North West Wales

Concerns prompt police meetings

Police uniform (generic)
Image caption Two meetings have been planned to discuss the plans

Two public meetings have been arranged to try to allay concerns about plans to restructure the police in Gwynedd.

North Wales Police and the Police Authority say the changes will not affect front line services, as the new 'hubs' are just for reporting for duty.

Concerns had been raised that the changes would take police away from busy areas such as Bangor, and the Lleyn peninsula during the summer.

The two meetings will be held at Bangor and Bethesda.

Concerns had been raised that the planned changes would take police away from busy areas.

The first meeting will be held in Bangor on 9 February and the second at Bethesda on 23 February.

Chief superintendent Mark Jones said the meetings had been arranged "following concerns from members of the public regarding the response hubs".

He added: "I am keen to dispel some of the inaccuracies that are being portrayed.

"Firstly Bangor police station is not closing and secondly the front counter service will not be closing.

"To the contrary, we are currently reviewing the hours worked by our counter staff and are seeking to extend these."

Ch Supt Jones said there had been "misunderstanding" about how the changes planned for Caernarfon.

"Emergency response officers will start duty at Caernarfon, and immediately following a face-to-face briefing with their supervisor they will be 'forward deployed' to locations within the area," he said.

"Bangor will clearly be one of these stations, where the response officers will remain operational for their entire shift. Bangor will not be losing these staff," he added.

The policeman said the model proposed is working successfully in other parts of the country.

"I am very confident that the service to the public of Bangor will improve not be diminished," he said.

He added: "I encourage local residents to attend either meeting where they will be given an opportunity to make their opinions heard and we can appraise residents of the current situation."

The chief executive of the North Wales Police Authority, Tal Michael, said the authority was keen to speak to people in north Wales.

"Obviously the changes we have been consulting on are driven by the need to save money, but we are determined to ensure that the people of north Wales receive the best service possible within the finances available.

"That means engaging with local people so we know what is working and what isn't," he added.

Last week Nigel Pickavance, from the People of Bangor community group, said the university city should have more not fewer police officers.

He questioned whether the new plans would work on the ground.

Gwynedd council also discussed the plans and a report noted there was concern about lack of cover on the Lleyn peninsula during the busy summer period.

The public meetings will be held at Penrhyn Hall, Ffordd Gwynedd in Bangor at 1900 GMT on Wednesday, 9 February and Neuadd Ogwen, Bethesda, at 1900 GMT on Wednesday, 23 February.

Anyone who is unable to attend the meetings, and would like further information, is asked to contact the district inspector for Bangor, Manon Owen on 101 or email manon.owen@nthwales.pnn.police.uk

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