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North Wales Police Commissioner set to run again for the role in 2020

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, Mar 29th, 2019.

North Wales’ Police and Crime Commissioner, Arfon Jones, has been renominated to run again for the role in 2020.

The commissioner has said that he will make protecting the elderly from scammers a priority for his next term.

Mr Jones who is a retired police inspector and former Wrexham county councillor received the support from members of Plaid Cymru at the party’s conference in Bangor last weekend.

The controversial Police and Crime Commissioner has been in post since he was elected in 2016.

He has hit national headlines several times with his campaigns around the decriminalisation of cannabis including suggesting the drug could be sold in off-licences.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Service Mr Jones said he was proud of his achievements in office.

These include the introduction of body worn videos on officers which he said had helped to avoid malicious allegations against police officers.

The commissioner also set up the first modern slavery unit in Wales which tackles  the use of force to recruit or move people for the purpose of exploitation.

As well as this Mr Jones said there had been a 35% reduction in repeat domestic violence offences since he took office.

On his priorities for his next term he said he saw the role of the police as being the protector of the vulnerable.

This would include setting up a special unit to protect the elderly from financial fraud.

He said: “The issues are going to be similar and that’s protecting the vulnerable.

“I want to do more on fraud against older people, every force is the same, I don’t think we’re doing as much as we could do. I would like to see the force having an economic crimes unit to investigate fraud as well as we can.

“I also want to see more support for victims and witnesses  we can do a lot better in compliance with the victim code of practice.

“We have victim support officers who can provide advice. So if someone has been a victim of fraud they would help with contact of their bank. If you’re vulnerable you might not know what to do, so it’s having someone there to advise and represent you. I want to see more work done along these lines.”

He added: “A lot of older people lose confidence after they have been a victim of a crime involving a breach of trust like fraud.

“Criminals are more adept at getting to people, they ring them up with a story and they persuade them to hand over passwords and things like that which allows them to access their bank details.

“We need to be ahead of the curve, we are forever trying to catch up. But we can do a lot more preventative work around fraud. People who have been defrauded once are more likely to fall victim again.”

 

By Shane Brennan – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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