Gwent Police & Crime Plan 2021 ‒ 2025


Introduction from the Police and Crime Commissioner
Introduction from the Chief Constable
My vision, values and key principles
The police and crime priorities for Gwent
Partnership working
Cost of policing in Gwent
Criminal justice
Monitoring performance
Engaging with the public
Concluding remarks

Introduction from the Police and Crime Commissioner

In the five years since I was first elected as Police and Crime Commissioner, my office and Gwent Police have worked tirelessly to make Gwent a safer place to live, work and visit.

I am immensely proud that Gwent is one of the safest places in the United Kingdom and I am steadfast in my commitment to ensuring this remains the case.

This Police and Crime Plan sets out my vision and priorities for policing in Gwent for the next three years. I have developed my plan following extensive public engagement and have listened to a range of views from diverse communities across Gwent. By gathering these views, I have sought to gain further understanding of what matters to the people of Gwent.

My Police and Crime Plan priorities have been chosen to meet the needs of communities and ensure that Gwent Police are best placed to provide an effective police service. Tackling offending, supporting victims and increasing community confidence in policing are all central to my plan.

Additionally, I have made it a priority to drive forward sustainable policing practices to ensure a more efficient, environmentally-friendly 21st Century police service.

As your Police and Crime Commissioner, it is my responsibility to hold the Chief Constable to account for delivering against my plan. To do this, I have created a series of outcomes to be achieved over the next three years. These outcomes will allow me to measure both mine and Gwent Police’s performance in implementing my Police and Crime Plan.

In my second term, I will build on the strong foundations already established and consolidate the successes achieved alongside Gwent Police and partners.

However, due to the ever-changing nature of crime, it is also important that policing is forward-thinking and always looking for new and innovative ways to deal with emerging demands and challenges.

Through close collaboration with the Chief Constable, I will continue to make sure that Gwent Police are equipped to respond to the challenges of both today and tomorrow.

Since I published my last Police and Crime Plan, the world has faced significant upheaval in the wake of COVID-19. The effects of the pandemic have been far reaching, touching all facets of society and placing immense pressure on public services.

Policing has been no exception to this.

During the most difficult periods of the pandemic, Gwent Police enforced lockdown restrictions with fairness and understanding, taking decisive steps to safeguard the most vulnerable in our communities.

I commend the conduct of officers who rose to these challenges and made sure that Gwent Police was there for those in need.

However, the impact of COVID-19 will extend beyond the public health crisis. The effects on society are expected to be generational. Policing, which was already stretched prior to the pandemic, will also need to recover.

Over the next three years, I will make every effort to ensure that Gwent Police receives the support necessary to overcome any lasting challenges from COVID-19. I will also work closely with the Chief Constable and other partners to ensure that we are working together as public services to meet the needs of communities heavily hit by the pandemic.

In addition to the pandemic in the past 18 months, serious concerns have been raised nationally and internationally on policing’s ability to tackle violence against women and girls, and how black and minority ethnic communities are policed.

The response to the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer and the global Black Lives Matter movement show the strength of feeling across society. This cannot be ignored. Like the pandemic, this appears to be a watershed moment for policing, requiring a renewed focus and whole-system response to tackling these issues, both within policing and society at large.

I will ensure that these issues have significant focus within my plan and, like the response to COVID-19, ensure that I work closely with the Chief Constable, my office and partners to do all we can to make the necessary improvements.

Finally, as your Police and Crime Commissioner, I will continue to seek your views and concerns, acting as your voice when holding the Chief Constable to account.

Rest assured, the Chief Constable and I are both determined to do everything we can to deliver my Police and Crime Plan priorities.

Jeff Cuthbert
Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent
September 2021

Introduction from the Chief Constable

The Police and Crime Plan for 2021-2025 sets out a clear vision for policing in Gwent for the next four years.

My team and I are hugely committed to achieving the plan and doing everything that we can to keep the communities of Gwent safe.

Policing relies on good partnerships to succeed. These include partnerships with the Police and Crime Commissioner, local authorities, local health boards and other partners, but of course importantly it relies on strong partnerships with our very own communities.

I look forward to building upon the great relationships that we currently have with all of the above and to continue partnership working to ensure that this plan is a success.

Pam Kelly
Chief Constable, Gwent Police
September 2021

My vision, values and key principles

I will continue to work with the Chief Constable and other partners to deliver against these priorities, recognising that many of these issues cannot be achieved by policing alone.

This Police and Crime Plan will be underpinned by a performance framework to ensure that it supports the monitoring and evaluation of the progress made by Gwent Police, funded programmes and my office. The Chief Constable will provide a detailed annual delivery plan of the activities proposed to achieve my plan outcomes from a policing perspective.

My office’s business plan will detail our contribution towards delivering my priorities, with progress and achievements against activities reported each year in my annual report.

We also recognise our responsibilities under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 in working towards one public service and the principles of this plan outline my commitment towards this goal.

Running through the heart of this plan are five central commitments that touch every area of policing.

Value for money

How we use our limited financial resources to provide an efficient police service is critical.

As Commissioner, I am required to have effective financial planning and monitoring processes in place to ensure a value-for-money service that meets local needs. This involves:

  • Setting the policing budget for Gwent, including the police precept part of local council tax;
  • Distributing policing grants from central government; and
  • Maintaining and supporting effective scrutiny and accountability arrangements, such as the Joint Audit Committee and the Police and Crime Panel for Gwent.
  • More information on the cost of policing and the police and crime budget for Gwent is included within this plan on pages 24-25.


