Nick Smith MP

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Nick Smith MP has welcomed Gwent Police’s improved commitment to real crime figures, but urged more still has to be done.

The HMIC have published a report on crime data integrity that has savaged the police across Britain for a 19% under-recording rate of crime.

As part of the study, Gwent Police were judged to have recorded 58 crimes out of 67 – a 13.5% underrecording rate.

However, it follows on from Gwent Police’s own internal review in summer 2013 that revealed 25 out of 50 crimes hadn’t been recorded properly, prompting assurances from the police that they were looking at their internal processes to fix any problems.

In addition, the HMIC found Gwent Police had a 100% record when classifying a situation as not a crime – one of only two forces to do so.

Speaking after the release of the figures, the Blaenau Gwent MP said while things were not perfect big steps had clearly been taken in comparison to elsewhere in the country.

“It’s important that HMIC have conducted this study of police activity across the country. It is vital that we have confidence in our police because that hasn’t been the case in a while”, he said.

“Myself and colleagues put Gwent Police through the wringer in recent years because we cared about the people they serve. As a result, I’m pleased that in the HMIC’s study they found that not a single case Gwent Police had classed as a no-crime was incorrectly classified.

“While asking for a perfect record may be a tall order, Gwent Police should continue to strive for perfection and maintain public confidence as a result.

“For the future we must try to make sure that a strong emphasis is given to supporting victims.

“I have championed this in the past following several difficulties faced by constituents, and I am glad Gwent Police are also pushing this agenda forward.”

“Police must strive for perfection” after crime figure improvements

Nick Smith MP has welcomed Gwent Police’s improved commitment to real crime figures, but urged more still has to be done. The HMIC have published a report on crime data...

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NICK Smith MP has called for the country to “walk, dance and play our way to wellbeing” as he secured a debate on physical activity in the UK.

The Blaenau Gwent MP wants simple physical activities to be promoted by the Government and health services to the same levels as anti-smoking messages.

Heading the Westminster Hall debate, Mr Smith also called for local governments to increase their spending on physical activity and massively improve the health of the public as a result.

It came on the back of figures released in the most recent Welsh Survey that revealed 58% of adults in Wales are classed as overweight, with 22% classed as obese.

UKactive’s report into the “epidemic of inactivity” in Britain also revealed 30% of people in Wales failed to undertake any sport or physical activity in a week – with the figure rising to 40% for the most deprived areas.

Speaking after the debate, Mr Smith said more needed to be done to help deprived areas lead active and healthy lives.

“Former industrial communities such as mine have always struggled with poor health and the knock on effect it has in astronomical”, he said.

“Money is tight for everyone. But encouraging communities to take part in simple physical activities and providing the facilities to do so has a big knock on effect and can save money in the long run.

“Sports clubs, fitness classes, even something like taking a walk – all these are cheap or free ways to get off our sofas and start working towards a better bill of health.

“That’s why we should be treating this sort of campaign as seriously as a no-smoking campaign or the latest celebrity diet.

“Prevention isn’t only better than the cure, it is cheaper too. It keeps our NHS fighting fit to tackle the things we can’t do anything about and keeps us fighting fit to lead happy lives.”

Walk, dance and play to a healthy Blaenau Gwent

NICK Smith MP has called for the country to “walk, dance and play our way to wellbeing” as he secured a debate on physical activity in the UK. The Blaenau...

NICK Smith MP is calling for good neighbours to stop rogue traders as National Consumer Week gets underway and warnings of two new major scams emerge.

Running until November 7, the scheme is hoping to raise awareness of rip off merchants in time for the festive season.

The Blaenau Gwent MP has been campaigning for months on the issue, working with Age Cymru and distributing the Welsh Governments’ “No Cold Calling” stickers on the doorstep.

It comes as two leading financial organisations are warning of high-level scams taking place throughout the country.

Financial Fraud Action UK have alerted the public to “number spoofing”, whereby criminals will fool people into thinking they are talking to their bank or the police by displaying a false caller ID.

They then persuade their victims to hand over bank account details, passwords and more before stealing money from that person’s account.

Meanwhile, the Financial Conduct Authority have warned about a recent rise in high-pressure tactics to get people, particularly those who have retired, to invest in non-existent products.

These false products, including land-banking schemes, carbon credits and rare earth metals, mean the average investor loses out on £20,000 in a swindle that is costing £1.2bn a year.

Speaking at the beginning of National Consumer Week, Mr Smith said we all have a duty to look out for each other and protect ourselves from becoming victims.

“These two schemes that have emerged in the last few days show that criminals will keep trying new tactics to part us all from our hard-earned money”, he said.

“I’ve been campaigning on this issue and it’s clear that these scam artists show no remorse. They target our most vulnerable members of society time and time again.

“If it sounds too good to be true it usually is. If someone is making you feel pressured or uncomfortable, ask yourself why they’re so desperate for your details or a deal.

“You can be wise to their tactics a hundred times, but it only takes one mistake to lose a life-altering amount of money.

“That’s why I’m supporting National Consumer Week and calling for constituents to follow the Trading Standards guidelines and look out for each other.”

National Consumer Week is a partnership led by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), Citizens Advice and the National Trading Standards Board.

If you suspect a crime, call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or Blaenau Gwent Trading Standards on 01495 357813

 

Signs an unwanted doorstep caller is visiting a neighbour: 

  •  Traders have been cold calling in the area
  • A builder's van is parked nearby, particularly one that doesn't include a company name or contact      details
  • Building or maintenance work on your neighbour's garden or house starts unexpectedly
  • Poor quality work is visible on the roof, driveway, or property
  • Your neighbour appears anxious or distressed
  • Your neighbour visits the bank, building society, or post office more frequently, particularly if      they are accompanied by a trader

What can I do?

  •  Ask your neighbour in private -- in person or on the phone -- if things are OK
  • If they are displeased, suggest calling a relative or carer on their behalf
  • Note any vehicle registration numbers
  • Keep hold of any flyers you have received through your door
  • Ask if the trader has left any paperwork and put it in a clean food bag
  • If you suspect a crime, call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or your local      trading standards office
  • If the situation with the trader becomes volatile, call the police

Keep scammers from your neighbours’ door

NICK Smith MP is calling for good neighbours to stop rogue traders as National Consumer Week gets underway and warnings of two new major scams emerge.


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