ON Wednesday, (May 13) 2020, Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn held his first virtual public meeting via video conferencing facilities for Pembrokeshire residents as part of a digital community engagement day for the area.
The Office of Police and Crime Commissioner typically holds Community Engagement days once every month at different areas within the Dyfed-Powys area, where the Commissioner meets with various partners, organisations, commissioned services, as well as holding a public meeting for residents.
However, lockdown measures that came into force back in March has meant that all public engagement activities had to be cancelled for the foreseeable future, with staff over recent weeks working to identify new and alternative ways of engaging with the public.
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said, “The last couple of months have been difficult in so many ways to so many people. However, as an elected member of the public, I represent their voice, and as such, it is a duty of mine to ensure that I continue to engage with the communities as often as I can so that I can ensure their voice is represented – especially during these unprecedented times.
“It was great that this week we were able to finally restart some community engagement activities with a series of public meetings through video conferencing facilities – today with partners and residents from across Pembrokeshire, and also earlier in the week when I held a virtual public meeting of the Police and Accountability Board”.
“Needless to say, that many of the questions and issues raised by residents at the Public Meeting today were primarily focused on matters in relation to policing powers in terms of lockdown measures and travelling restrictions. In that sense it was also great to have Superintendent Ross Evans in attendance to explain how his staff and the Police in Pembrokeshire are reacting to the new measures at an operational level and dealing with offenders.
Superintended Ross Evans said; “I was grateful to be part of the meeting held by the Commissioner today. It was a helpful way of engaging with the public and with our community leaders. It gave me a chance to update residents and local leaders on the Pembrokeshire policing response to the huge challenges faced. The questions were all very pertinent and I was also pleased to be able to provide some reassurance with regard to the very high numbers of vehicles we have stopped and continue to stop. Furthermore I was able to explain that we are now supporting the local authority in jointly visiting suspected active holiday let premises across the county. Many of these properties have been referred to agencies by the public. The police will always act to protect life and property and to keep our community safe. Responding to community concerns is a huge part of this and we are very grateful for the continued support of the public all across Pembrokeshire”.
Earlier in the day, the Commissioner held a meeting with one of his Commissioned Services, Pobl Group which are a group of companies that offering great homes, care and support that make a difference to people’s lives, and a meeting also with PLANED.
Commissioner, Mr Llywelyn said, “Pobl Group and PLANED, work with partners and communities in Pembrokeshire in so many different ways to improve their quality of life, it was great to have the opportunity to meet with both their staff to hear of their innovative approach to supporting communities during these difficult times.”
Iwan Thomas, Chief Executive of Planed Pembrokeshire said, “We very much welcomed the focus of the Commissioner on Pembrokeshire engagements today and opening up the invitations to both the general public and key organisations. For PLANED, to be able to discuss our community projects and the links with community safety and well-being with the Commissioner and his colleagues was most beneficial. We look forward to building on future collaboration to support communities and am grateful for the commissioner taking the time to focus specifically on Pembrokeshire today”.
The Commissioner’s next community engagement day will be held in June for Ceredigion partners and residents – details of which will be made available soon.