Wales' four police forces should be replaced by one, says Welsh party leader

Should Wales be served by one police force? <i>(Image: Western Telegraph)</i>
Should Wales be served by one police force? (Image: Western Telegraph)

Calls have been made for Wales’s four existing police forces to be merged into one.

The daring motion has been put forward by Welsh Government party leader Adam Price who believes a ‘one Wales’ approach will foster an improved policing culture across the nation.

The proposal has been put forward following allegations of racism, misogyny and homophobia within some of the Welsh forces.

“The allegations which have been levelled at some officers, particularly within the Gwent Police force, are deeply concerning,” he said.

“Police officers should always be beyond reproach, and allegations such as these undermine the hard work of emergency services who work day and night to keep our communities safe."

Adam Price, who is Plaid Cymru Leader in the Senedd, belies that replacing the existing four police forces with a one Wales force could lead to a positive change in outcomes for victims, as well as fostering a new policing culture based on respect and inclusivity.

He claims that a similar restructure in Scotland, where all police forces were merged into one in 2013, has led to positive change after its initial challenges.

“Wales can certainly learn lessons from the success of Police Scotland’s merger in 2013 in order to ensure that resources are distributed fairly and wisely between the regions, and that relations with forces in England remain strong to tackle cross-border crime.

“A single force would allow a more efficient service in terms of HR, ICT, procurement and all the other infrastructure which enables the police officers to do their jobs from day to day.

“Radical reform would present an opportunity to restore the trust which has been eroded due to shameful incidents such as the recent case of Gwent Police. It could lead to a positive change in outcomes for victims and foster a new policing culture based on respect and inclusivity.”

The Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales chaired by Sir Michael Barber has already recommended merging the back-office functions of all forces.

“As a result now is the time to take bold steps and ensure that the police are in the strongest possible position to keep our communities safe,” he added.

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