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‘Unstoppable momentum’ in favour of devolving policing to Wales

31 Jul 2017 3 minute read
Arfon Jones


A police boss believes the devolution of policing to Wales is inevitable, saying it’s a matter of when not if.

Arfon Jones, the newly-elected chairman of the All-Wales Policing Group, said there was now an unstoppable momentum in favour of the idea.

Mr Jones, the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, said support for devolving the issue was unanimous among the four Welsh commissioners who are members of the group.

Although not legally devolved many of the other areas of the criminal justice system, like the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts service, already operate with all-Wales structures.

Mr Jones said: “The four police and crime commissioners are keen to see more responsibilities devolved to Wales.

“We welcome the fact that the Ministry of Justice are moving towards devolving more responsibilities to commissioners around victims and witnesses. This is a step in the right direction.

“We believe policing should be completely devolved to Wales and it’s only a matter of time before it is, but we need to convince the Secretary of State Alun Cairns of that and up till now we haven’t had much success.

“He is against the idea because several people tried to move amendments to the Wales Bill to devolve such things as youth justice.

“The Government didn’t support it so it didn’t go through which is a shame because youth justice is the only part of children’s services which is not devolved to Wales.”

‘Preparing the ground’

Other areas like education, health and social care are all devolved – and then you’ve got youth justice which still comes under the Ministry of Justice in London. It’s totally illogical.

“In terms of the devolution it is now just a matter of so we’re doing is preparing the ground because when it does happen it’s likely to happen overnight.

“It might take 10 or 20 years but it’s important that we are properly prepared and that we have the right structures in place.

“It would make sense if criminal justice was totally devolved as well, the same as it is in Greater Manchester.

“Policing and criminal justice are devolved there to the mayor Andy Burnham, and if they can do it in Manchester I don’t see any reason why they can’t do it in Wales.

“To have certain elements of criminal justice outside of that sort of sphere doesn’t make sense because you need everything together as part of one integrated service.

“When you have one bit of a service devolved and not the others all it does is muddies the waters and it causes more problems and it causes more legal challenges.

“There have been a few legal challenges between the Welsh Government and Westminster and I can see more happening until policing is finally and rightly devolved to the people of Wales.

“A case in point is the confusion around the apprenticeship levy where policing is not devolved and training is, with the likely end result likely to be that Welsh Police Officers may not get the same level of training because of the impasse between the two governments.”


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Bryn Daf
6 years ago

What an insult……policing is devolved to Manchester but not to C Y M R U!

Michael Beynon
Michael Beynon
6 years ago

Let’s have a referendum and have primary law making in Wales for Wales

Dafydd ap Gwilym
6 years ago

Every thing to do with our nation to be run by our nation and not the decrepit failing imperial has been of the British!

I’m with Commissioner Jones

Capitalist and Welshnash
Capitalist and Welshnash
6 years ago

Not requiring Cymru to be part of an England-focused police infrastructure would no doubt save Cymru money as we could concentrate our officers and develop home-grown policing strategies without being at the mercy of English counties when they require additional officers, equipment and supplies (which happens often, especially in the Northwest in reference to Liverpool/Manchester).

Dafydd ap Gwilym
6 years ago

Totally agree and the only people against it are those loyal to the British, believe the British media or those that can’t be arsed to get of the sofa!

Dai Sais
Dai Sais
6 years ago

In my experience, those who can’t be arsed to get off their sofa would almost certainly back devolved policing. Going to back to the Silk Commission in 2011, their internal polling found a majority of people thought policing was devolved! Therefore, if people thought that then without outcry, I am guessing they would be ok with it now. Having read a lot around the subject, the arguement in favour has been won for years. There is literally no single logical reason that the U.K. Government makes in favour of policing in Wales being controlled by unelected Tories in London. Devolution… Read more »

Dafydd ap Gwilym
6 years ago
Reply to  Dai Sais

Can’t say I don’t agree with you, infact most of what you said is how I’d have said it! Apart from, the sofa ‘piece’, Put to them that if they thought it (mistakenly) was devolved and things were okay, perhaps could even be bettered they may accept to vote devolve to keep it as it is. However, you have to allow for the one’s who aren’t happy with the status quo and may think twice about it – better the devil you know. Either way, people are the key and they need as near to ‘one to one’ contact if… Read more »

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