Gwent Police has been rated as “good” overall by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary – despite recent cuts to its budget.
Wendy Williams, HM Inspector of Constabulary, said the force is good at preventing crime and tackling antisocial behaviour, and works well with partner organisations.
She said: “I am pleased by the high standard of the force’s crime investigations.
“The initial stages of investigations, including the early phase of gathering evidence, are conducted well.
“Crimes are allocated to investigators with the appropriate skills and experience, but the force needs to improve how investigations are then supervised.
“Gwent Police has an effective integrated offender management scheme, and it works well with partner organisations to reduce the risk posed by dangerous and sexual offenders.
“Gwent Police protects vulnerable people well, particularly victims of domestic abuse. The force has good local knowledge of the nature and scale of vulnerability, but its information systems do not automatically identify vulnerable and repeat victims.
“Its response to missing children is good, with effective processes to identify and tackle child sexual exploitation.
The force does, however, need to improve the consistency of the risk assessment process carried out by call handlers.”
However, Ms Williams stated the force had a “limited understanding” of the threat posed by serious and organised crime, but was reassured that it was working with partner organisations to address this.
The force, she said, had strong financial plans for the future and a good understanding of future demands that could be placed upon it – such as internet crime.
The report shows that Gwent Police has been rated as ‘Good’ overall across the inspection themes of effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy.
In response to the report, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “The people of Gwent should be proud of the force’s performance and for the good level of service it provides.
“I would like to praise the Chief Constable, Jeff Farrar, for his efforts in leading the turnaround in the force’s performance in recent years. Gwent Police has moved from requiring improvement across the board three years ago to being amongst the top performing forces in England and Wales.”
The Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Jeff Farrar, said: “I am pleased to see that HMIC has recognised the significant effort that police officers and staff have undertaken in the past year to build upon performance and deliver a quality service to the public.
“Policing is a complex business and is changing quickly in a world in which technology is ever advancing.
“This means the threats facing forces are developing rapidly across England and Wales and require close partnership working with other agencies to effectively tackle those challenges.”
He added: “Gwent Police is well-placed to meet both current and future demands on the service and this is supported through the assessment of HMIC in this report.”