The principles of social justice and fairness remain the cornerstone of policing in Gwent, with equality and respect integral to the way we design and deliver our services.

This includes a commitment to tackling disadvantage and poverty as set out in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. During 2021, my office and Gwent Police published our second joint Strategic Equality Plan (SEP) which runs until 2024. This provides a clear commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. Linked to the priorities in this plan, our vision for policing in Gwent is to:

  • Provide a police service that reflects the communities it serves;
  • Foster an organisational culture that demonstrates the importance of equality and inclusivity; and
  • Deliver a high-quality service that Gwent’s diverse communities are confident to use and engage with.


In recent years, the conversation around the environment and the approaches to reducing carbon emissions has increased.

In providing appropriate arrangements to deliver an effective policing service, I am committed to ensuring sustainability in our structures, processes, resources and assets.

Fostering a culture of sustainability and a conscious mindset to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible will help to offset our impact on the environment, both as individuals and as organisations.

This is reflected in my priority to drive sustainable policing.


Building strong, positive relationships that support effective partnership working is fundamental to the successful delivery of my Police and Crime Plan.

Gwent has a long history of excellent partnerships across a wide range of organisations at national, regional and local levels. As Commissioner, I have a duty when carrying out my functions to:

  • Consider the relevant priorities of each responsible community safety and criminal justice partner;
  • Work with these on matters of crime and disorder; and
  • Make arrangements (where appropriate) to provide an efficient and effective criminal justice system for Gwent.

Cyber-related Crime

Cyber-related crime poses an ever-growing threat that relates to every part of this plan.

As we increasingly rely on technology and spend more time online, criminals continue to develop more sophisticated methods and techniques to exploit digital opportunities. For the year ending March 2021, the Crime Survey for England and Wales reported that fraud and cyber-related offences now make up more than 50% of all crime in England and Wales. However, online crime is not limited to defrauding people or businesses; it is also used to spread hate, proliferate serious crime, and by abusers to take their criminal behaviour, such as exploitation and other forms of abuse, online.

Tackling and preventing these long-term threats requires sustained investment in specialist capabilities and support for vulnerable victims. I am a board member of the Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales and remain committed to working with the Chief Constable for the lifetime of this plan in ensuring Gwent Police has appropriate and effective resources to tackle all forms of cyber-related crime. We will also ensure that our services are capable of supporting victims according to their needs.

Policing vision for Wales

Policing in Wales operates in a public sector that is largely devolved to Welsh Government, while policing remains under the responsibility of the UK Government through the Home Office.

This situation brings both challenges and opportunities for policing, criminal justice partners working in Wales, and devolved public sector and other bodies.

Our ambition is to seize the opportunities and make these arrangements work for the benefit of our communities. That requires us to play a prominent role across the public sector, so that all public services in Wales work together to keep our communities safe.

I am part of the Policing in Wales group, which sees all four Police and Crime Commissioners, their teams, the Welsh Government’s Police Liaison Unit and the four Chief Constables meet regularly to strategically plan our approach to policing in Wales.

During 2021/22, we are developing a vision for policing in Wales that focuses on working cooperatively and in partnership with other organisations and agencies.

Together we will aim to deliver an ‘early intervention’ approach to identify vulnerable people, intervene early, prevent harm, keep people from drifting into the criminal justice system, break the generational cycle of crime and harm and, where possible, improve the lives of all concerned.

Gwent police and crime priorities

  • Keep Neighbourhoods Safe
  • Combat Serious Crime
  • Support Victims and the protect the vulnerable
  • Increase community confidence in policing
  • Drive sustainable policing

Keep neighbourhoods safe

Tackling crime and anti-social behaviour that impacts the safety and well-being of communities in Gwent

Every day, Gwent Police’s neighbourhood teams work in the heart of communities to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, while tackling offending where it does occur.

Acquisitive crime – such as robbery, burglary and theft – public order offences and criminal damage are corrosive to the safety and well-being of communities. Motoring offences, such as dangerous driving, also impact community safety and can lead to devastating consequences. To address these crimes and prevent harm, we will work with our community safety partners to target those who offend persistently.

During my first term, Gwent Police invested significantly into neighbourhood policing, increasing the number of officers based in communities and embedding best practice crime prevention measures. Following a review I undertook in 2019, Gwent Police now has a crime prevention lead to drive improvements in this area. We will build on this good work and take every available opportunity to make our neighbourhoods in Gwent safer.

Key commitments:

  • Reduce public order offences and anti-social behaviour, and the number of people who repeatedly carry out these acts.
  • Reduce acquisitive crime and repeat offenders.
  • Improve the safety of roads throughout Gwent.
  • Commission and invest in effective crime prevention initiatives.

What we will do:

  • Deterring criminals through new and innovative crime prevention initiatives, such as We Don’t Buy Crime and multi-agency Problem Solving Hubs.
  • Reducing re-offending through offender management and diversion programmes that tackle criminal behaviours and address offender needs, such as drug and alcohol misuse or lack of housing.
  • Working with partners to identify and address crime and anti-social behaviour hotspots using integrated multi-agency action.
  • Supporting communities to develop resilience to crime, by providing crime prevention advice.
  • Improving the safety of our roads through targeted enforcement and the strategic placement of GoSafe speed camera vans throughout Gwent.

