PCC Recognised for Commitment to Community Cohesion

17th November 2016

During the Black History Wales Honorary Awards 2016 hosted at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert was recognised for his commitment to community cohesion in Wales.

The event formed part of the Black History Month celebrations in Wales and the award was presented to Mr Cuthbert by the Chair of Race Council Cymru, Judge Ray Singh CBE, who was the first ethnic minority judge on the Welsh bench and also the first Commissioner appointed from Wales to the Commission for Racial Equality.

As the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty for the Welsh Government (2013-14), Mr Cuthbert launched a new national framework for tackling hate crime which included the launch of an all Wales Hate Crime Reporting Centre. He also introduced the Well-being and Future Generations Act which provides a duty on public bodies to think about the long-term and work better with people, communities and each other to prevent and tackle problems.

As the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Mr Cuthbert has made it implicit that effective community cohesion should form part of the backbone of his police and crime plan for the region. He has also been busy obtaining the views of diverse communities and hard to reach groups on police and crime issues to ensure the service provided by the Force meets their needs. This week, the Commissioner met with refugee families in Cwmbran town centre as he launched a Hate Crime Awareness event with Gwent Police as part of the build up to Hate Crime Awareness Week (October 8th - 15th).

The Chair of Race Council Cymru, Judge Ray Singh CBE, said: "I was delighted to present Mr Cuthbert with this well-deserved award in recognition of his impressive work and commitment to drive forward community cohesion in Wales. We are committed to working with Mr Cuthbert and Gwent Police to ensure that the voices of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities throughout Gwent continue to be heard."

On receiving the award, the Police and Crime Jeff Cuthbert, said: "I want to see communities which are cohesive and which work together to tackle tensions when they arise and support the principles of fairness and equality. We all have a collective responsibility to challenge inappropriate behaviour and negative attitudes. Unfortunately, prejudice and hostility still exists in many of our communities. This is not acceptable and I believe that people should be able to live, work and contribute to their community without living in constant fear of experiencing hatred of any kind. Our communities work better when equality and diversity is welcomed and where we can all appreciate and value people."

He added: "In my role as Commissioner, I want to ensure people's voices are heard in Gwent and I want to break down barriers and engage with some of our hardest to reach communities. I am positive that this will be a catalyst which will help us build trust and engage with groups which currently feel underrepresented in the region."