Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert: “It is only by working together that we will get through this crisis”
News, Opinion | Jeff Cuthbert | Published: 16:31, Thursday April 2nd, 2020.
Last updated: 16:31, Thursday April 2nd, 2020
As a local resident of Caerphilly I want to start this column by saying how heartened I am with the community spirit shown over the last few weeks.
There have been some fantastic examples of the community rallying around to look after and support vulnerable people in isolation.
I have also seen local businesses that have been hit hard by this crisis adapting to deliver food and essentials to those most in need.
These are unprecedented times and it is only by working together in this way that we will get through this crisis.
That said, I was saddened to receive a call from the Pharmacists’ Defence Association asking for help to tackle issues with their staff receiving verbal abuse and threats from customers.
While I appreciate that people are anxious and worried about getting their medication, the stories I have heard from the pharmacy community in Caerphilly are unacceptable.
Right now community pharmacists are part of the front-line defence against Covid-19. They are an essential part of the health service, giving help and advice, while also trying to do their day job and provide medicines and services to residents.
I have fed my concerns back to the Chief Constable Pam Kelly and been assured that neighbourhood policing teams will make regular visits to local pharmacies as part of their patrols.
I am pleased to have granted funding to a new project in Caerphilly aimed at tackling crime and antisocial behaviour, and boosting health and wellbeing in children and young people living in the Lansbury Park area.
Creazione in Community offers young people who are at risk of becoming involved in crime and antisocial behaviour opportunities to try new sports, activities and to volunteer to help their community.
Like so many projects at the moment it is currently on hold but I look forward to visiting and seeing their work first hand when things return to normal.
Since the government issued its advice to all residents to stay at home, Gwent Police have reported a significant drop in the number of domestic abuse and sexual violence crimes that are being reported.
These are already significantly under-reported crimes in our communities and we know that they are continuing to happen. The national lockdown means that, sadly, there could be more incidents in the home and we want people experiencing such abuse to seek help.
I welcome Chief Constable Pam Kelly’s firm commitment that Gwent Police will continue to work hard to tackle violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.
We know that abuse can have life-changing consequences for the people who experience it and their loved ones. By working together, we can provide you with the help and specialist support you need to end the abuse and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
For help, advice and support contact Live Fear Free on 0808 80 10 800.