Combat serious crime

Preventing and reducing crimes that cause significant harm to communities and victims
Serious crime is deeply damaging to communities and often affects the most vulnerable in society. We will combat serious crime using all the tools at our disposal, ranging from proactive prevention through to tackling offending and safeguarding those at risk.

With this priority, our focus will be on offences with potential to cause significant harm, such as serious organised crime and violence, child criminal and sexual exploitation, hate crime and terrorism. In addition to these crimes, eradicating violence against women and girls will be central to our work. This will necessitate robust responses to rape and other sexual offences, domestic abuse and stalking and harassment.

Due to the severity and often hidden nature of these crimes, it is vital that we work closely with partners to identify and respond to both victims and offenders. My office, Gwent Police and partners will adopt a strategic approach to ensure we take decisive action that gets to the root causes of these crimes and prevents further harm.

Key commitments:

  • Reduce the number of repeat victims of child criminal and sexual exploitation.
  • Increase disruption of serious organised crime, and reinvest assets seized back into communities.
  • Improve the overall criminal justice response to violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.
  • Commission and invest in services that work with perpetrators of serious crime to prevent and reduce re-offending.

What we will do:

  • Proactive prevention work with those at risk of offending and deterring them from becoming involved in crime.
  • Working closely with partners to target and reduce crime causing the most harm in our communities.
  • Tackling re-offending through diversion and offender management programmes that address criminal behaviours, while promoting resilience and personal responsibility.
  • Increasing detection of hidden or under-reported crimes, including domestic abuse, rape, child criminal and sexual exploitation, and modern slavery and human trafficking.
  • Ensure Gwent Police and others (e.g. the Regional Organised Crime Unit) are relentlessly pursuing offenders of serious organised crime.

Support victims and protect the vulnerable

Providing high-quality support to victims of crime and protecting those who are most vulnerable from harm

Becoming a victim of crime can have a devastating effect on someone’s life. It is therefore critical that we get our response to victims right every time. Delivering effective support for victims means taking a compassionate and victim-centred approach to everything we do. This includes ensuring that our support services are timely and capable of meeting a range of needs. In addition to supporting those who have experienced crime, we must also be ready to safeguard those who are vulnerable or at risk of harm. For example, victims of domestic abuse, sexual and criminal exploitation, and modern slavery and human trafficking.

There are a range of support services available for victims in Gwent, including the multi-agency victims’ hub, Connect Gwent, and Gwent Police’s Victim Care Unit. For victims of domestic abuse, rape and other serious sexual offences, there is also specialist support in place through independent advisers.

These services are crucial and the importance we place on them is reflected in the high levels of investment both my office and Gwent Police have made into them. We will maintain this commitment and look for further opportunities to improve and expand our service offer to victims.

Key commitments:

  • Improve victim services and ensure that the needs of victims are identified and responded to appropriately through Connect Gwent and the Victim Care Unit.
  • Further improve our work with partners to protect those most vulnerable.
  • Increase the timeliness of police investigation updates provided to victims.
  • Commission and invest in specialist services to support victims throughout the criminal justice process

What we will do:

  • Working with partners in Gwent and nationally to identify and tackle all forms of exploitation and abuse.
  • Working with criminal justice partners in Gwent and across Wales to meet the needs of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system.
  • Offering inclusive victim services that support diverse backgrounds and people with protected characteristics, including children, young people, the elderly, those who identify as LGBTQ+ and people from minority ethnic communities.
  • Supporting and advising victims on how to develop resilience in crime to prevent repeat victimisation and further harm.
  • Identifying service gaps or areas for improvement and working with partners to commission and develop required services.

Increase community confidence in policing

Working with Gwent Police to improve our relationships with our communities and improve public confidence in policing

We will strengthen our relationships with our communities, working with them to enhance their trust and confidence in the services we provide.

The police service polices by consent. To continue to do so, we must develop our relationship with our residents and those that access our services, acting legitimately, ethically and transparently in everything we do. Any abuse of the position of power and trust that police officers hold can and does have significant impacts on community trust and confidence in policing and cannot be tolerated.

Regular, two-way engagement with all our communities, particularly those that are seldom-heard and harder-to-engage, provides opportunities for them to share their opinions and experiences of policing in Gwent. To improve public confidence, we must ensure the way we respond to changes in demand and public expectation considers the needs of our diverse communities while improving the representation of our workforce.

Key commitments:

  • Increase the effectiveness of officer and staff engagement with residents in their communities, and community confidence and trust in Gwent Police.
  • Improve the accessibility of neighbourhood police teams through a variety of contact channels that meet the needs of the public.
  • Increase reporting of crime by communities that are less likely to engage with the police.
  • Further increase officer and staff diversity to ensure our police service reflects the communities that we serve

What we will do:

  • Proactively engaging with communities and partners to provide regular opportunities for feedback on their experiences of our policing services to contribute to our continuous improvement.
  • Providing timely feedback to communities, organisations and people to demonstrate where their views have helped improve services and outcomes.
  • Work closely with Gwent Police’s Professional Standards Department to ensure any complaints are robustly investigated, particularly related to abuse of position or trust.
  • Ensuring our processes and decision-making are legitimate, transparent and evidence-based.
  • Actively promoting recruitment opportunities across our communities and improving the retention of officers and staff from under-represented groups.
  • Continuing the development of our citizens in policing programme to provide inclusive opportunities for community participation in policing.

