Dyfed Powys Police Federation chair Gareth Jones says a meeting with the Plaid Cymru MP for Ceredigion to discuss issues facing members was “interesting, informative and invaluable”.
Gareth was joined by Nicky Ryan, the Police Federation Welsh lead, for the two-and-a-half hour meeting with Westminster MP Mr Lake.
Gareth said: “Mr Lake has a real knowledge of policing in Wales and understands many of the issues that our members face.
“He grew up locally and comes from a policing family – his dad and grandad were both police officers serving the local area
“And he’s also been taken out on patrol by local police units, so he has first-hand experience of what police officers can and do face.
“It was a really interesting, informative and invaluable discussion. It was good to help inform his understanding of some of the issues and to hear his views and opinions – and he indicated he’d be happy to support policing in Wales at Westminster.”
A key area of discussion was pay and conditions.
Gareth said: “We made Mr Lake aware of just how big an issue wages are for members, and he understood that it’s only going to become even bigger as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.
“We also discussed the ongoing recruitment uplift and how young officers are expected to balance their police work with their university work – though I was happy to report that, here in Dyfed Powys, student officers are given protected learning time.”
The call by Dyfed Powys Chief Constable Dr Richard Lewis for the four police forces in Wales to be merged into one was discussed, as was the response of Jeremy Vaughan, the South Wales Police Chief Constable, who told the Welsh Affairs Committee in Westminster, chaired by Mr Lake, that policing would need to be devolved before it could happen.
“He was interested to hear the discussion,” said Gareth. “We also talked about our Time Limits campaign, to ensure that police disciplinary investigations are completed with a year.
“There are cases that have been going on for years, and that can have a detrimental effect on our members’ wellbeing and mental health – and also the cost to the public purse is huge.”
Gareth added: “It was a really positive meeting and we were delighted that we were able to get to raise many of the issues that our members are facing with one of our local MP. We’re really grateful for his time.”