Agenda and minutes

Public Services Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 24th April, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: The Council Chamber, County Hall, The Rhadyr, Usk, NP15 1GA with remote attendance


No. Item


Declarations of Interest




Public Open Forum

Select Committee Public Open Forum ~ Guidance


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Hate Crime in Monmouthshire

To request the Chief Inspector of the Police to attend to discuss hate crime and the Police’s response.


The Inspector for Monmouthshire Ioan Williams attended on behalf of Chief Inspector John Davies to give an overview and broad understanding of hate crime in Monmouthshire.  The chair advised that the committee had sought a statistical breakdown of crime in the county and how it compared with neighbouring authorities.  He explained that the committee was interested in how we can evolve the conversation and increase awareness as well as gain more specific context as to where incidences are happening, because if the figures only show the hate crimes that have been reported and we know some people are not reporting, then we don’t have a full picture. The chair reminded the committee that some questions asked of Monmouthshire County Council Staff, with input from St Giles Trust at the previous meeting had been sent to the Police to guide the discussion today.


The inspector provided a short introduction to the Police’s role in terms of hate crime and how they support reporters:


I'll give you a general overview of hate crime in in the Monmouthshire area and how we how we deal with that on a daily basis. We don’t have daily occurrences, levels are relatively low but any incident of hate crime is too many. In comparison with some other Gwent areas, it is low. In terms of how we deal with reports, Gwent Police generate a daily briefing document every 24 hours and there's a specific section within it that relates to hate crime, to ensure early engagement, early action and hopefully early resolution.  We have dedicated hate crime officers within the force who log hate crime incidences or even a hate incidence. It doesn't necessarily have to be a criminal matter for any incident to fall under that banner and be flagged to those specialist officers and they manage that engagement from that point forward. If it is a criminal matter, then an officer is allocated to investigate it and they will maintain that sort of investigatory oversight with the support of the specialist hate crime officer. From an overarching perspective, hate crime is managed well from my perspective and we do have clear oversight of it and as explained, specialist officers who are able to support, and investigate criminal matters.




  • Is there significant underreporting of hate crime?


I think that all crime is underreported ultimately and that we're doing as much as we can in terms of enabling more reporting of crime through various reporting mechanisms, such as our social media reporting mechanisms, which has shown an increase in conversations with people who potentially may not have reported crime previously if just traditional telephony reporting was only available.  I think all crime tends to be underreported, but I haven't noticed anything significant in terms of hate crime specifically being underreported.  I think that work is being done and further work does need to be done in terms of our wider engagement, so that people will generally feel more comfortable in reporting matters affecting them.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


County Lines and Exploitation

To invite the St Giles Trust to discuss the support they offer young people who have been involved with county lines or are at risk of becoming exploited


The Chair welcomed Danielle, former senior case worker on the serious organized crime and CSU Finance project and Rebecca, Team Leader for Community Projects in Wales to the meeting to talk about the services provided by St Giles Trust to young people who may have been radicalised or become involved in county lines activity. The chair reminded the committee that the People Scrutiny Committee will be hosting a scrutiny workshop for Members on County Lines in July (date to be confirmed) and that all Members would be invited to the session.


Danielle and Rebecca explained that St Giles Trust is a national charity that has been operating for 60 years and 10 years in Wales, using expertise and real life/lived experience to empower people who may have been held back by poverty, been exploited or abused or those dealing with addictions or mental health problems or have been caught up in the criminal justice system. They provided a detailed explanation of the services provided, slides being available on the website together with the agenda. Following detailed discussion, Members asked the following questions.




How are the projects that are delivered in the Gwent area that you have explained in detail funded?


The Wedge service is funded by the police crime commissioner, who funds nearly all of the projects apart from the girls empowerment which I believe is funded by Newport Capsule. We received Top-Up funding via our head office in the South Wales area to deliver it across Gwent and we have funding for children in need. Some of the contracts were Ministry of Justice contracts, but we do go for small pots of money from businesses and other avenues. 


  • I’m interested to know about the charity aspect, whether fundraising is on a local basis or a London basis?


We have team members in Wales and our own Development Manager in Wales, but the main team is in London.  We try to resource anything locally and hold our own fundraising events.


  • My background has been in victim offender mediation, family mediation and community mediation, the ethos of which is to try and get a greater understanding of how the victim feels by the action they're experiencing. Do you think we do enough of that, whether it's within the curriculum or via other means, because if we could get people to understand that, maybe there would be greater respect?


There's always more that can be done on that level, but St Giles Trust doesn’t just deliver sessions to young people, but also to parents, teachers and the police, so we give the information to everybody who needs it, but yes, there is always more that can be done.


  • It would be good to hear of some examples, but I understand because of confidentiality, that may not be possible. I’m interested in the root causes, whether these are external factors such as the cost of living, or whether it’s people’s ability to cope with things or implications from their home life,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Public Services Scrutiny Committee Forward Work Programme and Action List pdf icon PDF 350 KB

Additional documents:


The work programme was noted and invitations for the next meeting were agreed.



Cabinet and Council Work Planner pdf icon PDF 328 KB




Minutes of the previous meeting held on 1st March 2023 pdf icon PDF 528 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.


Next Meeting


19th June 2023.