NEW recruits joining Gwent Police to boost the force’s frontlines have been given a warm welcome by police chiefs.

A passing out parade in Newport on Friday marked the start of a new journey for 21 new officers.

The traditional service marks the transition from trainee police officer to ‘probationer’ and, as of this week, these officers will be on the beat across the region.

Chief constable Julian Williams said the new recruits will be “invaluable”, adding: “They bring with them a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills and with their commitment to protect the communities of Gwent.”

Jeff Cuthbert, the police and crime commissioner for Gwent, said he was “delighted” with the newcomers and expressed his commitment to maintaining frontline policing in the region.

Gwent Police has recruited 59 new officers since April 2017, with plans for another 176 to arrive in early 2019 at the latest.

The force says recent intakes have included more officers from minority ethnic communities, which will help “broaden the diversity of the workforce”.