A CANDIDATE hoping to be the first South Wales Police commissioner has said tackling violence will be one of his priorities.
Alun Michael, who is standing for Labour in this month’s election, said he was particularly concerned about domestic violence, and said he wanted to work with voluntary groups to address the problem.
Speaking to the Evening Post during a campaign visit to Swansea, the former Cardiff MP said there was more that could be done to reduce the number of violent incidents, and he acknowledged that it was a challenge being faced not just by police but many other agencies.
He said: “At a time of massive cuts by central government this is even more important than it would be anyway.
“If we measure violence by real-life measures, such as the number of people who need treatment at the accident and emergency unit, rather than just by reports to the police, we can get much closer to the reality of people’s experience and take effective action to cut the number of incidents.
“Violence will always be with us — it would be ridiculous to suggest otherwise — but if you start with the experience of victims, analyse the reality of violence and focus on early intervention and prevention, it’s been proven that you really can reduce violence and the opportunities for violence.
“I am also looking particularly at violence against women and girls — the evidence shows that the victims of domestic violence often suffer a dozen attacks or more before they go to the police, and I want to work with the voluntary organisations as well as with the police to work towards earlier interventions and prevention as well is dealing effectively with the incidents that are reported.”
The public will be going to the polls on November 15 to elect police commissioners in each force area — powerful new posts that come with the ability to control police budgets, hire and fire chief constables and decide policing priorities.
The UK Government says they will make police forces more accountable to the communities they serve — but opponents have claimed they will lead to the politicisation of policing.
There are three other candidates in the South Wales Police election — independents Mike Baker and Tony Verderame, and Caroline Jones for the Conservatives.
The Dyfed-Powys race is between Christine Gwyther for Labour and Tory Christopher Salmon.