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South Wales Police commissioner candidate plans to target violence

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 02, 2012

Alun Michael

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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.

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“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.

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  • Stork  |  November 03 2012, 1:08PM

    The most sincere politician I have ever seen, was Ian McCloud. He was a politician in the early 1970's who went on tv and said, "we will do this, and we will do that,...... this I promise you". It was his tv performance that won the general election. He was Prime Minister material, but died suddenly a few years later. I would like to see the Police Commissioner make some promises to the electorate. Whoever does, I'll vote for them, and I'll expect them to keep their promises. The trouble is, are there any candidates of that stature standing in this election ?

  • weslangdon  |  November 03 2012, 11:23AM

    Lez T; I agree with every word you write but he is still the least risk of all the candidates

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  • dick-e  |  November 03 2012, 10:53AM

    I vote for head on pole outside The Senedd

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  • Lezz_T  |  November 03 2012, 10:46AM

    Another self serving, careerist politician with a history of milking the system to the max hoping for yet another cushy well paid job with big expenses. Alun Michael is the last person I'd vote for.

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  • Julesbreadbox  |  November 03 2012, 8:43AM

    For the 65-80000GBP a new commissioner will earn for a pencil-pushing job, you could put 2 more officers on the street which might really help to bring down crime or anti-social behaviour. To me this is a non-job. In times when spending cuts are on the menu, why "create" positions for otherwise completely useless (ex) politicians?

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  • weslangdon  |  November 02 2012, 6:33PM

    The Police have always been politiscised but became pointedly so in the Thatcher era.

  • rees91  |  November 02 2012, 6:13PM

    @Weslangdon How can you call him a failed politician who is party lined whipped and will politicise the police force but still vote for him over an ex policeman! Alun Michael (who has never served in the police force) has a massive history of controversy behind his name including fraud and breaking his own parties election rules. Policy wise he is doing the typical 'lets drive the raw stats of crime down' without looking at the true causes of crime like joblessness, social issues, family breakdowns etc. While I understand it is important to lower crime figures, without addressing other issues apart from raw crime stats he's not going to truly lower crime.

    |   6
  • gorseboy  |  November 02 2012, 5:11PM

    Job needs a person not involved in politics,as Mr Michael will have to toe the party line.

    |   6
  • weslangdon  |  November 02 2012, 2:30PM

    All political careers end in failure. His is no worse than anyone elses and him being Labour you know the Labour movement as a whole will watch what he does so that in itself is a safeguard against maverick behaviour. He gets my vote, he's a safer option than both the ex cop and the Tory.

    |   -10
  • GorsseinonJoe  |  November 02 2012, 12:05PM

    Here speaks a man whose record in government was appalling, was parachuted into a job for political reasons and who was a party to "tough on crime and the causes of crime", regurgitating failed policies to secure his place at the trough.

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