GWENT Police has the highest estimated expenditure on neighbourhood policing of all 43 forces in Wales and England, an inspectorate report reveals.

Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary and fire and rescue services (HMICFRS) latest effectiveness report has been published today.

The expenditure allocated to neighbourhood policing is calculated per head of population, with Gwent Police’s falling just under £60.

This figure is down on the 2016 estimate, which was calculated at just over £65 per head of population.

Jeff Cuthbert, the police and crime commissioner for Gwent, said that despite ongoing austerity, the force’s continued investment in frontline police was “positive”.

He said: “It is really positive to see that Gwent Police is continuing to invest in its frontline policing service, despite a period of austerity.

"Our savings plans have always been focused on reducing back and middle office functions and non-pay costs, thereby protecting the resources where the public need them most.”

The commissioner added that funding from the Welsh Government was allowing the force to bring in support for the police with community support officers.

"We are also very fortunate in Gwent that we benefit from Welsh Government funding for a number of our police community support officers (PCSOs) who are on the very frontline of service delivery,” he said.

"The data in this graph supports the priorities I set out within my police and crime plan and reassures the public that Gwent Police is a visible and accessible police service.”