THE Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent has welcomed a report into Gwent Police’s performance issued by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), highlighting the findings as a ‘remarkable turnaround’ for the force.

The police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) assessment report published by HMIC is an annual inspection of aspects of day-to-day policing in all police forces in England and Wales and reports on how well each force cuts crime, provides value for money and provides a service that is legitimate in the eyes of the public.

The inspection looked at three areas: How well the force uses its resources to meet demand, how sustainable and affordable the workforce model is and how sustainable the force’s financial position is for the short and long term.

Gwent Police achieved ‘good’ ratings in each of the three categories and HMIC highlighted that they were “impressed with the quality of the work that has gone into planning” the new force operating model, thanks to “more police officers put into frontline roles.”

Gwent Police was judged as “requiring improvement” across the board in last year’s inspection and PCC Ian Johnston expressed his disappointment at the time that the report didn’t accurately reflect the hard work that the force had put in or what they had actually achieved.

Praising Gwent Police for their hard work, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: “I’m very pleased with the latest findings. For the force to secure good ratings across the board during a period of continuous government cuts and structural change is a real testament to the hard work they have put in.

“I made no secret of the fact that I strongly believed that HMIC got the balance wrong in last year’s report and that it didn’t accurately reflect the hard work that the Force had put in. But we have come out the other end and this has been quite a remarkable turnaround. There are elements of the Force’s work which has been identified as good practice by HMIC and I’m pleased to see that all their hard work has finally been recognised.

“This year has also seen an increase in public confidence and overall victim satisfaction in the service they receive from Gwent Police and that direction of travel is continuing to improve. The accuracy of crime recording in Gwent is also among the best in England and Wales and it is reassuring to see the Gwent force leading in this area.

“I would like to thank the officers for their hard work and the amount of time they spent in providing evidence for this inspection. I would also like to congratulate them on their focus and professionalism during these challenging times.”

The Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Jeff Farrar, said: “We have faced an extremely challenging period in the last eighteen months having completely restructured the force, implemented a whole new operating system and hosting the NATO summit; the biggest security event the UK has ever seen. This has been set against a backdrop of budget cuts, Gwent Police having to lose over 200 police officers and 160 police staff. 

“That is why it is hugely encouraging to see such positive comments about the force in the findings of the HMIC’s PEEL. I think the resilience, commitment and leadership shown by staff at all levels has brought about this turnaround in our performance assessment, and I would like to thank our staff for everything they have done.”