TODAY, Gwent’s Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston writes the first of a bi-monthly column for the Argus:
It is hard to believe that seventeen months have gone by but we have covered a lot of ground in that time which you can find much more about in my annual report published this month.
Looking back, I have started to see a number of positive changes in the way the police is delivering its service based upon my discussions with the chief constable including a complete move away from the emphasis on targets and numbers to refocus on the quality of service provided.
One of the key aims of my Police and Crime Plan is to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and, for those people that unfortunately become victims, we are continually working with the force and other partners to improve the services they receive.
That’s why I launched my Victims’ Charter in September 2013 which puts victims at the heart of everything we do and outlines the minimum standard of service victims can expect.
I have also placed great importance on partnership working and public engagement over the last 17 months to make sure local priorities and outcomes are actively joined up.
I was delighted when our public engagement work received glowing praise from the Wales Audit Office.
Access to police stations has been high on the agenda for many of our communities and, following valuable feedback from the public, I made the decision earlier this year to fully reopen several stations which had been closed or had limited opening hours.
I continue to work productively with partners in delivering crime and anti-social behaviour prevention and reduction initiatives and tackling wider community safety issues.
Through my Partnership Fund I have awarded £150,000 to community projects and I will provide further community funding opportunities through my Partnership Fund again within the coming year.
The NATO summit in September 2014 will be one of the biggest events that Gwent Police has ever managed.
The announcement is welcome news for the whole of Wales and we are working hard to ensure successful arrangements are in place for both the visiting dignitaries and the local communities affected.
There are many other challenges ahead which include ensuring that the quality of service for the public is maintained despite a £3.8 million reduction in core government grants for policing and tackling crime in Gwent.
However, by working closely with the police force and partners, I am confident that we can meet those challenges and deliver a quality service that is value for money for the people of Gwent.
To find out more about my work and that of my office, read my full annual report by visiting my website www.gwent.pcc.police.uk