A PILOT scheme which will see charity workers give crime victims legal guidance and emotional support inside a police station for the first time was launched by Gwent police yesterday.

Pontypool Police Station will offer victims of crime the chance to speak to representatives from the Victim Support charity at drop-in surgeries every Thursday between noon and 2pm.

Award-winning Victim Support volunteer Warren Lewis, 67, will give counselling and advice to people who have been at the receiving end of crime.

Mr Lewis received the Victim Support volunteer of the year award from Princess Anne in 2009.

He said: “I have dealt with everything from ASBOs to murder.

He added: “The project breaks down barriers between the police and the community.”

Pontypool Police station, off Glantorvaen Road, was one of several police bases Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston reopened last month.

His deputy Paul Harris said yesterday: “We want police stations to be at the centre of the communities they’re in.”

Protecting people from serious harm is one of the key priorities outlined in Ian Johnston’s police and crime plan for Gwent.

Mr Johnston added: “I want to ensure a victim-centred focus to the services being delivered by Gwent Police and our other partners.”

The effectiveness of the surgeries will be evaluated this year and, dependant on their success, could be rolled out to other Gwent police stations.