Policing in Wales is currently handled by four separate police forces: Dyfed-Powys Police, North Wales Police, South Wales Police, and Gwent Police.
A merger of the four small regional forces to create an All-Wales police had been proposed by the UK government in 2006, but the merger was eventually abandoned amidst worries that the plan was under-funded.
Two years after the proposal for a single Welsh constabulary was dropped, the four Welsh police forces have come together under a national policing plan for Wales intended to cut costs and improve policing across the country.
On 18th July 2008, the Dyfed-Powys, North Wales, South Wales and Gwent police forces presented a National Policing Plan that sets out how the four Welsh forces would work together to tackle crime in Wales.
Speaking on behalf of Wales' four police forces, Dyfed-Powys Chief Constable Ian Arundale said “The National Policing Plan outlines how services in Wales will be improved for the citizens across the length and breadth of Wales.”
“To be able to meet the challenges that we face we must collaborate. Working together is one of the most powerful weapons we have at our disposal against dealing with the threats and issues that we face”, said Mr Arundale.
The Chief Constable for Dyfed-Powys Police told that working together would improve policing across Wales as well as saving money to the tax payer. He said that previous cooperation among all four Welsh police forces had already saved them £6m (€7.4m).
“We recognised that we do need to work together for all sorts of reasons including finance, efficiencies, working practices and accountability”.
“It’s just good business sense”, told Mr Arundale.
The new National Policing Plan for Wales pledges to work closer on issues such as public protection, speed camera partnerships, and staff training. It also includes important infrastructure changes like a unified computer system for all four forces and joint purchases of vehicles, equipment, or computer systems.
Wales' four police forces are already working together on a number of issues such as terrorism, particularly in the WECTU (Wales Extremism and Counter-Terrorism Unit), which was set up after the 2005 bombings in London to respond to the threat of international terrorism.
The four Welsh police forces are controlled from London by the United Kindom's Home Office. Speaking on behalf of Wales' police forces, Dyfed-Powys Chief Constable Ian Arundale said it was too early to say whether policing in Wales would be better if it was controlled from the Welsh Assembly Government in Cardiff.
Read more at:
» National Policing Plan for Wales
» www.policeauthoritiesofwales.org.uk , The Welsh police authorities