CRIME prevention and continuing to provide the best support for victims are among the main priorities for Gwent police’s new head of CID Pete Jones.

In an interview with the South Wales Argus, at the start of his new role, Detective Chief Superintendent Jones spoke about his aims to reduce the amount of crime, to continue providing a high quality care service for victims of crime and to provide a modern CID team.

Tackling cyber bullying, robbery and violence are among his concerns while he also used the interview to reassure the public that they were just as safe following the recent gun crime incidents in the city.

Speaking about starting in his new role, he said: “My real focus is on crime prevention.

“We have a solid reputation in terms of catching offenders and convicting but actually going back to what the police service is about, it is about preventing crime in the first place.”

This aim will be carried out in a number of ways, one of which is the continuation of integrated offender management.

This sees police work with other public bodies to identify the people that commit the most crime and work with them to prevent them from reoffending.

DCS Jones said: “We have seen success in this area but I think we can see more.”

Although crime prevention is the aim, when crimes do happen, making sure the victims come first is another concern for DCS Jones.

He said: “We don’t want people to become victims, but when they do it’s about making sure they are at the forefront of our thinking and making sure we deliver that high quality caring service that I’m very proud of and know that we can do.”

For DCS Jones, the past 25 years of his life have been spent in the police, more than 20 of which have been with the CID.

Passing out in 1988, when he was just 18, DCS Jones started his career as a police constable in Cwmbran.

Within four years he was in the CID and, prior to becoming head of CID, he was the head of the major incident team and organised crime.

He has also been the senior investigating officer in a number of high profile cases.

These include the murders of Kim, Kayleigh and Kimberley Buckley who were killed in a house fire in Cwmbran in September 2012, the murder of Ramunas Raulinautis, who was savagely attacked, set on fire and left for dead on Chepstow Road in March 2011 and the manslaughter of Tony Singh who was found dead at his flat in Newport in November 2010.

He remains the senior investigating officer in the case of Newbridge man Kyle Vaughan who has been missing since December 30, last year, and whose disappearance is at the centre of a murder inquiry.

For DCS Jones, since his policing career started, the crimes that police deal with have altered a lot, mainly due to the rise of the internet and social media.

He said: “I started out when ‘www.’ didn’t exist but now it is at the forefront of everything we do.”

A recent example of this was the conviction of Carl Mills in July for the murders of Kim, Kayleigh and Kimberley Buckley where text messages and social media provided a vast amount of evidence in the prosecution case.

He said police are also redesigning the way they circulate pictures of suspected offenders within the organisation to try and get more material out in the public to help them catch offenders.

This includes the use of their own website, Crimestoppers, the media and, of course, social media.

Although social media can therefore often significantly help the police in their investigations, DCS Jones is also focused on bringing cyber bullying down, something which he said has risen in the past two years.

He said: “It’s about encouraging people to think about what they are putting on social media and the impact it can have.”

Other focuses for the new head of CID include bringing robbery and violence crimes down, offences which recent Office for National Statistics figures show have increased in Gwent despite overall crime in the area dropping five per cent.

Working with schoolchildren and others about the dangers of mephedrone is also underway following the rise of the substance in the area.

Meanwhile DCS Jones also reassured the public in Newport they were safe following August and September which saw gun crime incidents in both Bank Street and Willenhall Street within weeks of each other. He said: “There is no clear link between these incidents.

“From a public perspective we understand the worries but there is reassurance from us that they are no less safe in Newport now than they were before these incidents.”

Speaking about taking on his new role and putting these priorities into place, he added: I’m looking forward to it and am very excited.

“I’m extremely proud to be given this opportunity and I’m also incredibly proud of the people I work with who are a fantastic team."

He added: “Since I joined the police, our tactics are different and crimes are significantly different but the bit about getting it right hasn’t changed. The bit about engaging with the public and doing the best we can with people hasn’t changed at all.”