Less than 12 months after a major shake up of Policing in North Wales it seems that North Wales Police have just undertaken an embarrassing U-turn in the face of severe criticisms from the most rural areas.
North Wales Police were forced to review their structure and how they deliver services following the Con Dems Government's announcement of 20% cuts in Policing budgets which has already resulted in the loss of 131 Police Officers and a massive increase in the force's overtime spending.
The new structure featured a number of response hubs strategically based around the force like Wrecsam, Mold and St Asaph which seemed to deliver and adequate service or at least there didn't seem to be any detriment. The case in respect of other hubs was altogether another matter, take for example Dolgellau and Porthmadog, and the areas that they had to cover. The placing of hubs in those two towns resulted in other significant sized towns with Policing demands like Tywyn, Pwllheli and Blaenau Ffestiniog being devoid of any response Policing and proving difficult to meet response times for serious incidents.
The other major change announced last May was to change the Command Structure within North Wales Police from a geographical structure of Eastern, Central and Western Division, to a centralised functional system i.e. One senior officer for a function like neighbourhood policing across the force rather than one taking up several functions for an area.
Whilst Mark Polin has responded to the complaints from certain areas of the force by announcing a return to geographical areas and appointing 3 Superintendents to manage Policing in those areas, it doesn't really improve the response times from Dolgellau to Tywyn or Porthmadog to Aberdaron.
It will be interesting to follow developments and to see how many more U-turns there will be in the coming months.