THE EXTENT to which the Dyfed-Powys Police is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement. That is the assessment of Wendy Williams of her Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in her latest report
It’s the fourth such assessment – called a PEEL report (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) of the force by the Inspectorate so far.
PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas.
The review body said that Dyfed-Powys Police needs to improve the overall efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime, although there are some aspects of the force’s work that are managed well, such as its understanding of demand.
The report added: “The force has well-established processes and systems that allow it to monitor and understand current demand, including demand that might go unreported. It uses this understanding to move resources to where they are needed most.
“The force’s leaders are also good at promoting innovative thinking to reduce demand, and use continuous improvement techniques to good effect, identifying wasteful and inefficient practices.”
IMPROVE USE OF RESOURCES
Dyfed-Powys Police needs to improve the way it uses its resources, the Inspectorate said.
“The force has not undertaken a skills audit to understand the capacity and capability of all of its people. Such an audit would help the force inform its recruitment, selection and promotion processes in order to identify the best people for the job and to develop people in their roles.
“The force also needs to improve the way it plans for the future. For example, the force needs to make better use of national recruitment and development schemes, external recruitment, and other recruitment opportunities to ensure it is able to recruit, promote and develop people with the skills it needs.”
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
“The force also needs to develop an integrated vision of the future that takes into account public expectation, changing technology, interoperability with other emergency services and the reduced resources available to its partners. On a more positive note, the force has made good progress in developing a more strategic approach to partnership working. It has also invested well in ICT, which has resulted in significant savings and a reduction in demand across a number of areas.”
REACTION FROM THE DEPUTY CHIEF
Responding to the assessment, Deputy Chief Constable Darren Davies told The Herald: “I welcome the latest efficiency report from HMICFRS and whilst we are one of 10 forces graded as ‘Requires Improvement’ overall, and therefore still have much work to do, there are clear indications within the report that the force is making positive progress.
“At the time of this inspection, a new Chief Officer team had been in place for only a few months, and together with all staff, we have worked tirelessly to improve performance.
“In previous years Dyfed-Powys has been assessed as Requires Improvement in all three areas making up the efficiency report – this year for the first time, we have been assessed as ‘Good’ at understanding demand, but still ‘requiring improvement’ in both use of resources and planning for the future sections. Clearly to use resources and plan for the future, understanding the demand we face is an essential requirement and, we have progressed to ‘Good’ in that regard. This is a small but important step in continuing to improve as a force.
“In the report HMICFRS has identified 5 areas for improvement and we have already begun addressing these and will continue to work hard to rectify these whilst maintaining the positive direction of travel.
“We look forward to receiving the further reports from HMICFRS in the coming weeks on both Legitimacy and Effectiveness, when we are confident there will be further tangible evidence of the progress we are making in an effort to deliver the high quality policing that our communities deserve.
“I am personally leading this work, and have seen first-hand the energy, commitment and drive the whole force is demonstrating in seeking to continually improve what we do at every level.”
CRIME COMMISSIONER’S COMMENTS
Local Police & Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn said: “It is evident upon reading the report that improvements are being made to the way in which Dyfed-Powys Police are utilising their resources. This is testimony to the hard work and commitment of Officers and Staff and the leadership of Chief Constable Collins and his team.
“Whilst there is still a lot of work to do, I am confident that future reports will demonstrate continued improvement which ultimately will result in the delivery of an enhanced service to the public within the Dyfed-Powys area.”
Paul Davies MS quits as Leader of the Conservatives in the Senedd
PAUL DAIVES MS quit as Leader of the Conservatives in the Senedd this morning.
The Conservatives’ Chief Whip also quit his frontbench role.
The dramatic move comes only 24 hours after Mr Davies got the Conservative Senedd Group’s unanimous backing.
However, later yesterday (Friday, Jan 21) – as criticism poured in – the Welsh Conservatives’ Executive met. In that meeting, Constituency Chairs reported widespread disbelief and anger among the Party’s members. Conservative Party Chair, Lord Davies of Gower, received particular criticism for a lack of leadership. Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales, also attended the meeting and was left in no doubt of the strength of feeling within the Party.
In a statement issued via the Conservative Senedd media office, Mr Davies said: “I am truly sorry for my actions on the 8th and 9th December. They have damaged the trust and respect that I have built up over 14 years in the Welsh Parliament with my colleagues and the wider Conservative Party but more importantly with the people of Wales.
“Whilst using the Senedd facilities at all times my colleagues and I maintained social distancing. There was no drunk or disorderly behaviour. We did not have to be escorted out of the building as some reports have suggested. What we did was to have some alcohol with a meal we heated up in a microwave, which was a couple of glasses of wine on Tuesday and a beer on Wednesday.
I broke no actual Covid-19 regulations.
“For the last 10 months of the pandemic, I have followed the Covid-19 regulations to the letter. As with everyone across Wales, I have not seen family members or friends, I’ve not eaten at my favourite restaurants and, like you, we enjoyed a subdued Christmas compared to other years. I will continue to follow the Welsh Government’s Covid-19 Regulations and I would urge everyone to play their part in defeating this virus so that we can all return to normality.
“My priority as Leader of the Welsh Conservative Group in the Welsh Parliament has always been to bring the Conservatives into government in Wales. Our main focus as the Welsh Conservatives must always be on challenging and removing a failing Labour government.
