A NEW age police force that uses technology and a “restorative approach”, that’s the vision of re-elected Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn for the police force in South West Wales over the next three years.

Mr Llywelyn, of Plaid Cymru, was re-elected to a second term in the recent Police and Crime Commissioner elections, which were held alongside local elections in May.

Speaking to the Western Telegraph, Mr Llywelyn explained his vision for the police force which included his officers being freed from “enslavement” by computer systems, providing online channels of communication with the public, and continuing to use CCTV in the fight against crime.

“One of my pledges in 2016 was reinvesting in CCTV, delivering the CCTV project.” Because of this there are now 150 cameras across 25 towns in the Dyfed-Powys region.

When pushed as to concerns over invasion of people’s privacy with the use of CCTV, the Police Commissioner explained police work to strict guidelines in making sure people’s private lives are not intruded on.

“We work to national guidelines which sets out how to use public surveillance,” said Mr Llywelyn. “We are not overly intrusive, in fact there are ways for us to block out the surveillance of certain areas.”

The guidelines for CCTV use are set out by Anthony Porter in the Public Space Commissioner Guidelines.

Mr Llywelyn said that the pros of surveillance far out way the fears it can create, with security cameras able to supply quality evidence to swiftly resolve disputes.

“CCTV is helping to make the criminal justice system more effective,” said Mr Llywelyn. “We have best evidence so when matters go to the courts, we are able to supply evidence of a very high standard.”

The ‘restorative touch’

A fluent Welsh speaker, with 5 children, who takes particular delight in following Wales’ football team, there’s a softer side to Dafydd Llywelyn, who doesn’t want to see people thrown into overcrowded jails for committing crimes. Instead he wants to see a wider form of rehabilitation offered. But are police becoming a soft touch?

“We are suffering a lot in the UK with over-crowded prisons,” explained Mr Llywelyn. “With non-violent offences against the victim, I prefer, potentially, for those culprits to be given a different type of punishment.

“We have embedded a problem-solving approach to policing and we want to take a wider holistic partnership approach to try solve issues where we get the two injured parties together to discuss the problem.”

Three key priorities

With a salary of over £60,000, Mr Llywelyn will certainly be expected to meet his commitments as well address recent issues such as the force still failing to make improvements in crime-recording practices which were originally highlighted in 2018.

The Police Crime Commissioner is a relatively new role in the police force, replacing what used to be a panel of 16.

It’s seen as a position which helps make the police force more accessible, something that is at the top of Mr Llywelyn’s priorities for this term.

“Ensuring the police are accessible and visible to the public is so important.

“We also want to put victims at the heart of the service, with high standards of victim support and showing that police are both taking their concerns seriously and carrying out quality investigations.

“And of course, I want to reduce crime. Especially as we continue to come out of lockdown, we are going to see a busy summer period, so I want our communities to feel safe.”