Police and Crime Commissioner urges people to avoid mass gatherings

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, has urged the public to avoid mass gatherings to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 within Gwent Communities.

He said: “I understand the anger and dismay felt by people following the death of George Floyd in the USA, and I support the Black Lives Matter campaign.

“However, I must urge people wanting to protest to avoid attending large public gatherings.

“We are still in the middle of a serious public health crisis and people are still dying from Covid-19 every day

“Mass gatherings of any kind increase the risk of spreading the virus in our communities and put lives at risk.

“Fortunately, a protest at Caerphilly Castle last weekend passed peacefully, without incident, and with the majority following social distancing.

“Nevertheless, my concerns about the risks to public health remain and, with several more protests planned across Gwent, I would strongly urge anyone planning to attend to reconsider and think of other ways of registering their protest.

“The job of the police anywhere in the world is to protect and serve their communities, and the anger people are feeling is understandable.

“On this occasion, in the USA, there has been a serious failure and those responsible must be held to account.

“It is my role to ensure that anyone dealing with the police here in Gwent is treated equally, fairly and with respect.

“Working with our key partners and communities is key to better understanding the issues faced by many black and ethnic minority residents, and to engage with them to help address any negative experiences they have.

“I am proud that we continue to make significant strides in increasing community cohesion, and ensuring that our police force and staff are representative of the communities they serve. This continues to be a very important part of my work.

“Hatred of any kind will not be tolerated here in Gwent. If you have experienced hatred because of your race, religion, sexuality or any other reason then please report it.”