Sunday, 6 December 2015

Former police inspector chosen as Plaid candidate for North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner

Plaid Cymru has selected experienced former policeman Arfon Jones to be their candidate for Police Commissioner for North Wales in next May's elections.

The former police inspector retired in 2008 after 30 years' service and is now a county councillor in Wrexham as well as serving on the North Wales Community Health Council, the patients' watchdog. 

Cllr Jones, of Gwersyllt, is originally from Harlech, Gwynedd, and served in every county in the North except for Anglesey during his long career. 

He was chosen to stand by Plaid Cymru's national council in Aberystwyth on Saturday. 

Cllr Jones, a father of two, said: 

"It's a great honour to represent Plaid Cymru in next year's elections because the police in North Wales are entering a critical period in the light of UK government cuts. 
"My extensive experience of policing in North Wales means that I understand what does and does not work. I have worked as a uniformed Constable as well as a Sergeant and Inspector both in uniform and as a detective in many departments include Child Protection. This was at the time Mr Justice Waterhouse published his report into child abuse in the area, 'Lost in Care'. 
"I also served as Detective Inspector in charge of the Crime Strategy and was part of the team that transformed communications systems in North Wales Police. I had also been seconded to the Regional Criminal Intelligence Office in Manchester for four years, where I was responsible for intelligence gathering on criminals that were operating across force boundaries. I completed my career in 2008 as an operational Inspector in the Eastern Area (Wrexham and Flintshire)

 Cllr Jones also has extensive experience of other public service having been a member of the North Wales Fire Service, served on Wrexham Council's executive board for four years and currently chairs the North Wales CHC's Wrexham Committee. 

Cllr Jones said: 

"I want to work with our chief constable to ensure fairer policing in all our communities, and to include the underprivileged and vulnerable people of our society.  
"There needs to be adequate justice services for children, who need to be kept out of the system's criminal prosecution and imprisonment unless there is no alternative. Creating criminals out of children has been a big mistake and has been very costly to society, let alone ruining the life chances of children. Prosecuting children is costly both financially and socially and it's about time for us to be more flexible in our response to children who commit crimes. 
"It's also important that we treat people who have offended and have mental health problems, or who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, as victims and not as criminals specially if the offence is minor. Imprisoning the homeless and other vulnerable members of society is not a good use of resources and achieves nothing. This is a problem for the Community Safety Partners to coordinate and get a better response from our health and social services." 
 He also argued that the police needed to think through more carefully some responses to public order situations, arguing that there was a disproportionate attitude at times: 
"The attitude of the police towards environmental protests and anti-fracking campaigns recently is a good example. Heavy-handed policing of protests always creates more problems. The same goes with football games, where police response to policing the game is causing great animosity between the fans and police. The policing of the Wrexham, Chester games is totally disproportionate with thousands of well behaved football fans being treated like criminals. I also believe that the management of the Police has moved too far from the local and is managed centrally by the state. The concept of 'Policing with consent' is long gone and with it the fact that the police should be impartial when they intervene between the people and the state. We need to redress the balance between the local and the national.

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