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New South Wales Police commissioner takes oath

By EvansTheCrime  |  Posted: November 21, 2012

Alun Michael

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FORMER Labour MP Alun Michael has taken his official oath as South Wales Police's first elected commissioner.Mr Michael swore the oath of office — in Welsh and in English — at today's final South Wales Police Authority meeting at force headquarters in Bridgend.

At midnight tonight he will officially assume the responsibilities of the authority, and will have the power to control the force budget, decide the level of council tax precepts, set policing priorities, and be able to hire and fire the chief constable.

The former Police Minister in Tony Blair's government won last week's election for commissioner, though the turnout across South Wales was just 15 per cent.The UK Government says commissioners will make police forces more accountable to the communities they serve, but critics have warned of the politicisation of policing.

Speaking at the oath ceremony, Mr Michael said: "Engaging the public and serving the public are the challenges we face."We have to make sure that whether we wanted the system or not, we have got to make it works."He added that he would "hold the police to account, and protect the police from political influence from whatever quarter it comes" and represent the people of South Wales "without fear or favour or bias".

The oath taken by Mr Michael, is common to all commissioners, and was drawn-up by the Home Office.It includes a pledge by the commissioners to "act with integrity and diligence in my role and, to the best of my ability, will execute the duties of my office to ensure that the police are able to cut crime and protect the public."

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  • williamwaun  |  November 23 2012, 9:57PM

    Never trust a Labour politician.

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  • GorsseinonJoe  |  November 23 2012, 1:31PM

    The first statement from our new non political Police Commissioner, this ex-mediocre MP and First Minister, was a political attack. He insists he has a mandate with just 15% voter turnout, priceless! This guy will make more political statements and policy decisions that oppose the present government until his cronies next get in, then he will become a whimpering puppy.

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  • RichardCorso  |  November 23 2012, 10:40AM

    Question I put out there is - has Alun Michael ever listened to the people he has represented? His previous parliamentary and AM representative areas are the only ones who can answer this. I don't care about his previous politics although it showed confidence (or arrogance) in leaving the Welsh Government to take up this new role. The pay increase will help (£85,000). Lets hope with his previous experience as a UK Government Police Minister and more recently as an AM he can utilise this experience and be a successful Police Commissioner. One of the first issues he needs to address is the lack of respect for Police Officers in the UK. What hasn't helped is having local council paid PCSO's dressed similar to Police Officers. These PCSO's who have very little training are then expected to carry out some of the work that fully trained Police Officers have traditionally done under the disguise of saving money. The PCSO's inexperience has caused many problems between the "Police" and the general public effecting the overall relationship between the general public and the Police. The Police also need to get out more and meet the general public in normal times as far too often the Police ONLY meet the general public in times of conflict. Far too regularly the Police are now ONLY reactive responders to incidents - racing to incidents via Police cars and vans and don't do ANY non incident interface (meetings) with the general public - this must taint their image of the general public it has already tainted the image the general public have of the reactionary and sometimes aggressive tactics used by the Police to minor incidents. Good luck Alun Michael I hope you listen to the South Wales general public and you do a good job.

  • Gwyddno  |  November 23 2012, 10:16AM

    ArthurRittick It's one step at a time. Today, Alan learns how to use the photocopier.

  • Neathboy234  |  November 23 2012, 9:43AM

    I'm glad to see Alun Michael hasn't made this "Bobbies on the Beat" nonsense a priority. If someone sneaks into my house in the dead of night i don't want the policeman arriving at my home on foot at a snails pace, i want them coming at 100 mph in a very fast car.

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  • ArthurRittick  |  November 23 2012, 9:30AM

    gwyddno, what point were you trying to make? Twinkles wanted to know when he was going to produce results. Your link merely reported that Michael had made pledges - something politicians seem to do all too easily but then fail to fulfill those pledges. That is something this clown will do all too readily, lots of talk & very little action, that's his (& Labour's) track record. So when I suggested that twinles would be waiting an awful long time, I believed what I said & I further believe that time will prove me right. You are welcome to disagree but posting meaningless drivel will neither change my mind nor prove me wrong.

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  • Gwyddno  |  November 22 2012, 7:30PM

    ArthurRittick Really? http://tinyurl.com/cednomh

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  • ArthurRittick  |  November 22 2012, 5:30PM

    twinkles 12, you'll be waiting an awful long time!

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  • Gwyddno  |  November 22 2012, 11:23AM

    Julesbreadbox I stated that the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) will set the new precept. In South Wales, the PCC is Alun Michael.

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  • Julesbreadbox  |  November 22 2012, 9:44AM

    @ Antyall To me it's about the amout I have to pay each and every month of which too much is being wasted, anyway. What percentage is actual council tax or being given to police forces, is in fact of no interest to me. It's on the council tax invoice and I pay it at a housing office. I am not going to split hairs over how much of it is waht. @ Gwyddno If he is not responible for it why does it say so in the article? "will have the power to control the force budget, decide the level of council tax precepts" Basically, it comes down to yet another pencil-pusher, another new non-job, another blunder by a government. and with such a background as his ,"former Police Minister in Tony Blair's government", he should take a leaf out of G. Brown's book and simply stay clear of any official position.

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