THE Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent has asked the UK Government to increase funding for the police service and reduce pressure on local communities.

Jeff Cuthbert’s call comes on the day when he launches a public consultation, asking residents how much they are willing to pay for their local policing.

Gwent Police has seen its budget reduced by 40 per cent in real terms since the start of the UK Government’s austerity programme in 2010/11.

As part of his role as the PCC, Mr Cuthbert is responsible for setting the precept – the amount the public pays through council tax for policing.

He also sets the annual budget to ensure that all the people who live in the force’s area have an efficient and effective police service.

Mr Cuthbert said: “Pressures on police time and resources are increasing.

“Whether it is from the increase in recorded crime, more complex crimes being committed or a greater need to safeguard the vulnerable in society, the police, more than ever, are being called on to respond.

“Our officers and staff are being stretched like never before. The current funding settlement for policing from the UK Government is insufficient to respond to current demand, let alone further increases.

“There is an expectation from the UK Government that PCCs will increase the precept locally to make up for the shortfall.”

The PCC added that the real terms policing cuts has left him with little choice other than to turn to the local population to ensure Gwent Police has the necessary funds to keep people safe.

The consultation launched by Mr Cuthbert will help inform his considerations when setting next year’s budget in 2018/19 and the level of his precept.

The consultation provides a range of options and asks residents what level of precept they believe to be fair.

It also explains the financial outcomes of those choices.

“My priority remains to ensure that funding is invested directly into frontline policing in Gwent,” said Mr Cuthbert.

“I am committed to ensuring the chief constable has appropriate funds to recruit new officers to tackle emerging crime types such as cybercrime and to protect the most vulnerable in our society.”

An increase of 3.99 per cent in the precept, or an extra 18p per week per band D household, would enable the commissioner to maintain the 320 new police officers recruited since April 2016.

It would also allow continued investment in areas of emerging need such as cybercrime, safeguarding the most vulnerable in society and funding mental health practitioners in the force control room.

The increase would also help Gwent Police achieve a balanced budget, according to Mr Cuthbert.

An increase of 5.99 per cent a year - equalling 26p a week extra for an average band D property – would increase police and crime funding over the medium term and add a further £1million to the budget, which equates to 20 police officers.

“I understand that nobody wants to pay more but we have little choice other than to turn to the local population for that input to ensure Gwent Police has the necessary funds to keep people safe,” he added.

“This is why I want to hear people’s thoughts and this is why I have launched the Have Your Say consultation.

“If the police precept is not increased and if this lack of investment continues, it will undoubtedly have a significant impact on policing across Gwent with inevitable reductions in service.”

The survey will run from Wednesday, November 29 and the closes at 4pm on Sunday, January 7, 2018.

The results of this survey will be used to help inform the police precept setting for 2018/19 and to complete the survey, go to

Other formats of the survey will also be available on request from the PCC’s office by emailing

All hard copy responses by post to: The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Police Headquarters, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran, Torfaen, NP44 2XJ.