It's only just been six months since we elected our first Police Commissioners and Gwent Police are the first in Wales to see their Chief Constable, Carmel Napier retire following and alleged 'high profile clash' with the Commissioner Ian Johnston. The high profile clash seemed to be around allegations that Gwent Police were massaging crime figures ( well that comes as a surprise!) and Mr Johnston seemed to be unhappy at the practice and he told the South Wales Argus:
“Cops do as they are told because it is a disciplined organisation. Feedback from the public on their experience with cops is that there’s an emphasis on whether something is a crime or not rather than getting on and dealing with it and giving the public what they want.
“We in Gwent are not alone, it’s national. People are obsessed with driving down crime and the level of recording crime but the public don’t believe the stats anyway. What they want is the proper service – reduce the problem and the stats will look after themselves.”A very commendable position for Mr Johnston to take especially as he was previously Detective Chief Superintendent, Head of Criminal Investigation for Gwent Police and President of the Police Superintendents Association of England and Wales; and as I do, he will no doubt recall many controversies regarding the recording of crime in his 33 years as a Police officer.
Winston Roddick will do well to take a leaf out of his book and examine the extent of the problem in North Wales.