THE shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper paid a visit to Cwmbran to support Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent candidate Hamish Sandison.

Members of the Thornhill Community Centre and local residents gathered on Monday to hear what Labour's Mr Sandison and Ms Cooper had to say about the up coming elections.

Mr Sandison, from Usk, who has been a practising lawyer for over 35 years and a Labour candidate in the 2010 General Election, said: "If I was elected my first concern would be crime but second to this would be installing good communities.

"Once children are in the criminal justice system its hard to get them out. So it's important to give them good foundations to have a good start in life."

Mr Sandison is campaigning against the government's 20% cuts in police budgets, as he believes this will put community safety at risk by taking police officers off the streets.

He is also opposed to police station closures in Gwent, and privatisation of police services.

Ms Cooper said: "Good communities reduce crime, that is by working together and with the police. Communities, like the one here, know the local problems and can suggest the solutions.

"Plans to cut 700 police officers in Wales, I think is really irresponsible. Hamish is determined to speak to communities to create good links and he has strong experience of the criminal justice system."

Commenting on Gwent's crime rate continuing to fall, Mr Sandison said: "Crime is coming and down and I welcome that but we can't assume that it will survive the cuts."

 Also standing for election in Gwent on November 15 are Ian Johnston (independent), Nick Webb (Conservative) and Chris Wright (independent).