Thu 5th Oct
Crime, policing and technology / Trosedd, plismona a thechnoleg
Peter Vaughan (Chief Constable, South Wales Police / Prif Gwnstabl, Heddlu De Cymru)
President’s Invitation Lecture
Peter Vaughan, QPM, Chief Constable South Wales
Crime Policing and Technology
There was an encouraging and informed audience of just under 100 to listen to Peter Vaughan’s Lecture. He started out by stating the objectives of the police force when it was formed in 1829- TO PREVENT CRIME AND DISORDER which still remains its purpose.
There has been and will continue to be significant changes in the type of crime that the police have to contend with and in the use of advanced technology to overcome criminal activity
He produced a range of statistics and it was enlightening when he pointed out that the South Wales Police dealt with 1,053,095 calls, 33,924 incidents, and 33,745 arrests and attended over 400 events. The South Wales Police consisted of 2,891 officers and 2,192 other staff making a total of 5,083. The total staff numbers for the whole of Wales are 10,754. These figures illustrated that South Wales Police Area dealt with half of the crime committed in Wales.
Today the force has to deal with a diverse population many of whom live in deprived areas. Focus is now on drugs, cyber-attacks, fraud, a 700% increase in harassment, Facebook abuse, children’s issues in a more complex situation; victims of sextortion where victims are befriended by people using fake identities and persuading victims to perform sexual acts with a particular concern for those in the 17 to 25 age group.
It was very encouraging to hear from Peter Vaughan the very positive and successful pastoral links between schools and police, the high proportion of police officers' time spent on vital social assistance of the vulnerable at home and on the streets and their compassionate interest in the inherent good and potential of young people which shone through in Peter Vaughan's talk. He emphasised the need not to label and write off children and young people early in life.
Police officers since 1969, as a result of new technology, are kitted with resources for recording incidents and exchanges with suspects so that the “traditional” policeman’s note book is now redundant. Like so many public services the police force is struggling with financial cutbacks and whilst every effort is being made to increase efficiency the concern is that it is becoming more difficult to provide the level of cover that society requires.
Peter Vaughan’s lecture gave great insight into how the police force is endeavouring to manage the range and trend in types of crime that the world is facing and how the force is tackling these new challenges.
There was a great deal of discussion and many questions from members of the audience and if time had permitted many more would have been raised. This was an indication of the importance and interest in Peter Vaughan’s lecture which was delivered in an engaging and relaxed manner.