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Monday, October 10, 2022

MS wants to see police officers 'fully focus' on their job

North Wales MS Sam Rowlands wants to see police officers being able to fully focus on their jobs.

Speaking in the Senedd, Mr Rowlands, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Minister for Local Government, asked what efforts had been made to allow police officers to focus on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour. 

He said: One of the best ways of reducing crime and anti-social behaviour is ensuring that our hard-working police officers and PCSOs are able to fully focus their time and efforts on their very clear areas of responsibility. 

“Back in July, I raised the issue that police forces are facing across Wales at the moment, often being distracted from their clear priorities and focus. Police officers to have to deal with work that usually sits in other public service areas, such as in health or in social services. 

“Minister, you stated that many of these issues are being raised through the policing partnership board whilst working with policing colleagues. 

“In light of this, I was wondering whether you have an update on what efforts are being made to reduce police time having to focus on non-policing issues to enable them and allow them to focus on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.” 

Social Justice Minister Jane Hutt agreed that PCSOs play a crucial role in promoting community safety and tackling anti-social behaviour and acting as ears and eyes on the ground for police forces. 

However, she added it was also about local relationships and so many of those are with local authorities, with social services, housing, youth workers, et cetera, as well as with health colleagues. It is very inter-related in terms of tackling crime. 

Mr Rowlands responded: “While I appreciate that the police do have to work closely with other organisations I still feel there is not enough being done to take away those pressures. 

“This increase has seen police officers dealing with defibrillators, tied up in A&E for hours on end, at times, waiting for those they may have arrested to be seen, along with assisting with mental health issues. 

“I am concerned about our police forces being taken away from their traditional work of solving crime and dealing with anti-social behaviour.”   

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