In 2012 I published my pledges to the public of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys. Here is how I fared:
I want to make Dyfed Powys the country’s best, most respected and innovative rural police force.
Common Sense Policing
Common sense means preventing crime so you don’t have to pay for prosecuting a criminal. That’s why policing is about more than just spending money. We have to think smarter.
Common sense means getting police to where crime is happening, on our streets. We need to strengthen neighbourhood policing so the police know people and people know the police.
Common sense means cutting waste, bureaucracy and duplication so the money can pay for frontline services.
Pledge 1 – Police Protecting You
Protecting you means tackling all crime. It means stopping you becoming a victim of crime. Bad behaviour, graffiti and abuse are as threatening to young families and the elderly as violence and burglary.
- Set the police clear, simple, objectives to tackle bad behaviour and so-called “minor” crime
- I gave the police one aim: to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour – the crimes that don’t make headlines but do wreck lives. Crime and antisocial behaviour combined have fallen 12%
- Cut bureaucratic targets to support the police’s professional judgement and free them from politically correct box-ticking
- I scrapped targets and freed officers to use their professional judgement to prevent crime in their area. Crime is better recorded. Crime and antisocial behaviour are down
- Drive high standards in dress, professionalism and courtesy to ensure the police have the public authority and street presence to challenge yobs
- The Chief Constable introduced new dress codes and increased oversight of officers’ dress. These improvements require constant attention and a PCC willing to insist on high standards
- Improve transparency in police complaint and discipline procedures to restore public respect and confidence
- I introduced an independent Residents Panel, made up of local people, to inspect police complaints. They have independently challenged Dyfed Powys complaints processes and improved communication with the public
Pledge 2 – Police On the Beat
Getting police on the beat means targeting streets where crime is happening. We must ensure police have the kit they need. We must strengthen our neighbourhood policing. And we must make the best use of other expertise from across our communities.
- Cut bureaucracy, prioritise police time patrolling our streets, and set just one target – to cut crime
- Scrapping targets and investing mobile technology has released at least 100,000 hours of police time for patrols, rather than paperwork. I introduced new mobile police stations for our rural areas and instigated a new strategy for rural policing. We have 30 specialist Rural Liaison Officers
- Conduct regular surgeries in all parts of Dyfed Powys, from Welshpool to Milford Haven
- I have held Your Voice Days across Dyfed Powys, where the public have shared their concerns and ideas with me. My office receives regular correspondence from all areas
- Prioritise use of victim support, crime prevention and drugs services from the wider community
- Fight to save Dyfed Powys police helicopter so police can reach all areas
- I have secured 24 hour coverage for all areas of Dyfed Powys, compared to the 12 hour service I inherited. I secured Pembrey air base as an operating hub for the new service
Pledge 3 – Spend Wisely
Spending wisely means cutting waste and bureaucracy to make sure that every pound is well spent. We must ensure full public accountability, so people can check on our progress. We must identifying the best solutions for new challenges, not just the easiest ones.
- Ensure the new system costs less than the current Police Authority
- My office costs 5.7% less in 2015/16 in real terms than the police authority cost in its last full year (2011/12). It will cost £969,000 in 2015/16. In today’s prices it cost £1,027,635 in 2011/12
- Conduct an immediate line-by-line review of all spending
- I saved £3.1m by terminating Ammanford Police Station Private Finance Initiative; cut the top 10 salaries by 20%; and will have saved £8.8m by 2016
- Publish all accounts, expenses and plans clearly and regularly
- All financial information is published on my website
- Appoint an external, voluntary, Board of Advisors to provide links and experience from other sectors
- I changed my approach to this. Rather than a single board of advisors, I appointed separate panels to support specific areas of work, such as the Residents Panel and the Out of Court Scrutiny Panel