North Wales’ most senior police officer, Chief Constable Mark Polin, has today announced that he is to retire in July.
Chief Constable Polin (pictured) has been a police officer for more than three decades, including nearly nine years as Chief Constable of North Wales Police.
He will leave his post in effect from late July to take up the role of Chairman of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board at the start of September.
He said: “I feel very fortunate to have led North Wales Police for close on nine years and I can honestly say I have enjoyed every day. It has been an absolute privilege to work alongside such professional, committed and skilled members of staff.
"Their resilience and understanding has been truly tremendous given the challenges we have tackled, not least in terms of pretty much continual change in the face of austerity and new demands and rising public expectations.
“We have been very successful together and in conjunction with our partners. Our performance has remained strong and indeed improved in key areas; we have never been found wanting in terms of critical and major incidents; we have invested in IT, estate and other infrastructure; continued to recruit high quality people and we have managed our finances and assets well – to name but a few things.”
Mr Polin started his career with the City of London Police where he worked up to the rank of Chief Inspector. In 1998 he transferred to Gwent Police as the Superintendent in charge of various central operational functions, including the Force Control Room and the firearms, public order and traffic units.
In December 1999, he was appointed as Chief Superintendent and Divisional Commander of Caerphilly Division, and in 2002 assumed responsibility for the Professional and Ethical Standards Department.
Before moving to North Wales as Chief Constable Mark was Deputy Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary.
In 2010 Mark received the Queen's Police Medal (QPM Award).
Mark said: “I have been assisted by a strong but appropriate relationship with the Police & Crime Commissioner and his office, who have supported the Force well. My life has also been made somewhat easier by a cohesive and high performing management team.
"I say to all our new recruits that families and friends play a crucial role in supporting us to do our jobs to the best of our ability and I know I could not have performed the role I have without my wife Karen and our two children Amy and James to whom I am indebted. I will miss hugely all the officers, staff and volunteers I have had the honour of leading for the last nine years.”
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones said: “I would like to thanks Chief Constable Mark Polin for his excellent leadership at a time when the Force has had to absorb substantial financial cutbacks whilst adapting to deal with new and emerging crimes.
“Mark has been a credit to North Wales Police and is held in the highest regard not just by his colleagues, but across the range of partners that the Force works with and the communities that it serves.
“He has made a significant impact on the area and through his leadership the force is now in a much better position to meet the challenging demands of modern policing which in turn ensures that North Wales remains a safe place to live, work and visit.
“I sincerely thank him and to wish him well for the future.
“We have now started the process of appointing a new Chief Constable. They are big shoes to fill but I am confident we will choose a worthy successor to carry on his good work.”
Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard will be the Acting Chief Constable until a new Chief is appointed.
He will be supported by Assistant Chief Constable Richard Debicki who will become the Acting Deputy Chief Constable and Chief Superintendent Neill Anderson who will become the Acting Assistant Chief Constable.