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Palace honour for our local top cop

CHIEF CONSTABLE Mark Collins received his Queen’s Police Medal from His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales.

Reflecting on the ceremony, which took palce this week, he said: “What an honour to attend Buckingham Palace and receive the Queen’s Police Medal from His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales. To have been in policing for more than 34 years and to receive this as a serving Chief feels wonderful. I’m not done yet though and I look forward to the challenges still to come.”

Chief Constable Collins has worked a combination of over 34 years as a police officer, in the Special Constabulary, and working in three different police force areas – Dyfed-Powys, Bedfordshire and the Metropolitan Police.

He has previously expressed his gratitude to all his colleagues, friends and staff that have supported him along the way. He is proud to have served in every rank in Uniform Policing and in CID up to Chief Superintendent from Constable.

He was appointed Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police in December 2016. He then became the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead on policing and mental health in January 2017 and has brought significant leadership to the portfolio.

It is a huge task, but he has had some significant success in terms of working with colleagues and partners around mental health in policing.

He was invited by Sir Simon Wesley to join the review of the Mental Health Act, which has provided some fundamental recommendations that will change the way we operate as a police service, for instance the complete ban on use of police cells, and the conveyancing of people suffering from mental ill health episodes privately, will go a huge way to protecting the dignity of those people and supporting them through their periods of crisis.

Tremendous work is being done across the UK in this field. In respect of Child Sexual Exploitation he has overseen working effectively with partners, colleagues, and learning the lessons of some large investigations.

Chief Constable Collins is passionate about providing excellent support for victims on the victims journey, and has ensured Senior Investigating Officers are provided with a template and handbook of how to investigate these types of offences, and actually recognising and learning from previous investigations.