Jeff Cuthbert, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, says the upcoming general election could make the world of policing “look very different in four or five years’ time”, as he marks the one-year anniversary since his appointment.
Former Caerphilly AM Mr Cuthbert was elected to the role on Thursday May 12 2016, and has reflected on both the successes and difficulties of the past 12 months, while outlining his future plans.
He said: “My role as PCC enables residents to have a greater say in how policing services are provided for them and to become actively involved in decision making which relates to their local service provision.
“Through events, forums and public surgeries my staff and I have visited all of our key partners during the last year which include town and community councils, local authorities, elected officials and local business leaders in the area.
“Only by listening to people’s issues and concerns and by putting the needs of individuals at the heart of what we do, can we seek to provide the best possible quality of life for our citizens.”
Mr Cuthbert referenced his four-year plan – which was launched in March – as one of the achievements of his year in office.
The Delivering a Safer Gwent Police and Crime Plan 2017 – 2021 provides the strategic direction for how policing and crime services should be delivered in Gwent over the next four years, and is based on the priorities which residents referred to in consultations.
The priorities include: crime prevention; supporting victims; community cohesion; tackling anti-social behaviour; and effective service delivery.
The PCC also hailed the work done to build partnerships between Gwent Police and the community, and paid tribute to outgoing Chief Constable, Jeff Farrar.
He announced 120 extra officers will join the force during 2017/18, but warned: “We will have to wait and see what the implications are for policing and wellbeing following the General Election”, adding “I am now looking forward to the next year and my focus will be on ensuring the people of Gwent have the best service possible. You can rest assured that I will continue to work hard on improving policing and in driving forward essential partnerships to keep our communities safe.”