Drive sustainable policing

Providing a value for money police service that operates responsibly, with sustainable infrastructures that support current and future demands

We will work to provide a modern policing service that operates sustainably and effectively, with a developed culture of environmental consciousness.

The nature of policing is dynamic and constantly flexing to meet rapidly changing demands. To deliver an efficient service for our communities and successfully tackle our biggest challenges, we need adaptable and resilient organisational structures. They need to be complemented with sustainable processes and financial arrangements that enable effective and consistent resourcing of officers and staff.

Traditional use of buildings, technology and consumable items, and ongoing requirements for police vehicles creates a significant ecological footprint. Through responsible procurement and disposal processes, as well as the use of greener vehicles and energy, we can increase our contribution to creating a globally-responsible Wales.

In developing a sustainable policing model for Gwent, we will pay due regard to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and Welsh Government’s ‘Cymraeg 2050: A Million Welsh Speakers’ strategy. Doing so will help us ensure that the organisations we build today endure long into the future.

Key commitments:

  • Ensure Gwent Police have the right number of officers, staff and volunteers in the right places.
  • Increase investment in and adopt 21st Century policing technology to meet tomorrow’s challenges today.
  • Enhance health and well-being support for officers and staff to ensure our workforce is fit and ready to meet the challenges of policing.
  • Reduce the environmental impact of policing in line with Welsh Government’s carbon neutral targets and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015

What we will do:

  • Investing in buildings, technology and equipment that helps reduce and offset our impact on the environment.
  • Investing in learning and development programmes that deliver continuity in knowledge and skills to provide an effective, engaged and informed workforce.
  • Ensuring planning, recruitment and progression processes provide workforce sustainability that meets the demands of modern policing.
  • Delivering a financially viable policing service that provides value for money and effective resources to meet demand.
  • Actively reducing our consumable waste and responsibly disposing of or recycling technology and equipment to help to reduce our ecological footprint.

Partnership working

Building and maintaining partnerships with organisations in the public and voluntary sectors is vital in delivering my Police and Crime Plan.

In my previous term as Police and Crime Commissioner, I was actively involved in a variety of partnerships in Gwent and at a national level. I remain committed to these partnerships and build on the successes we have accomplished so far. It is now more important than ever that we work closely with our partners to navigate the difficulties COVID-19 has placed on policing and other public sector agencies.

Making Wales and the UK safer

Gwent Police and I are engaged in a number of Wales-wide partnerships.

Collaboration at an all-Wales level ensures policing is best placed to maintain public safety and utilise resources effectively to create a resilient, sustainable service. Some current examples of all-Wales partnership working involving my office and Gwent Police:

  • The Policing Partnership Board for Wales is a collaboration between Welsh Government, Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables. The board provides a valuable opportunity to agree a consistent approach to the challenges we face in Wales. I also work with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, national third sector organisations, UK Government and other key stakeholders.
  • The Welsh Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit (WECTU) provides a single, unified Special Branch for the whole of Wales to respond to the threat of international terrorism and domestic extremism. WECTU helps make Wales safer by building confidence and trust in communities. It does this by working with the public and partners to identify, target and disrupt terrorists and extremists.
  • Wales Police Schools Programme is a partnership between Welsh Government and the four police forces in Wales. The programme is focused on prevention and recognises the role education can play in helping children to achieve better life outcomes. Through the programme, uniformed officers deliver lessons on topics such as substance misuse, anti-social behaviour and online safety, as well as supportive school policing initiatives.

Making Gwent safer

Every day, Gwent Police faces significant and wide-ranging challenges when tackling crime and supporting victims.

  • Many of these challenges are too big to be resolved by policing alone. That is why my office and Gwent Police work closely with partners. Some current examples of partnership working in Gwent involving my office and Gwent Police include:
  • The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (2015) introduced public service boards (PSBs) to improve partnership working between public services in each local authority area in Wales. My office and I attended the PSBs in the five local authority areas in Gwent and now attend the Gwent PSB. We will continue to work closely with partners to promote community safety and help deliver on my Police and Crime Plan.
  • Violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV) are sadly all too common crimes that persist in our society. Both Gwent Police and I are committed to eradicating these crimes and work with partners to achieve this. The Gwent VAWDASV Board is a vital forum that enables partnership working to prevent abuse and support victims.
  • The Gwent Safer Communities Board is a community safety partnership established by my office in 2015. The aim was to provide a joined-up approach to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, reducing re-offending, and supporting victims. Gwent Safer Communities Board also commissions community safety services that support the work of the partnership. I have awarded funding to a number of projects through Safer Gwent and will continue to work closely with partners to help deliver my Police and Crime Plan.

National policing responsibilities

As stated in my introduction to this plan, it is my responsibility to set the local policing priorities for Gwent.

I have chosen my priorities based on evidence and to reflect the issues that matter most to the people of Gwent.

In addition to my local priorities, there are a number of national policing responsibilities that Gwent Police must deliver against.

These responsibilities ensure policing is able to respond when threats to public safety are on national dimensions. I will continue to work closely with the Chief Constable to support Gwent Police in meeting their national responsibilities.

