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Gwent PCC warns police budget cuts are 'dangerous'

Gwent's Police and Crime Commissioner has warned that further budget cuts will stretch the force's resources to "dangerous levels."

Ian Johnston has spoken out after the Home Office published its provisional police grant settlement this week, showing a 5.1 per cent cash terms reduction between 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Ian Johnston says cuts to policing budgets have been 'brutal.'

He said that the Gwent force has already lost 223 police officers and 169 staff members due to cuts since 2010-11.

The government grant for Gwent was £84.7m in 2010-11, reduced to £76.8m by 2014-15.

Whilst I understand the need for cuts during times of austerity, I am very concerned about the rationale behind continuously reducing the budget of frontline policing.

These ongoing cuts are not sustainable and will only succeed in further stretching our already diminishing resources to dangerous levels in future. You just can't put a price on public safety. These brutal cuts to policing are bound to have an impact on police service provision.

– Ian Johnston, Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner

Police say they're balancing rights of protestors and motorists

Gwent Police have told ITV News that they are trying to balance the rights of the protestors with that of the motorists as they deal with an ongoing demonstration westbound on the Severn Bridge:

“At the moment [we are] there to balance the competing rights of the protestors with that of the motorists, and our aim is to ensure that the protest passes in a safe and peaceful way and everybody stays safe”.

– Inspector Micah Hassell, Gwent Police

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Police appeal following assault in Newport

Gwent Police is appealing for information following an assault in Newport on Sunday 3rd August. It happened at about 6:30pm behind Dolphin Court on Commercial Road in the Pill area of the city.

Five people were arrested following the incident, during which a 28-year-old man from Newport suffered a head injury. He received treatment at the Royal Gwent Hospital.

The five arrested have since been charged with assault. These are a 25-year-old man from Cardiff and four other men aged 21, 25, 29 and 27 from Newport. The 27 year old has also been charged with a public order offence.

Officers would like to speak to 24-year-old Josef Greenfield from Newport about the incident. It’s believed he may be in the Dinas Powys area where he has contacts.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Gwent Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Welsh police forces to develop crime scene app

Two Welsh police forces are hoping to develop an app to allow them to record witness statements.

South Wales and Gwent Forces have been given a £837,000 grant from the UK Government's Police Innovation Fund to develop the project.

The app will allow officers to record audio and video accounts from members of the public as well as at crime scenes. The idea is that officers will be able to upload statements using mobile phones and tablet computers, whilst out on the beat - reducing the need for them to return to base.

This project will enhance the quality of information and evidence obtained at crime scenes, allow Forces to share cross-border data quickly and enable officers and key partners in the community to have rapid access to key information which will save both time and money.

– Ian Johnston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent

Villagers crack down on drivers speeding in local area

Volunteers from a village in Monmouthshire are trying to crack down on drivers who speed in their local area. Residents from Llanfair Kilgeddin have been given a speed gun to monitor how fast vehicles are going, before handing the information on to the police.

It's the first scheme of its kind in Wales, but some locals believe it's the only way they can slow speeding drivers down. Nicola Hendy reports.

Appeal for witnesses following fatal A465 crash

The collision happened at around 00:45am this morning.

Gwent Police is appealing for witnesses following a fatal crash that happened in the early hours of this morning on the A465 Heads of the Valleys road near Clydach.

The collision involved a blue Peugeot 206 car and a red Kawasaki motorbike. Emergency services were alerted to the crash, but the rider of the motorbike was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to contact the police on 101.

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Appeal for missing Newport teenager

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police. Credit: Gwent Police

Gwent Police is appealing for information about a 14-year-old who has been reported missing from his home in Langstone, Newport.

Raigardas Baltrusaitus was last known to be wearing light blue jeans, a t-shirt and a light blue jacket. Anyone with information relating to his whereabouts is asked to call Gwent Police on 101.

Appeal over missing Pontypool woman

Gwendoline Metcalf, 79, was reported missing yesterday afternoon. Credit: Gwent Police

A 79-year-old woman is missing from her home in Sebastopol, Pontypool.

Gwendoline Metcalf was last seen in Ash Grove Close at about 5.30pm yesterday. She is 5ft 4ins tall, of slight build with short grey/white hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a blue mac, lilac shirt and navy trousers.

Gwent Police says she may be wearing a hat and have beige handbag with her. She walks with the aid of sticks.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting log number 494 30/05/14.

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