GWENT POLICE chiefs have assured councillors that a police presence will remain in Abergavenny despite the impending closure of its police station.

Jeff Cuthbert, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, said the force would not be withdrawing from any communities but the way in which it operates would change.

The Tudor Street station is currently staffed but officers are due to move in the coming months.

The site, along with, along with the former Magistrates Court building, is set to be transformed into a retirement complex.

At a meeting of the Gwent Police and Crime Panel, Monmouthshire councillor Tony asked Mr Cuthbert: “How are you going to provide the Chief Constable [Julian Williams] with the appropriate estate so he can carry out responsibilities in the north of Monmouthshire?

“I understand there will be no estate they can operate from other than Monmouth.”

Mr Williams said Abergavenny officers would move to a joint facility like the emergency services station in Blaenau Gwent, where Abertillery police, ambulance and fire crews are based under one roof.

But Cllr Easson expressed concerns that residents in outlying areas such as Llanelly Hill, Clydach and Gilwern would not receive a “full service” from police.

Mr Cuthbert said: “I’m aware of those concerns and we’ve sought to provide reassurance. Once we’ve got good clarity on the arrangements we will be making it clear for those people.”

The new proposals would see part of the Abergavenny force based out of the town’s fire station in Hereford Road.

A team of officers is also expected to occupy the town hall within the town centre from October, according to Monmouthshire council.

The building is undergoing a £2.2 million redevelopment into a shared-use community hub with an improved library service.

Eleri Thomas, deputy PCC, said: “There will be a full police presence in Abergavenny fire station and police presence in the middle of town.

“It’s very clear that provision in Abergavenny and Monmouth, as we move to change the nature of the estate, will be maintained.

“We’ve worked very closely with [head of neighbourhood policing] Chief Superintendent Marc Budden and [divisional commander for Monmouthshire] Superintendent Ian Roberts to stress the importance of engaging with the local community.”

The meeting also heard that a recruitment drive has seen Gwent Police take on 150 more officers than in 2015, with new recruits set to be filtered into neighbourhood policing teams across the region.

Mr Cuthbert added: “Two weeks ago we had 40 new officers [pass out]. I must stress that those aren’t net gains as 50 to 60 officers will leave the service a year.

“The main public message that comes back is the need for more visible presence, more bobbies on the beat.

“I believe we’re in the top one or two in terms of recruitment across England and Wales. We’re certainly well ahead of the rest of Wales.”