Strategic policing requirements

Set by the Home Secretary, the Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR) sets out the national threats that police forces in England and Wales must be prepared to respond to.
As Police and Crime Commissioner, I must pay regard to the SPR when setting out my Police and Crime Plan. The national threats are:

  • Serious and organised crime
  • Terrorism
  • National cyber security incidents
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Civil emergencies and threats to public order or safety

Both the Chief Constable and I will continue to work with our counterparts, other police forces, and regional and national partners to ensure Gwent Police are well positioned to tackle these threats.

Policing vision 2025

I am committed to working with the Chief Constable to implement the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and National Police Chief Council’s ‘Policing Vision 2025’.

I am pleased we made good progress in my first term and will continue work on implementing Policing Vision 2025 by:

  • Aligning and, where appropriate, integrating local policing with other local public services to improve outcomes for residents and protect the vulnerable;
  • Improving our use of digital intelligence and evidence, while ensuring we can transfer all material in a digital format to the criminal justice system;
  • Strengthening our response to new and complex threats, reinforcing and developing the way we deliver specialist capabilities;
  • Ensuring policing is a profession with a more representative workforce that aligns the right skills, powers and experience to meet challenging requirements;
  • Enhancing our digital policing capabilities to make it easier and more consistent for the public to make digital contact;
  • Delivering police business support functions in a consistent manner to ensure efficiency and enhance interoperability across the police service; and
  • Embedding clear accountability arrangements to support policing at local and national levels.

Beating Crime Plan

In July 2021, the UK Government launched its ‘Beating Crime Plan’.

The plan sets out the government’s strategic approach to tackling crime, with a particular focus on cutting homicide, serious violence and neighbourhood crime; exposing and ending hidden harms; and building capability and capacity to deal with fraud and online crime. I will work with UK Government and relevant partner agencies to support Gwent Police in delivering against the plan throughout my term.

National Crime and Policing Measures

The National Crime and Policing Measures are the UK Government’s key priorities for tackling crime. These are:

  • Reduce murder and other homicides
  • Reduce serious violence
  • Disrupt drugs supply and county lines
  • Reduce neighbourhood crime
  • Tackle cyber crime
  • Improve satisfaction among victims

Introduced in 2021, the measures have been put forward to provide national accountability and collective responsibility for police performance.

These measures will run alongside my monitoring of Gwent Police’s performance and delivery against my Police and Crime Plan.

When combined, the measures and my local scrutiny of Gwent Police will ensure that the people of Gwent receive a high-quality policing service.

Cost of policing in Gwent

Robust processes have been developed over many years to identify the funding required to provide the people of Gwent with an effective, efficient and sustainable police service.

The budgetary process begins early in the financial year, providing detailed medium term financial projections that identify new pressures and savings opportunities.

Since the start of the UK Government’s current austerity programme, Gwent Police has delivered £52.1m of cashable efficiency savings to March 2021.

These savings have been achieved by more accurately matching resources with demand and through transforming the entire policing delivery model to protect front-line policing.

The future financial challenge to 2026/27 is made more difficult by the Home Office’s review of the police funding formula.

Once the overall size of the policing budget is set by the Home Office (via the Comprehensive Spending Review), then the amount of funding provided to Police and Crime Commissioners will be determined by the Police Funding Formula.

The current formula is not fit for use and needs reviewing. This process began in 2015, but still hasn’t been completed due to the significant implications of the Brexit negotiations, changes in government, and the impact of COVID-19.

At the time of writing, it had recently been announced that the review should be approved by December 2024, with implementation from the 2025/26 financial year onwards.

Although the outcome of this is currently unknown, the revised Police Funding Formula suggested in 2015 identified a £6m cut in Central Government Grant Funding for Gwent.

Therefore, from the 2023/24 financial year onwards, I could be faced with a £6m cash cut in addition to the underlying ‘real term’ cuts forecast from the effect of the Government’s future approach to police funding.

It is also likely that this cut will not be actioned in one fell swoop, but transitional arrangements will affect the cut over a number of financial years.


As Police and Crime Commissioner, I have powers to commission services and award grants to organisations to help deliver my Police and Crime Plan.

Commissioning is a vital asset to my work and allows me to take decisive action in addressing areas of need and improving public safety.

In my first term, I worked with community safety and criminal justice partners in Gwent and beyond to develop a common approach to crime and community safety. Through this work I was able to pool resources with partners and make decisions on commissioning to meet identified gaps in service. I will continue to build on the shared vision and close partnerships I have developed to support my commissioning strategy for this Police and Crime Plan.

Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service

Since first taking office in 2016, I have invested more than £800,000 each year into Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service (GDAS). Most of this funding is used to support GDAS Criminal Justice, which provides valuable support to drug and alcohol users within, or at the point of entry to, the criminal justice system. GDAS Criminal Justice works with Gwent Police and partners to provide a multi-agency response to issues such as county lines, homelessness and domestic violence.

Positive Futures

Positive Futures is a sport-based social inclusion programme that inspires children and young people to lead happy and healthy lives. Delivered across the five local authority areas in Gwent, it uses sport to engage with children and young people at risk from becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour. This can range from typical drop-in sessions in areas where we know there is a problem with anti-social behaviour, to more targeted one-to-one work with young people who have been identified as particularly vulnerable.

