The former Principal Crime and Intelligence Analyst for Dyfed Powys Police force, and Plaid Cymru’s candidate to be our new Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, has said an efficient and effective policing model is possible with a change of leadership in May’s election.
Mr Llywelyn’s comments come in response to current Conservative Police Commissioner announcing a freeze in the police precept for 2015/16, and following a critical report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary that rated Dyfed Powys Police Force as “requiring improvement” – the only Welsh police force that did not achieve a “good” grading from the independent inspectorate.
The report, published at the end of last year, said that “changes to the size of the [police] workforce have been driven by finance rather than by the organisational requirements”, and “it is not clear how the force will continue to manage the budget reductions required and maintain effective policing.”
The HMIC report shows the force losing 78 police officers by March 2018 and 162 police staff on current proposals.
Since the publication of its report HMIC has said Dyfed Powys was “still not performing well” in child protection cases.
Plaid Cymru Candidate Dafydd Llywelyn, who currently lectures in Criminology and hopes to defeat Conservative Police Commissioner Christopher Salmon in May’s election, branded the precept freeze as an ‘election gimmick’ and said the Commissioner had failed a series of tests by which the public will judge him.
Dafydd Llywelyn said:
“The current Police Commissioner is certainly cut from the Conservative cloth of slashing budgets and decimating public services whilst managing to find some money for a pre-election giveaway.
“Just weeks after HM Inspectorate of Constabulary said Dyfed Powys has put workforce cuts before organisational requirements, and that there are no clear plans as to how the force will manage the future cuts that Mr Salmon’s Tory colleagues are imposing from the Home Office, I don’t believe the Commissioner has any credibility in what he says.
“His precept freeze – saving just pennies per household a week – is nothing short of an election gimmick designed to mask his abject failure during his time of office. He did not oppose the loss of our dedicated police helicopter, he is auctioning off our police stations, our CCTV has been switched off. We have to ask: what is the next service we will lose to pay for his election gimmick?
“If I have the honour of being elected Police Commissioner, I pledge to put the needs to Dyfed Powys communities ahead of the priorities of Westminster. An efficient and effective policing model is possible with a change of leadership in May."