I spoke in the debate on serious violence this week to highlight the challenges the Police are facing in Gwent with the emergence of county lines and drug-related violence as a serious threat.
In the debate I highlighted the great work Gwent Police have done in bringing criminals to justice and taking drugs off our streets. The force deserve great credit for their work in this area: over the last 6 months 163 serious organised crime arrests have taken place, and Gwent Police have seized about £600,000, 50 high-value vehicles and hundreds of kilos of class A and B drugs.
At the same time the force have also been engaging in partnership work – including with Newport Council, Newport Live, the Welsh Government, the Home Office and organisations like Crimestoppers, St Giles, MutualGain and Barnardo’s – to turn young people away from a life of crime.
There is great partnership work going on in Gwent, but this requires time, staff and resources from each agency involved. In the debate I asked the Government to consider the potential of what could be achieved if swathing cuts to police and local councils were reversed. I firmly believe that with significant investment, preventative action could be one of the answers to much of the youth crime and violence we see.
You can read my speech and the full transcript of the debate online here: http://bit.ly/2HsbR5G