The Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police has been back on the beat during visits to Aberystwyth and Llanelli.
Mark Collins went out on patrol with Neighbourhood Policing Team PCSOs and officers, meeting business owners and members of the public in both towns.
His visits began in Llanelli, where he took to his old beat of Station Road with PCSO Josh Jones and Sergeant Darren Morgan. Mr Collins, who is the national portfolio load on mental health and policing, took time to meet service users at the Chooselife drug and alcohol recovery charity. He heard first-hand experiences of people who have made significant roads into their journey of recovery from drug or alcohol abuse, as well as those with mental health issues, and the support they have received.
Mr Collins said: “It was great to see the work going on at Chooselife, and to hear how clients at the project have managed to change their lives. Support is crucial for people battling drug and alcohol addictions, and can ultimately help to cut down on associated crime.
“It had been 16 years since I patrolled Station Road in Llanelli as an inspector, and I was pleased to be able to call in at a nearby beat surgery, led by PCSP Piotr Glowczyk. Engagement with the public is at the heart of neighbourhood policing, and we fully encourage people to attend beat surgeries and raise any concerns they might have.”
Being out on patrol is nothing new to Mr Collins, who started out at Dyfed-Powys Police as a Special Constable in Carmarthen in 1987, and has since served in all four counties at every rank to superintendent.
When asked what brought him out on the beat in his current role, he said: “When I was appointed Chief Constable I made the commitment to improve victim satisfaction and confidence in policing, and I think a big part of that involves me going out and seeing the places we police and the people we serve.”
On Friday, Mr Collins began his day at Aberystwyth Police Station, where he took part in the Ceredigion division and force daily management meetings, before presenting station enquiries officer Graham Jones with a certificate for 50 years of service.
He then headed to the Glanyrafon Industrial Estate, where a number of units on the estate have suffered break-ins over the past few weeks. Mr Collins offered advice to business owners on protecting their property and encouraged them to install CCTV cameras to enhance security. From there, he visited the Penparcau Community Forum with PCSO David Goffin and spoke with trustees about their work in the area. He was taken on a tour of the new community centre, where he hopes to attend an upcoming event, and spoke with some of the teenagers who use the forum.
He said: “I’m always so impressed when I meet people who are going out of their way to make a difference in their community.
“The forum is doing an amazing amount of good work, and I’m sure the new community centre will be a huge asset to Penparcau, from the young to the elderly. I’ve asked to be invited to one of their pizza nights, and I look forward to seeing the centre put to good use.”