Jeff Cuthbert is the police and crime commissioner for Gwent. He represents Labour.
I would like to start the first column of my second term as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent with a thank you to everyone who voted in the election earlier this month.
It is an honour to be chosen to represent the people of Caerphilly and as the former Assembly Member for the area, and as a resident myself, I am very proud to be able to continue to serve the local community.
My first week of the new term included visits to Caerphilly town centre and Blackwood to speak to residents and businesses about the issues that most matter to them.
Understandably there is some concern about a rise in crime and antisocial behaviour in the town centres as lockdown measures ease. Gwent Police are preparing for this with extra patrols and are liaising closely with communities that may be affected. If you do experience any issues then please report them.
I am pleased that some of the projects that we fund to work with children and young people at risk from becoming involved with crime and antisocial behaviour are now able to get back to work in our communities.
Positive Futures, which engages young people through sport has been running skateboarding sessions in some of Caerphilly’s skateparks and these have been very well received. These sessions are a huge benefit the children and young people’s physical and mental health, and by recognising and dealing with vulnerability at an early age we are helping to keep children away from crime and exploitation, and to keep our communities safe. More sessions are planned for the coming weeks.
I will shortly begin work on a new Police and Crime Plan for Gwent. This will set out my priorities for the three-year term and will be the document against which I measure Gwent Police’s performance and hold the force to account on behalf of the public.
Crime Prevention will continue to be a key priority in my plan. Crucial to this will be Gwent Police’s We Don’t Buy Crime team which launched in March and focuses on tackling acquisitive crime such as burglary and theft. The team provide proactive crime prevention and target hardening advice to communities to help them avoid becoming targets for crime, and are ready to react quickly when a burglary does take place to help reduce the risk for surrounding properties.
The model has been used by forces in England to successfully reduce repeat offending and victimisation, and I am delighted that we are taking the lead in Wales by introducing it here in Gwent.
For more information on We Don’t Buy Crime visit the Gwent Police website – bit.ly/3bhR1pq
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