YOUR MP WRITES: Newport East MP Jessica Morden
4:01pm Monday 14th October 2013 in News
Gwent Labour MPs have rightly been critical about how and why Carmel Napier from Gwent Police left her role. However, I know we all wish the proposed new Chief Constable Jeff Farrar the best in his new job and we will offer him our full support.
On taking up the post (subject to the ratification of the Police and Crime panel), he takes charge of Gwent Police at a very challenging time due to unprecedented budget cuts. Among the many other challenges he and the Force face, reassuring the public following the major incidents in Newport over the summer should be a priority.
Whilst the incidents were not linked, and not random in nature, I do know from talking to people locally that there are real concerns about the perceived threat of serious violent crime. The fact is that the number of armed response incidents in Gwent has fallen as reported in last week’s Argus. However, the nature of the incidents over the summer and the short space of time between them have understandably heightened fears.
Following the incidents, I have, along with local councillors, met with senior officers at Gwent Police to convey the concerns of our constituents, and we’ve been briefed on the action the Police are taking.
Two weeks ago I also joined officers from the Armed Response Unit and Roads Policing team to learn first hand about the challenges locally, and how the Police are tackling them on the ground. During my time out on the streets with Gwent officers and CSO’s, they have never failed to impress on me how demanding and difficult their job is, particularly at a time when the Police service faces 20% cuts. Recognising the work they do is important, and the bravery of Gwent officers will be honoured this week in the House of Commons when a number of officers receive awards for the role they played in responding to a recent fire in St Julian’s.
Whilst we rely on the Police to keep us safe they can’t do this alone, and as residents we all have a part to play in the fight against crime. I know from my surgeries that from time to time constituents wish to give information anonymously. That’s why I think it is important to highlight the work of the charity Crimestoppers which is this year celebrating its 25th anniversary. If you call 0800 555111 (or go online) you have a guarantee that you will not be asked to reveal your name or details, your call will not be recorded and no calls are traced. The Crimestoppers promise of anonymity has never been broken and I would urge anyone with any information about criminality in their community to contact the Police or Crimestoppers. We expect the Police to do their duty at all times, but for the fight against crime to succeed we must also do our bit when we can.
I recently attended one of the Welsh Government’s public exhibitions in Magor as part of the consultation on the drafts plans to improve the M4 corridor around Newport. Major congestion on the M4 is a constant complaint, but it’s important for those potentially affected in Magor and the levels that we consider the options and get any route right. To view the draft plans you can visit www.m4newport.com and attend the public exhibitions listed on the website. The deadline for responses is 16 December 2013.
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