Jeff Cuthbert is the police and crime commissioner for Gwent. He represents Labour.
A the time of writing this column it is Road Safety Week and, sadly, it will have a particular resonance for residents in Caerphilly this month.
Gwent Police have dealt with three fatal road traffic collisions in the county borough during November alone. My thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to the friends and families of those who lost their lives.
We don’t yet know the full circumstances behind all of these particular incidents, however, we do know that across the UK there are 11 deaths or serious injuries a day on our roads. Almost all of these incidents could be easily avoided if people simply slowed down and kept to the speed limits.
In the Gwent area, drivers have been caught speeding by as much as 129 miles per hour on 70 mile per hour roads, and up to 44 miles per hour, more than double the limit, on smaller 20 mile per hour roads.
Now, more than ever, we need to do our part to stay safe and keep the emergency services available for those who need them most. So please take extra care, slow down, keep to the speed limits and stay safe on the roads.
Lockdown restrictions have now eased across Wales but in order to avoid further restrictions we must all play our part. By following the guidelines for social distancing, ensuring that we wash our hands and by using personal protective equipment, such as masks, where appropriate, we can help to reduce the spread of the virus in the community.
Gwent Police and Caerphilly County Borough Council are working together to ensure that licensed premises are operating safely and within the law. This joint initiative aims to support hospitality businesses to adhere to the current guidelines but action will be taken if premises are found to be in breach of the regulations.
We all now know what to do to help reduce the risk of spreading and catching this virus so please follow the guidelines, act responsibility and help save lives in your community.
- Bid to change flats development branded a “disgrace”
- 18-year-old dealer who advertised drugs on Snapchat jailed
- Savings pot will be a “godsend” for council
- Stricter rules to be put in place in supermarkets
- Negative Covid test needed before travelling to Wales
- Transport for Wales to reduce services due to coronavirus
I am currently running a survey to understand residents’ views on a range of issues including their satisfaction with local policing, Gwent Police’s response to Covid-19, and police funding.
I know that times are hard for many people, especially those whose jobs and livelihoods have been affected by the Covid-19 virus. However, this pandemic has also shown just how incredibly important policing is to protect and reassure our communities.
The future financial position for policing remains challenging. Gwent Police has had significant cuts in government funding since 2010. It has had to make almost £50million in savings and must save a further £5million by 2024. During this time, the demands on policing have continued, and will continue, to grow.
Our medium term financial planning tells us that a rise in the council tax precept, which is the portion of council tax that goes to policing, of up to £2 a month for an average band D property would allow Gwent Police to maintain services at current levels for the next year.
This is an incredibly difficult decision to have to make, especially in the middle of a pandemic, but it is one that I cannot shy away from. Listening to the people of Gwent is important to me and, before I make any decision on the police budget for 2021/22, I want to hear your views. Please take the time to complete the survey and have your say.
To have your say before the survey closes on Sunday 10 January 2021, visit gwent.pcc.police.uk
Other formats of the survey are available on request from my office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01633 642200.
Stay informed with quality, independent, local journalism…that matters
We believe the public should be informed about their community, coherently and with context. However, running a professional news service comes at a financial cost.
We are asking readers for their support to help us develop and grow our service.
Our membership costs from just £3 a month and in return, you can use our website without adverts.
Become a member – cancel anytime