Written evidence submitted by Dafydd Llywelyn, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys


  1. What a modern police service, fit for the 2020s and beyond, looks like.
  2. What balance police forces in England and Wales should strike between a focus on preventing and solving crime and carrying out their other functions.
  3. What roles police forces should prioritise.




3.1.        The first Peelian Principle of Policing set out in 1829 explained that the role of the police was to prevent crime and disorder. The challenges faced by policing today have become increasingly complex, demanding of frontline officers and staff a much broader repertoire of skills and tasks. It has been repeatedly argued that police forces are providing services beyond their sphere of responsibility, propping up other services as they too feel the strain under the weights of financial scarcity and wealth of expectation.


3.2.        This is not to diminish the value of collaboration with, and support for, other public services - quite the opposite. We must collectively do more to serve our public. This is what they expect of us. Under the current financial turmoil, we are all personally having to re-think how we cut our cloth. Friends teaming up to share childcare over school holidays, communities rallying together to support foodbanks or investing in means to keep warm to avoid using our electricity and gas. Public services need to be able to do the same. With greater freedom to pool resources, work across boundaries and set the direction which best suit the needs of our communities, we are more likely to meet the needs of the future.




3.3.        As Commissioner I am committed to supporting investment in analytical capability, decarbonisation projects, IT developments and innovative modernisation programmes. Dyfed-Powys Police has begun to improve its analytical capability in order to better inform operational prioritisation and ultimately improve the service provided to the public. I have welcomed this investment as it has already started to provide me with greater visibility of the Force’s performance and enabled more informed discussions through my public accountability meetings. This investment is already demonstrating that the Force is better able to understand where their activity is having the greatest impact on the public, enabling them to flex their limited resources to work smarter, rather than harder. This is of utmost importance within the current funding climate, as public services are being forced to strip their delivery to the bare essentials under the ever-increasing weight of public expectation.


3.4.        Details of how I have invested in decarbonisation projects such as electric vehicles and energy efficient estates can be found in the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ making a difference report. I am also keen, as custodian of the police estate, to explore ways of using surplus land and buildings for community assets to support stronger, more resilient communities, rather than selling to fund operational developments. I personally feel all public services should be encouraged to do this, however I recognise that current budgetary constraints does not enable it.


3.5.        Despite the narrative, police funding has actually decreased in real terms. It therefore follows that in order to enable investment in analytics, the frontline will inevitably be impacted. Not all frontline personnel are officers, a fact Op Uplift fails to take into account.


  1. What can be done to improve community policing and increase trust in police officers and forces, including on funding and on disciplinary powers when police officer behaviour falls below required standards.


Local priorities and accountability


4.1.        The Peelian Principles of Policing emphasises that “the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the… compulsion for achieving police objectives”.

Furthermore, section 27 of the Policing Protocol Order 2011 states:


“The establishment of PCCs [Police and Crime Commissioners] has allowed for the Home Office to withdraw from day-to-day policing matters, giving the police greater freedom to fight crime as they see fit, and allowing local communities to hold the police to account.”


4.2.        This reinforces my view that decisions affecting the public should be made as close to the public as possible. Local transparency and accountability are of paramount importance in supporting informed discussions with our communities about the policing they want, need and can expect. The statements from the UK Government about policing needing to go “back to basics” and visiting every victim of certain crime types does nothing to support the service in managing those expectations.


4.3.        Earlier this year, I detailed in my response to the Policing Protocol Order consultation  that the Home Secretary has the ability to advise local strategic priorities, not determine them.


4.4.        In preparing my Police and Crime Plan for 2021-25, I undertook a detailed public consultation exercise aimed at supporting considered choices when selecting their priorities. I found that the public were more supportive and sympathetic towards the challenges faced by the service when presented with information on force performance, resourcing and demand. I am therefore fully supportive of increased local transparency and accountability, provided it is based on local priorities which have been carefully co-designed with our residents. Encouraging transparency and accountability of local performance against national arbitrary targets does not support local trust and confidence, but confuses and undermines it.


Competitive recruitment


4.5.        Investment needs to be in skills as well as infrastructure – buying the technological packages and upgrades is part of the solution, however the greatest contribution comes from our greatest assets – our people. We need to be able to attract the very brightest talent into policing to support us in the modernisation journey. Historically in policing, change projects are led by senior ranking police officers because a) they can be redeployed in a way that police staff cannot without consultation and contractual processes, b) they know the ‘business’ of policing and c) are of a sufficient seniority that they are able to make decisions to progress the project. The Policing Educations Qualifications Framework has been introduced to ‘professionalise policing’, with mixed results. We need to consider how extend this sentiment to police staff roles to make the public sector more attractive, with better opportunity for progression and better recognition, if we are to attract new talent in such a competitive job market.


  1. What steps can be taken to improve national conviction rates, including via relationships with other bodies such as the Crown Prosecution Service.


Focus on the “right” outcome


6.1.        I do not disagree that there needs to be a significant improvement in the volume of crimes which result in a positive outcome. However, it must be acknowledged that a conviction at court is not always the most appropriate outcome. There needs to be clear messaging to the general public that not all perpetrators will, or should, be imprisoned. Some perpetrators may be better served with an out of court disposal, with conditions to engage in interventions aimed at addressing criminogenic needs to divert and prevent future offending.


6.2.        If a perpetrator has been exploited or coerced into criminal activity, they may well also be a victim themselves. Therefore, convictions should be pursued for those exploiting them. It is our duty as a system as a whole to safeguard vulnerable individuals such as young people, sex workers or migrant workers, not score points on the national league tables for the number we convict.


Greater levers


6.3.        Wales’s public services are united in pooling efforts to improve outcomes for the residents of Wales, including and not limited to through:


6.4.        Despite remaining a reserved matter, policing in Wales contributes to this aim by close working with Public Service Boards, Community Safety Partnerships and close work with Welsh Government. This can, on occasion, result in conflicting priorities or a divergence in approaches, which in turn can have a negative impact on public confidence. I highlighted an example of this impact within my written evidence to the Committee’s inquiry on the Home Office preparedness for Covid-19 in 2020. Within my submission, I explained the difficulty the police experienced in upholding Welsh Covid-19 laws which were often more stringent than those set by Westminster.


6.5.        I am wholeheartedly supportive of progress towards the devolution of justice to Wales, as set out within the Thomas Commission report of 2019. Within my responses to parts one and two of the Police and Crime Commissioner review in 2020 and 2021, I iterated the need for PCCs to have greater influence and levers at their disposal in order to drive improvements across the criminal justice system as a whole. I stand by this statement – working in partnership allows for system-wide change. However, not all agencies have the capacity or capability to do so. Our system must change if we expect our results to.


August 2023