Women’s Pathfinder

Women’s Pathfinder Whole System Approach and the 18 – 25 Early Intervention Service support women and young people with challenges around alcohol and substance misuse, mental health problems and family relationships. The services work to stop people from entering the criminal justice system by creating a support network and helping them to live safer, healthier lives. Jointly commissioned by my office, the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Welsh Government and HMPPS (Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service) in Wales, both services highlight the positive outcomes that can be achieved when organisations work together to achieve change.

Connect Gwent

Connect Gwent is the only victim support hub of its kind in Wales.
As a multi-agency hub, Connect Gwent brings together a range of specialist organisations under one roof to provide advice, advocacy, support and guidance to victims.
The hub has staff and volunteers working across the five local authority areas of Gwent from Age Cymru, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Umbrella Cymru, Victim Support, and New Pathways.


Fearless is part of the charity CrimeStoppers. It is aimed at tackling serious and organised crime across Gwent. Since January 2019, the Fearless team have delivered sessions on knife crime, child exploitation and drug running to almost 14,000 young people. They are designed to give young people the education and confidence to recognise these issues within their friendship groups and communities, but also to give them the knowledge and confidence to report them. Fearless workers have also delivered training to more than 230 professionals, parents and carers on spotting the signs of organised crime.

Police Community Fund

I established the Police Community Fund to enable children and young people in Gwent to be safer, healthier and happier.

The fund focuses on early intervention and prevention. It also supports children and young people who are vulnerable to move forward with their lives and realise their full potential, establishing resilient, safer and more inclusive communities. Neighbourhood policing plays a vital part in the fund. Local inspectors, and other Gwent Police staff, help facilitate the generation of project ideas from community-based not-for-profit organisations that work with children and young people who are at risk of entering, or are already in the criminal justice system, or have been victims of crime.

I am very proud of the Police Community Fund and the projects and services that have been commissioned through it. The fund will remain a core component of my commissioning strategy in my second term. I look forward to working with local organisations in Gwent to achieve better life outcomes for children and young people and their communities. Here are some examples of services and projects funded during my first term:

Cwmbran Centre for Young People

Due to a lack of funding, Cwmbran Centre for Young People had withdrawn its evening youth service. This resulted in young people gathering in the town centre in large numbers and a well-publicised problem with anti-social behaviour. I agreed to fund the project for three years, allowing the team to keep the centre open in the evenings and put on a range of activities to keep young people engaged. More than 100 young people now regularly pass through the doors every day. They socialise, take part in activities, and make new friends in a safe, healthy environment.

Urban Circle

Since 2018, I have contributed funding to Urban Circle’s U-Turn project which uses the creative arts to tackle social problems affecting young people in Newport.
The young people involved in the U-Turn project are getting first-hand experience planning big events, and are gaining qualifications in areas such as youth work, sports, stewarding and first aid. This is helping them to get paid work and setting them up with the skills they need to get jobs in the future.
Urban Circle has supported hundreds of young people, many of whom could be at risk of becoming involved with crime and anti-social behaviour.

Criminal Justice

Criminal justice partners have a long and established relationship with the police. As Commissioner, I have a pivotal role in supporting criminal justice partners to work together, bringing greater clarity and accountability to the ways in which these partners prioritise and collaborate across the criminal justice system in Gwent.

Gwent Criminal Justice Strategy Board

The Gwent Criminal Justice Strategy Board sits at the centre of the local criminal justice system.

It brings together local criminal justice agencies and key partners to work together to provide a fair, efficient and effective criminal justice system. As chair of the board, I am able to provide support to partners and retain oversight of all local criminal justice matters.

  • The board has four priority areas of focus, which are derived from those agreed for Criminal Justice in Wales (CJiW):
  • Understand and address the vulnerability and/or multiple complex needs of people who offend.
  • Understand and address the needs and vulnerabilities of victims and witnesses at all points within their criminal justice experience.
  • Utilise evidence to understand the causes and drivers of offending behaviour and build into existing prevention and early intervention approaches and influence policy that reduces crime and makes positive change.
  • Apply a ‘one public service’ approach in Gwent to advance race equality and tackle disproportionality wherever it occurs.
  • The board’s priorities are supported by a delivery plan, maintained by my office, with updates on progress and issues reported into CJiW.

Criminal Justice in Wales (CJiW)

Formerly the All-Wales Criminal Justice Board, CJiW is a collective of executive leaders from criminal justice organisations, including Police and Crime Commissioners, Welsh Government and key partners.
CJiW aims to ensure there is a consistent, effective, efficient and accessible criminal justice system in Wales by:

  • Providing vision, inspirational leadership and direction;
  • Offering a space for collaborative decision-making between devolved and non-devolved partners on criminal justice systemic and policy matters;
  • Providing a strategic space to discuss and influence criminal justice activity and policy and unblock barriers; and
  • Applying a ‘whole systems approach’ to set standards, scrutinise and challenge performance of criminal justice in Wales. CJiW sits above the four local Criminal Justice Boards, the Criminal Justice Steering Group and Integrated Offender Management (IOM) Cymru. Each priority and work-stream is inclusive of the ways we treat children and young people. Each priority features tackling violence against women and girls as a golden thread. Local priorities reflect those agreed by CJiW, supporting the consistent approach to criminal justice within Wales. CJiW operates four sub-groups to support the delivery of the priority work-streams for victims, offenders, early intervention and prevention, and tackling racial disparity. Staff from my office participate in each of these groups, helping to ensure that I am represented across all levels of criminal justice partnership work in Wales.

