THE four months since I was elected as the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent have gone by in a blink of an eye and it is only appropriate that I reflect on what has been a very busy and interesting journey.

I’ve been getting to know what is actually happening across Gwent with regards to policing and crime and from the outset my diary has been packed full of meetings with a range of people working in the community safety landscape including representatives from the voluntary sector, charities, health, other emergency services and elected officials.

It is important that we listen to what the public are telling us and we must always consider the requirements of all our communities, including emerging ones.

That is why I was pleased to support an event run by Race Council Cymru which specifically looked at how Gwent Police and my office can improve the way we engage with emerging and Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities.

In June we saw a spike in hate crime, fear of hate crime and tensions in communities across the UK following the referendum vote to leave the EU.

Hate crime in any form will not be tolerated in Gwent and there will be consequences for the perpetrators.

I recently met representatives of the Muslim community in Newport to reassure them of this and to ask them to continue to report these matters to the police so they can be dealt with appropriately.

I was pleased to continue the commitment of my office to delivering the Partnership Fund, which awards cash seized from criminals and from the sale of unclaimed found property, to projects which have a positive impact on their communities in preventing crime and anti-social behaviour.

The latest round was rolled out in June and we had a staggering response and received close to 200 applications.

The successful applicants will be announced in the autumn.

My duty is to ensure that the police and crime priorities for Gwent reflect what people are telling me and I’ve been out and about in the evenings and on weekends attending public meetings, gatherings and briefings and listening to the views and concerns of residents.

This information is enabling me to pull together the next police and crime plan for Gwent which is the document that gives the strategic direction for our policing, crime prevention and victim services for the next four years.

I have launched a three-month public consultation asking residents for their feedback on my proposed police and crime priorities which you can access via