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Gwent Police's new chief constable said tackling domestic abuse and protecting the vulnerable is top priority

New chief constable at Gwent Police said protecting the most vulnerable in society is the biggest priority.

The new chief constable for Gwent Police said "the biggest priority without question" is that we protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

It's day one in her new role and the chief constable, Pam Kelly is keen to lay out her priorities for the force over the next 10 years.

I am absolutely passionate about making sure we safeguard our children, monitoring sex offenders.

– Pam Kelly, Chief Constable at Gwent Police

She said what really matters is that when people are vulnerable, as a police service "we are there to look after them." She said this of course comes with also investigating the crime and making sure offenders are brought to justice.

As chief constable she hopes to show communities in Gwent that vulnerability is something that they are "passionate about" and dealing with.

New chief constable at Gwent Police said domestic abuse must be addressed.

When referring to the most vulnerable in society, the chief constable said domestic abuse is something which must be addressed.

She said almost a fifth of incidents are domestic related and referred to it as an "epidemic."

As well as working close with other partner organisations to provide support to victims she said there is an other side of it.

That is to make sure schools "understand what domestic abuse is."

For me it's about raising awareness amongst young people and making sure they understand that domestic abuse is something they certainly shouldn’t tolerate and shouldn't be involved in.

– Pam Kelly, Chief Constable at Gwent Police

When asked what she hoped to achieve in her 10 year tenure. She said she wants to make three pledges.

As well as dealing with vulnerability and crimes linked in a "robust" way.

She said serious organised crime is also another key priority, which can only be prevented with proactive policing.

Her third pledge was that she wanted to ensure her police officers "felt valued" and the public recognised the valuable work they do everyday.

New chief constable at Gwent Police said the public must understand how the police works.

Police officers see and deal with things which most of public will never have to see in their lives. I want to show my officers and staff that we value what they do.

– Pam Kelly, Chief Constable at Gwent Police

Geographically, Gwent Police is the smallest force in Wales - but covering both rural and urban areas, the chief constable is keen to cover a number of other issues.

COUNTY LINES For the chief constable collaboration is key. The force works closely with other four forces across Wales as well as agencies like National Crime Agency.

She said the issue for them is not to be "complacent."

It’s not just a word county lines is very much about young people being drawn into serious organised crime.

– Pam Kelly, Chief Constable at Gwent Police

Although county lines is taking place in some Welsh cities. The chief constable said the issue is "spilling out into smaller villages not just in Wales but across the UK."

She said what is important is that "we are having real conversations with parents, with communities, with young people about what county line is."

She said it's about asking the questions like 'why is it that a young person might have a brand new trainers?' or 'Why are they hanging round the wrong people?'

Parents and communities needs to pick up on these signs to help prevent young people getting involved in the vicious cycle of county lines, she added.

In Newport, funding has been given from the home office to pilot an education initiative to raise awareness of county lines with young people.

EMERGING CRIMES SUCH AS CYBER CRIME The chief constable spoke about the importance of understanding and getting to grips with emerging crimes like cyber crime. A crime that she said "touches everybody" in some way.

She referred to cyber crime as "one of our hidden streets."

She said its a "virtual street" that we need to police.

Cyber crime is a real challenge for us. Of course people don’t see the patrols that we are doing on those hidden streets because we are out of sight.

– Pam Kelly, Chief Constable at Gwent Police

INCREASING DEMAND FOR POLICE With everyone now having a mobile phone, people can contact the police all the time.

The chief constable said "we need to be able to manage that problem so making sure we work diligently in terms of 101 calls."

As part of the plan the force have introduced social media desks for people who don't want to pick up the phone but want to get in touch with Gwent police.

New Chief Constable at Gwent Police said they must have enough police officers to deal with the rise in demand.

Our biggest challenge is to meet our increasing demand and that without doubt is the need to have enough police officers to deal with that demand. That challenge is really important for us as these emerging crimes unfold I want us to have officers that are skilled, equipped to deal with those crimes that are happening.

– Sam Kelly, Chief Constable at Gwent Police

The challenge is "not to deal with the here and now, but to look to the future, she added.

ASSAULT ON POLICE OFFICERS Chief Constable said they take police officer assaults very seriously.

At Gwent Police they are increasing the number of officers that have tasers with them on duty.

She said "20% of the overall staff will have a taser - they are good deterrents if people have a weapon."

When asked if the laws around assaulting police officers is tough enough she said the issue is "Why is it happening in the first place?"

When asked about police funding, the chief constable that they have been operating on a "thin blue line."

She said she is pleased to hear that police funding is at the top of the political agenda.

But said it's still unclear how much actual funding Gwent Police will receive.

We welcome the discussion and we welcome the support but of course we want to know what that looks like in terms of money in hand in order to be able to recruit officers that can be out there working in gwent police and of course serving our communities.

– Pam Kelly, Chief Constable at Gwent Police