Code of practice for victims of crime

In April 2021, the Ministry of Justice’s new Code of Practice for Victims of Crime came into operation, setting out the services to be provided to victims of crime by the relevant service providers.

The new code of practice is based on 12 clearly defined rights that are easier for victims to understand and set out the minimum level of service they can expect from criminal justice agencies. It is also designed to increase accessibility and awareness of victims’ rights while strengthening opportunities for victims to feed back on their experiences.

As Commissioner, I am responsible for the facilitation of the code of practice compliance monitoring process and must work with criminal justice and third sector agencies to ensure that due process is given to the rights as set out in the code.

Achieving compliance against the rights will demonstrate that victims are being supported through each stage of the process.

My office has worked with OPCC partners across Wales to agree a consistent approach to reviewing and monitoring performance and compliance under the code of practice.

My team will coordinate compliance activity across our partners in Gwent, reporting the outcomes to the Gwent Criminal Justice Strategy Board, CJiW and the Ministry of Justice, as appropriate.

Monitoring performance

As Commissioner, I am responsible for representing the people of Gwent and making sure the service provided by the police is efficient and effective.

I do this by:

  • Setting the strategic direction for policing;
  • Holding the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of local policing;
  • Working with partners to prevent and tackle crime and re-offending;
  • Engaging with the public and communities;
  • Being the voice of the public, the vulnerable and victims;
  • Contributing to resourcing policing responses to regional and national threats; and
  • Setting the budget for Gwent Police and ensuring value for money.

In carrying out my duties, I monitor and scrutinise Gwent Police’s performance. The Chief Constable, officers and staff are responsible for delivering policing and maintaining
public order.

They are accountable in law for the exercise of police powers.
They are also responsible for delivering the operational requirements of this plan as set out by the priorities.

I meet regularly, both formally and informally, with the Chief Constable to ensure that, on your behalf, I am satisfied that Gwent Police is meeting its obligations.

In addition, I hold a range of regular meetings to support the delivery of my Police and Crime Plan.

To assist with this, my Manual of Corporate Governance outlines how I hold the Chief Constable to account on your behalf.

It ensures that there is an open, mutually supportive, but constructively challenging relationship between us.


I am accountable to the people of Gwent.
To that end, I have a comprehensive engagement and reporting programme, including several social media platforms, which provide opportunities for me to inform you about what I am doing on your behalf, and the outcomes achieved.
I will continue to hold engagement events, both online and in-person, and visit local communities so that you can talk to me and my team directly about any issues and concerns.

Gwent Police delivery plan

Each year, the Chief Constable provides a delivery plan detailing proposed policing activities to achieve the outcomes required to meet my priorities.
The delivery plan is informed by Gwent Police’s force management statement, which is the cornerstone of their ability to deliver a sustainable, effective and evidence-based policing service.
The delivery plan is also intended to provide me with assurance of a continued focus on my priorities, while enabling flexibility to quickly adapt to any change in those priorities as a result of local or national influences.
The Chief Constable will also provide an annual outturn report on the force’s delivery of the plan.

Police and Crime Panel

While I am ultimately responsible to the people of Gwent, my actions and decisions are examined by the Police and Crime Panel on your behalf.
The Gwent Police and Crime Panel provides support and challenge to me when I carry out my functions. It does not scrutinise the Chief Constable’s performance.
The panel focuses on the important strategic actions and decisions I make, including whether I have:

  • Achieved the aims set out in this plan;
  • Set an appropriate level of precept;
  • Considered the priorities of community safety partners; and
  • Consulted appropriately with the public and victims of crime.

An integral part of my accountability to the panel is the organisational performance framework, which focuses on progress against the priorities in the plan. This was developed by my office, in consultation with Gwent Police and panel members.

Strategy and Performance Board

Strategy and Performance Board (SPB) is the main forum at which I hold the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of policing in Gwent.
SPB also acts as the primary consultation environment for strategic decisions affecting both of us. SPB is responsible for a range of matters, including:

  • Considering how the policing service is being delivered in Gwent, including staffing, resources and any community concerns;
  • Monitoring and managing delivery of the Police and Crime Plan;
  • Reviewing the delivery of operational policing through performance information; and
  • Reviewing and monitoring how the policing budget is being managed.

Joint Audit Committiee

Further oversight and support are provided by the Joint Audit Committee.

This meets every three months to provide independent:

  • Assurance regarding the adequacy of the risk management framework as the associated control environment;
  • Scrutiny of Gwent Police and the OPCC’s financial performance; and
  • Oversight of financial reporting processes adapted from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) audit committee’s practical guidance for local authorities.

The committee provides comments, advice and assurance on matters relating to these principal areas which are then considered and acted upon by the OPCC and Gwent Police as appropriate.

OPCC business plan

My office’s business plan details how it will deliver my Police and Crime Plan.
It is primarily intended as an internal document and is an operational tool to enable planning and delivery. Progress is monitored through a monthly management board. Progress against the Business Plan is reported within the annual report.

