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PCC candidate visits students to talk community payback and engagement

13 April 2016


North Wales PCC candidate Julian Sandham pledged to give people a greater say in community payback schemes if elected to ensure they do exactly “what they say on the tin”.

In a speech to Criminology and Criminal Justice students at Wrexham Glyndwr University, he highlighted the importance of effective community engagement in solving crime, gathering intelligence towards solving crime and protecting the community and making sure people feel safe in their homes and on the streets.

The former head of Criminal Justice for North Wales Police, who was North Wales Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner until stepping down last month to run for the job, said the role of the PCC and police officers was to go out and hunt down the issues that mattered most to local people – not wait for the big events to manifest themselves on the doorstep.

“I will take a personal interest in ensuring that community payback does exactly what it says on the tin,” he told the packed audience of students.

“I would seek to raise awareness by asking people, as part of my own engagement activity, what work or schemes they would like to be addressed in their communities because I do believe that there is an issue here about it not just happening but being seen to be happening.”

The former Bobby, who was appointed to Deputy PCC two years ago, said community engagement was one area he wished to enhance if elected on May 5. 

He recalled a policing operation he had overseen while a Chief Superintendent with North Wales Police in which a cannabis factory had been discovered in a residential area in Bangor.

He said the sight of the small sleeping quarters, with no natural light, discarded food containers and sleeping bags on tiled floors, had given him an uncomfortable feeling that had remained with him ever since. 

“This site was in the middle of a residential area, how come no-one had reported seeing anything suspicious to the police?” he said.

He said it was not enough that the public simply knew the name of their PCC or local bobby but that the two worked together, following the Peelian principle of the “police being the public and the public being the police”.

“I think for the Commissioner and for the police, both of whom are responsible for engaging with people, this aspect of professional curiosity is important,” he added

Mr Sandham served North Wales Police for 33 years – the last nine of which were as Chief Superintendent. Among his posts were Divisional Commander of Central Division and Head of Criminal Justice for the Force.