Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert has released the following message to the people of Gwent.

"It has been another incredibly challenging year for policing.

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been far reaching, touching all facets of society and placing immense pressure on public services.

A new variant is now spreading in our communities and people continue to become seriously ill. Please follow the latest safety guidance from trusted sources such as the Welsh Government, Monmouthshire County Borough Council and Public Health Wales, and help keep your community safe.

It is within this context that I have written my new Police and Crime Plan. The plan sets out my vision and priorities for Gwent Police for the next four years.

Throughout the summer we spoke to hundreds of residents across Abergavenny and Monmouthshire about their experiences of policing and what they would like to see the police focus their attentions on. Taking those views into account I have chosen to focus on five priorities that meet the needs of communities and ensure that Gwent Police are best placed to provide an effective police service.

These are:

Keep Neighbourhoods Safe

Combat Serious Crime

Support Victims and Protect the Vulnerable

Increase Community Confidence in Policing

Drive Sustainable Policing

Gwent is already a safe place to live and work, a fact which is consistently reflected in the official crime statistics from Office of National Statistics. I have committed to increasing police officer posts in Gwent and I am proud that today we are in a much better position than when I was first elected in 2016, with more than 200 extra police officers serving our communities.

I recently announced that our plan for a purpose-built police station in Abergavenny has taken a step forward with the purchase of a plot of land at Llanfoist. Work on the new station could begin in mid-2022 and demonstrates our commitment to deliver a permanent base for Gwent Police in Abergavenny.

We also recently announced that Abergavenny will receive £227,956 of Home Office funding to improve community safety in the town and help to tackle crimes such as robbery, public order offences, burglary and anti-social behaviour.

My new plan will allow me to continue to build on the strong foundations already established and consolidate the successes achieved alongside Gwent Police and partners.

The financial picture for policing remains challenging and it is my responsibility to set the amount that you pay towards policing each month.

Before making this decision I want to hear your views so please take a few minutes to complete my survey have your say -

Finally, I would like to finish by wishing you all a very happy new year."