now officially begin her role and take on lead responsibilities and deputise for the Commissioner in carrying out his core functions.

Ms Thomas was recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2009 and was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to children and young people whilst head of the children's charity, Save the Children, in Wales. She has more than 20 years' experience of working in leadership and management roles in Wales and has had national strategic influence on areas of focus including families living in poverty; the youth justice system; people experiencing mental health issues; community cohesion; integration of Gypsy Traveller families; hate crime and its impact on asylum seeking families; and child sexual exploitation.

Eleri also has extensive experience of working in partnership at all levels with the Welsh Government, Police Forces, Police and Crime Commissioners, Local Authorities and Health Boards throughout Wales. She led on convening a national stakeholder leadership group on child sexual exploitation (CSE) which resulted in the production of a national action plan and coordinated the UK Commissioners' submission to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. She has also provided expert support to police forces in Wales on developing action plans to tackle child sexual exploitation.

As the new Deputy PCC for Gwent, she will now contribute to the development of Jeff Cuthbert's police and crime initiatives and will lead on the delivery of major projects which are seen as being critical to his manifesto. Eleri will also maintain and build key relationships with senior officers and managers at Gwent Police and work with external bodies such as criminal justice partners, local authorities and the voluntary sector on joint projects and initiatives.

Speaking after the hearing, Eleri Thomas, the new Deputy PCC for Gwent, said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Jeff Cuthbert and support him to deliver his vision and police and crime priorities for the people of Gwent. I am committed to ensuring that local residents have an effective and efficient police service which delivers appropriate support for victims and strives to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour."

Welcoming Eleri Thomas as his Deputy, Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert, said: "Eleri is an individual with an impressive and varied range of skills and experiences and I am delighted to welcome someone of her calibre to this role. She will play an important part in supporting my work of engaging with as many communities as possible and in ensuring that residents have direct input into the type of policing they want to see locally. She will play a key role in supporting me to develop a proactive police and crime plan for Gwent as we work closely with our partners, the Force and the community to prevent crime and tackle anti-social behaviour. I look forward to working with her."