Praise for Gwent PCC's work with public
12:48pm Monday 16th December 2013 in News
THE GWENT Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has been commended for its work with the public in the past year.
An audit - carried out by the Wales Audit Office and Participation Cymru - looked at the standard of police engagement and how commissioners and police forces work with their communities to establish and deliver policing priorities.
The findings revealed there had been a significant increase in public contact since the appointment of the crime commissioner, Ian Johnston, in November 2012.
The news comes after the Argus reported how Mr Johnston faced questioning from councillors at a police and crime panel meeting after an internal review found that 25 out of 50 incidents from last summer had not been recorded in line with Home Office rules.
Mr Johnston was questioned along with his deputy Paul Harris and Gwent police chief constable Jeff Farrar but said that some of the “stark practices” which were going on before are not going on now.
The Wales Audit Office report stated that the principles for joint engagement are well established and that the office has a constructive and receptive approach to it.
Andy Bruce, the Performance Audit Lead for Police for the Wales Audit Office, said: “We understand the importance of engagement and consultation in both the commissioner’s role and that of the police on a day to day business and that’s why we wanted to undertake this audit.
“It was encouraging to hear that engagement with communities is taking a higher profile than just concentrating on crime figures. As we have seen that you can have low crime, but communities can still feel disengaged.”
The office was also praised for their range of successful methods for interacting with the public, such as its use of social media.
They recently launched the first PCC app in the UK which provides residents with the latest news as well as an interactive look at Gwent-wide activities.
MrJohnston, said: “I’m accountable to the public for the direction of policing in Gwent and I want to be visible and accessible to the people so I can listen to what matters to them locally.
“This audit clarifies that we are definitely heading in the right direction where engaging with the public is concerned.”
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