Gwent Police operates through two Local Policing Areas aligned to five local authorities. Gwent covers 15542 km and has a population of over 576,700 people which has grown 4.2% over ten years. Nearly 4% of the population is mixed, black and minority ethnic
The county is economically and culturally diverse with areas of affluence and deprivation bringing different policing needs. 12% of Gwent is defined as most deprived and in 2013 the average gross weekly earnings in three local authorities was 3.9% below the welsh average.
Gwent is made up of rural towns, countryside and urban areas such as the City of Newport (University of Wales with 9500 students, ethnic diversity, mainline rail, a football team, retail and leisure facilities, industrial port). Large regeneration and housing projects in the Newport and Valley areas will bring benefits and challenges in the years to come and large volumes of traffic are carried through the M4 to the East presenting a constant risk of organised crime.
Gwent currently employs 1285 officers, 835 staff and 191 PCSOs. The workforce is 12% smaller than in 2010 although there has been an increase in the level and complexity of demands. Despite this, over the last year Gwent Police dealt with 192,948 incidents and 35,690 crimes.
Historic serious sexual offences remain high which are complex and lengthy investigations. Local crimes (theft, burglary, shoplifting) are to be balanced against regional and national priorities. A continued rise in violence (domestic abuse, violence without injury) has meant an increased safeguarding of vulnerable people and policing of large scale operations such as the 2014 NATO Summit and the 2010 Ryder Cup must run alongside everyday policing.
To view the specific Crime statistics released by the Office of National Statistics please visit: http://ons.gov.uk/ons/taxonomy/index.html?nscl=Crime+in+England+and+Wales
Assistant Chief Constable, Julian Williams said:
"The increase we have experienced in overall crime in Gwent doesn’t come as any surprise, and as we have said previously we expect this due to continual improvement in the consistency of our crime recording.
I welcome the fact that we've seen an 11% decrease in burglary which is higher than the national average, as well as drops in criminal damage, arson, vehicle crime and bicycle theft. Whilst this is positive, it might be cold comfort for those who have been victims of these crimes. However, I can reassure those who have been victims of crime we continue to work hard to support them and bring the people who commit these crimes to justice.
We have seen increases in other categories especially around violence against the person (this includes domestic violence) and sex offences, both in line with the picture nationally. The increases in these categories are likely to be down to a combination of factors; including more consistent crime recording, and more importantly, the greater confidence and willingness of victims to engage with police and partner agencies to report such incidents knowing that they will be listened to and their reports acted upon."
Chief Constable Jeff Farrar added:
"We continue to work hard to develop and improve the victim-focussed service we provide to the public at a time when our operating budget remains challenging.
Reliable and accurate data is extremely important for us in order to better direct our limited resources, however, it does not provide a complete picture. The statistics don’t for example include work around speeding, drink and drug driving and other offences which we have a duty to investigate, and are issues the public tell us they want us to tackle.
I am very proud of the efforts of my officers and staff. Working with partner agencies and the public we will continue to make Gwent a safer place, and where crime does occur we will fully support victims and do our best to bring offenders to justice."
A full breakdown of the latest Force Performance Pack can be found by clicking on the link below. This is presented to the Strategy & Performance Board, chaired by the Police and Crime Commissioner for scrutiny. The most recent data is published up to December 2015.
The website of the Police & Crime Commissioner can be found by clicking on the following link http://www.gwent.pcc.police.uk/