On 1st April 1967, Newport Borough Police and Monmouthshire Constabulary were amalgamated to form Gwent Police as a result of a government decision to reduce the number of Police Forces in England and Wales.
Initially, there were six operational divisions but, following national trends, the Force re-organised into a new structure in 1968, comprising of three territorial divisions and the Headquarters.
During 1996, as a result of local government re-organisation in Wales, changes to the Local Authority boundaries led to Gwent Police assuming responsibility for the Rhymney Valley, an area which was previously part of South Wales Police.
We now cover an area of 600 square miles, encompassing the five Local Authority areas of Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen. The Gwent Policing area is a combination of rural and urban. The road network carries large volumes of traffic including the M4 link to the South, with Gwent Police now responsible for policing the Second Severn Crossing.
In April 2015, the force was divided into the East and West Local Policing Areas (LPAs). There are ten distinct neighbourhoods across the LPAs, headed up by Inspectors. Each neighbourhood area has a team of officers including; Ward Managers, Neighbourhood Support Officers, Schools Community Police Officers, Crime and Disorder Reduction Officers and Community Support Officers.
As of April 2017 the Force has:
- Almost 1,200 Police Officers
- Approximately 600 Police staff
- Around 130 Police Community Support Officers
- Nearly 100 Special Constables
- A team of more than 415 dedicated volunteers, including Cadets
As well as our frontline Policing teams we have a number of officers with specialist roles, including Scenes of Crime, Firearms Licensing, Researchers, Analysts and many more. We also have many business departments such as HR, Finance, IT and Legal Services.
As part of our frontline Policing teams we now have a highly skilled Dog Section, which provides the Force with specialist canine support to detect and prevent crime and save lives. There are currently 16 dogs within the Dog Section many of whom are trained to track people and offenders and search open areas and buildings. We also have specialist search dogs trained to detect firearms, explosives, cash and drugs.
Our Area Support Unit has trained officers who work 24/7 to protect the community and deter crime on our roads. The team uses some of the latest technology to track and arrest travelling criminals across the Force.
We have a Joint Firearms Unit, with Gwent Officers working alongside our neighbouring forces, Dyfed Powys Police and South Wales Police. The joint approach allows these specialist Officers to share their expertise.
We also work in collaboration with our colleagues at South Wales Police to provide a Joint Scientific Investigation Unit. Our Crime Scene Investigators conduct detailed forensic examinations to gather evidence. The scientists work from laboratories to support investigating officers and to help catch and convict offenders.
We are supported by the National Police Air Service, deploying a helicopter, where necessary, to assist us in tackling crime and protecting the public. This service often assists us in searching for missing people, assisting with vehicle pursuits and tracking suspects. They also provide us with support whilst policing large scale events, such as The Ryder Cup and The NATO Summit. We believe sharing resources, increasing collaboration and working innovatively together is essential to enhancing our capabilities to tackle emerging crime.
One of our key principles is to work with the community, and as part of the community, to ensure that, together we all help to keep Gwent safe.