“I am grateful for the support of colleagues in the Welsh Conservative Party for their support in this difficult time, and especially to my wife Julie and my Senedd colleagues who have offered empathy, trust and advice. They have treated me with the same courtesy and decency I hope I have always extended to others.
“Over the last couple of days, I have been speaking with colleagues in the Senedd and the wider Conservative Party. Whilst they have confirmed they do not wish to see me step down, I believe that my actions are becoming a distraction from holding this failing Welsh Labour-led Government to account, not just on their rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines but from more than 20 years of their dither, delay and failure. Yesterday I indicated to the Conservative group in the Welsh Parliament that I wished to resign, but they urged me to reflect further, and we agreed to meet again on Monday. However, for the sake of my party, my health and my own conscience, I simply cannot continue in post.
“Therefore, I am stepping down as Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Welsh Parliament with immediate effect.”
“It is for the group to decide how best to choose a new leader, but I hope that process will be seamless and speedy, and I pledge my support to whoever becomes leader.”
Darren Millar blamed ‘wildly inaccurate and unfair reports’ and said:
“There was a member of catering staff present in the tea room for a short time after my arrival on the 8th December but she did not serve me a drink, nor did I request one. In fact, I encouraged the member of staff to go home and close up the counter as it had been a long day for her. No members of catering staff were present on the 9th December and the counter was closed for the whole evening.
“While I am advised that I did not breach coronavirus regulations I am very sorry for my actions, especially given the impact of the tough restrictions that people and businesses are enduring.
“For this reason, and given that Paul Davies has resigned as Welsh Conservative Group Leader in the Senedd, I have decided to step down from my front bench role in the Welsh Parliament.
“I am cooperating fully with ongoing investigations and will continue to do so.”
Whoever replaces Paul Davies, the role is likely to an interim appointment ahead of a vote of the Party membership after the Senedd election.
Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach
THE CONSERVATIVE Party is investigating the attendance of senior Senedd members and staff at a Christmas party held during December’s lockdown.
Lockdown restrictions prohibit mixing with people outside your own household.
The Welsh restrictions barring such gatherings follow the basic outline of those imposed by the Conservative UK Government in December.
Those attending the drinks party included Paul Smith, the Conservative Chief of Staff at the Senedd, Darren Millar, the Party’s Chief Whip and campaign coordinator, and Preseli Pembrokeshire MS and Conservative Senedd Group Leader Paul Davies.
The Herald understands that a Labour Senedd Member who attended the Party has been suspended by the Labour Senedd Group pending its own investigation.
The Conservatives’ embarrassment at talking the talk but not walking the walk is intensified by Darren Millar’s presence at the shindig.
In May, Mr Millar led calls for Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething to be sacked for eating a bag of chips in a park with one of his own children.
If the Conservative Party follows the logic of their previously stated positions, Mr Millar’s and Mr Davies’ futures look bleak indeed.
With a Senedd election only months away, the revelations have thrown the Conservatives into disarray.
If they do nothing, the Conservatives will – at the very least – face claims they are hypocrites.
If the Conservative Party acts decisively, it faces massive internal problems.
The Conservatives responded to our request for a response to our story.
Those involved stressed they did not host a Christmas Party.
The incident happened on December 8, when the above met in the members’ tea room to discuss legislation for possible inclusion in the Welsh Conservative manifesto with a Labour backbencher.
During the evening they did drink a glass or two of wine.
They stress that at no point were there more than four people in the room at any one time and that they maintained social distancing.
A joint statement from Paul Davies, Darren Millar, and Paul Smith said: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions.
“While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”
Family tribute to Carole Patricia Fowler
Carole was a teacher for 30 years at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Llanelli. She loved children and they loved her.
As one of her past colleagues said: “I know she made such a difference to every child she taught.” She was very popular with staff and well respected and loved by parents. She was dedicated and conscientious, always 100% for the children. She led the music there and was always popular with her guitar accompaniments for services and concerts.
Likewise, she was a valued member of the choir at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Gendros, Swansea, where she would often accompany hymns with her guitar and gave guitar lessons to the children in the church’s Saturday Music Club. She was also a keen member of Côr Persain, Ammanford.
She was talented, loved and in demand. A convicted and devout Catholic all her life, through good and bad.
Carole was an avid and very gifted crocheter and was always crocheting or knitting something for someone. She had been spending her time recently, during the Covid crisis, crocheting NHS teddies in scrubs and rainbows, with many given to practising nurses. Carole had recently started learning to make bobbin lace. She was also capable of some very decent sewing, too.
She was also learning Welsh, doing ‘pilates’ and was considering taking up yoga lessons as well.
She was a busy lady! As one of her work colleagues said of her: “She was wise, strong, beautiful, generous, devout and feisty. And I loved her for all those qualities.”
Above all, she was an immeasurably loved Mam, daughter, sister and a doting Mamgu and so much loved by her fiancé. Having been together for 14 years, they would have been married last July 20th had covid allowed!
Her premature passing at 61 is tragic and she is already sorely, painfully missed. She leaves behind a huge chasm in so many hearts that cannot be filled.
“Eternal rest grant unto her, o Lord, may perpetual light shine about her, may she rest in peace.”
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