Home » Gwynedd: North Wales police and crime commissioner hails Bangor drop in session “a success”
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Gwynedd: North Wales police and crime commissioner hails Bangor drop in session “a success”

A public surgery scheme aimed at bringing police and policing closer to the people has been hailed a success in Bangor.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin was on hand to chat, confidentially, with local folk over crime matters in the city on Wednesday, May 24.

Along with several local beat officers from the North Wales force, Mr Dunbobbin was on hand at the Quaker meeting hall, on Dean Street, specifically to hear, face to face, the public’s views over their experiences of policing and crime.

According to Mr Dunbobbin the event proved “successful” with local people sharing views with everything from the police handling of small misdemeanors to serious issues such as city tensions and drugs.

The role of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is to be the voice of the people.

Their role is to hold the police to account, and they are responsible for the totality of policing.

“Part of our role is to support, but also scrutinize just how our north Wales is performing across the region,” he said.

According to the Police and Crime Association, the role aims to help cut down crime and deliver “an effective and efficient police service within their police force area”.

PCCs are elected by the public and they have the power to hold Chief Constables and the force to account, making the police answerable to the communities they serve.

Mr Dunbobbin said: “The objective of these meetings was help to break down the barriers, and the perception that the public don’t have a voice in policing matters.

“I have come here to listen closely to what people are telling me about policing here in Bangor today, and in other sessions we have organised in local communities right across North Wales.”

Policing in North Wales does hold “certain challenges” for the force, he said.

There are vast swathes of rurality, the area includes Eryri (formerly the Snowdonia) National Park, as well as two significant ports at Holyhead and Mostyn, to more urban areas such as Rhyl and Wrexham.

North Wales is also an area that attracts large numbers of tourists each year, boosting the local populations, and bringing different issues at different times.

With a population of 687,500, and 6,300 square kilometres, the North Wales force’s patch, covers an area stretching from Aberdaron in the west, Cemaes Bay on Anglesey in the north, to Aberdyfi to the south and Bronington in the east.

The force covers six geographic counties, including Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighsire, Flintshire and Wrexham.

Mr Dunbobbin said: “People do want a closer and more personal relationship with policing and to be able to talk about the specific issues in their own communities, whatever those issues might be, they want to know people are listening.

“From our point of view meeting the public is an opportunity for them to air their views, it is a positive approach, we literally go out and meet people face to face and we genuinely want to hear what they have to say.

“It helps us gather local intelligence which can help inform local beat bobbies and strategies for dealing with local issues.

“We want to hear about the grassroots issues, the issues that are affecting people everyday, and how they are being dealt with.

“People in Bangor today have been quite forthcoming, it has been quite a successful day.

“We can’t discuss specifics, as everything that was said today was in strictest confidence.”

But among visitors to the surgery, where members of the public were allowed around 20 minutes to speak, were councillors, members of the public and other community leaders and representatives.

In his Police and Crime plan for 2021 – 2024 Mr Dunbobbin explained that neighbourhood policing was “the bedrock”.

He has experience as a local councillor, an armed forces champion and social innovation outreach worker.

His vision, he says, is to see that North Wales communities “are safe, and that victims and vulnerable people feel supported, and that crime and reoffending are reduced”.

“I just want people to feel confidence in policing and criminal justice system,” he said.

“We are listening to what people tell us.”

The next surgery, is at Barmouth, on Wednesday, June 21 – but more sessions can be arranged dependent on demand.

Attendees will have 20 minutes to speak, confidentially, with the Commissioner.

They cannot discuss complaints about police officers, member of police staff, police community support officers or special constables, as these matters go through existing and established channels.

The surgery slots are by appointment only and attendees are urged to book, by contacting the PCC’s office with their name, contact information and discuss topic.

Email: [email protected] Phone to: 01492 805486 or post to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner North Wales, Police Headquarters. Glan y Don, Colwyn Bay, LL29 8AW.

To find out more visit the Police and Crime Commissioner’s social media channels for more information.