Response to Home Office Crime Statistics - released 17th October 2013

According to the figures, which look at the 12 months to June 2013 as compared to the 12 months to June 2012, overall crime is down 5% across Gwent.

Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston commented:

"Whilst the crime statistics are an important indicator, as I've said previously, what's important to me is the service Gwent Police provides the people of Gwent. I want Gwent Police to be judged on this service, not on numbers alone.

"That said, overall the figures released today by the Home Office make for positive reading. The continued decrease in burglary is welcome as is the reduction in the number of incidents of vehicle crime and criminal damage. However, there are a number of categories where we have seen notable increases in crime including violence and robbery.

"On behalf of Gwent residents, and especially victims of crime, I will continue to push the Chief Officer team to do all they can, along with our partners, to prevent crimes happening in the first place and where they do occur, to ensure that victims are provided with a service appropriate to their needs."

Acknowledging the comments made by the Commissioner Temporary Chief Constable Jeff Farrar commented:

"The figures released today are encouraging in many aspects, the continued decrease in the number of burglaries, criminal damage, shoplifting and vehicle offences are all positive.

"The increase in violence against the person needs to be viewed in the context of the greater emphases in identifying and responding to domestic abuse, these figures clearly demonstrated the proactive approach we are taking is having a positive effect. The increase in violence without injury can be attributed to this approach.

"The 36% increase in robbery equates to 47 incidents over the year. This is not good news but the public of Gwent should be reassured that we have a strong focus on this not only in catching those responsible and providing victims the right support.

Mr Farrar concluded:

"The reduction in overall crime is welcome, but this is often of little comfort to those who have been victims of crime or anti-social behaviour.

"I would like to reassure those people who have been affected by crime that our officers and staff will continue to support you and target those who commit crime. Every Gwent resident has the right to feel safe, and be safe in their community and this underpins the work we do every day."