OPCC annual report

Every year, I am required to publish an annual report.
This sets out key performance and delivery information for the year, as well as the major achievements for both Gwent Police and my office.
My annual report also provides another opportunity for the Police and Crime Panel and the public to hold me to account for how I am carrying out my duties.
My annual report captures performance against the objectives held within the business plan, as well as a broader reflection of progress against the Police and Crime Plan.

Independent advisory group

The Independent Advisory Group (IAG) is a group of people independent to, but working in partnership with, Gwent Police to act as ‘critical friends’ to advise on local and national issues.

The IAG enables advice to be sought on policy, procedure and practices. In doing so, it protects both the reputation of the police service and safeguards against adverse impacts on any section of the community. Its main functions are to scrutinise service delivery and to work alongside the police in the event of a critical incident.

My office and I also engage with the IAG to support our own functions, including monitoring and scrutiny, and providing critical friend feedback on processes and decisions.

Independent Office for Police Conduct

I also use any findings provided by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to improve service delivery.

The IOPC oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales, investigating the most serious matters related to police conduct and contact, and setting the standards by which the police should handle complaints.

The IOPC uses learning from its work to influence changes in policing, ensuring accountability, and sharing best practice and high standards in how services are provided to the public.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services

Gwent Police is also subject to an inspection regime by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

This independently assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of policing across a variety of activities – from neighbourhood policing to serious crime including terrorism – in the public interest and with the aim of encouraging improvement. In preparing its reports, HMICFRS asks the type of questions that the public would ask.

This provides reliable information to allow residents to compare the performance of their police service against others. I respond to these requests and use the findings to work with the Chief Constable to drive improvements in our local service delivery.

Engaging with the public

I developed my plan following extensive engagement with the public and key stakeholders, and listened to a range of views from diverse communities across Gwent.
By gathering these views, I gained further understanding of what matters to the people of Gwent and our partners in policing.

To do this, I ran an online survey between 25 July – 11 September 2021 and complemented this with 30 engagement events across Gwent, totalling 196 hours of engagement.
My team and I spoke with more than 3,000 people, with 375 completing the survey as a result. We also gave away more than 200 QR codes to people to fill in the survey at a time and place convenient to them.

Even when surveys weren’t completed, comments were captured and reviewed so we could look for themes, issues and strength of feeling.

This was in addition to the 1,461 people who completed the survey online, meaning 1,829 people had their say by completing the survey on policing priorities in Gwent in just seven weeks.
Where stories of the survey were posted online, I also reviewed comments left by people and factored them into my thinking.

I would like to thank everyone who voiced their views to us, either in person or online.
I took everything on-board while writing my plan, and this gives me great confidence that my plan will address the matters most important to the people of Gwent.

Concluding remarks

In producing my Police and Crime Plan, I am satisfied that policing in Gwent has continued to move in a positive direction, even against the backdrop of COVID-19.

Through our effective partnership arrangements, we have successfully worked to mitigate a range of specific pandemic-related issues across the criminal justice system.

We have also worked to ensure continuity in our commissioned services, so that victims and survivors have been able to access support during times of greater risk.

The introduction of Gwent Police’s problem-solving hubs provides greater opportunities to work with partners and the public, with the aim of creating more resilient communities.
Operation Uplift, the UK Government’s police recruitment campaign, has continued to improve our policing capacity, increasing our front-line resilience and ability to respond to incidents within our communities. These are complementing the almost 200 additional police officer posts created since I first became Commissioner in 2016.

Changes to our working practices have increased workforce flexibility and contributed to reducing our environmental impact linked to travel and commuting.

We have also seen success in our efforts to tackle serious and organised crime. Through sustainable partnership models, we aim to ensure that this work continues to have a positive impact for the communities affected and any vulnerable individuals that may find themselves caught-up in offending behaviour.

Our ongoing commitment to early intervention through diversion also continues to provide positive outcomes in reducing re-offending and identifying those with additional support needs.
While there is much to celebrate, we will not become complacent. My plan demonstrates the wide range of issues and challenges that we must tackle if we are to be successful in making Gwent a safer place.

In maintaining effective partnerships, we can improve the way we support our most vulnerable residents and aim to address societal inequalities that continue to undermine community safety and cohesion.

However, the pressures regarding funding for policing from UK Government remain.

The increasing reliance on local council taxpayers to make sure that Gwent Police has adequate funding levels is an ongoing concern ‒ particularly as many continue to experience financial hardship and lack of employment due to the pandemic.

Providing a sustainable and effective policing service that is fit for the 21st Century requires investment and planning.

I will continue to support and challenge the Chief Constable to provide effective deployment of policing resources to where they are needed the most, whether on the front-line or to provide specialist capabilities to deal with the crimes that cause the highest harm to our residents and communities.

I will also work to ensure that the police estate, our assets, equipment and working practices provide greater efficiency and environmental sustainability.

The increasing magnitude of cyber-related, serious and organised crime will continue to require a coordinated effort between the police, communities, businesses, partners and governments.

Working with the other three police forces and Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales and our relevant public service boards, we will drive partnership working to achieve the very best public service possible. We will do this not only for the people of Gwent, but across Wales as a whole.

I hope that my plan demonstrates my continued commitment to the safety and well-being of the communities and residents of Gwent.

With the support of my team, I will continue to hold the Chief Constable to account for the operational delivery of my priorities and demonstrate how we are making Gwent a safer place in which to live, work and visit.

Jeff Cuthbert
Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent
September 2021