Alun Michael responded to the death of George Floyd with a powerful statement made jointly with his Deputy, Emma Wools, who is the most senior black woman in Welsh policing.
Standing up for the basic principles of humanity and democracy – and the core values of Policing – is at the heart of the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Those core values are about the very nature of democratic policing – that the police are the community and the community are the police and that the first responsibility of the police is to prevent crime, not just be a force to respond when bad things happen.
There will always be a need for the police in particular, as well as society as a whole, to respond to crime and to tackle violence and exploitation, but it is crucial that they do so as a part of society and not as a sort of external or occupying force. When that happens their authority has been lost whereas it is crucial for the police to be “the police of the public” and not “the police of the state”.
Those principles are the ones that we apply in the area for which we have responsibility but they are principles that that must apply in every community, in every country and at all times. Racism and any impression that some lives matter less than others has to be rooted out everywhere and in making the commitment to play our part locally we stand with those internationally who call for an end to racism and who remind the world that Black Lives Matter.
We were very impressed by the powerful statement made by our own Health Minister Vaughan Gething on behalf of Welsh Government in response to the death of George Floyd and subsequent events in America as well as to the concerns here in Wales, and we strongly endorse his statement as fully reflecting the principles and aspirations that we hold in Wales.
Along with the Chief Constable and Deputy Chief Constable, they met a range of leaders from communities across South Wales, seeing the demonstrations and outpouring of reaction as an opportunity to refresh and promote race equality campaigning in South Wales and in Wales more widely.
Both Policing in Wales, which Alun Michael currently chairs, and Criminal Justice in Wales have formally responded to Welsh Government‘s development of a policy on race equality by expressing a wish to join in a “single public service“ approach to race equality in Wales.
Alun has pressed for greater recruitment of more individuals from Black and Asian communities by South Wales Police and while there have been significant developments he has continued to monitor progress and to press for greater and accelerated action on recruitment of Police Officers and PCSOs.
He strongly supported the proposal by the Leader of Cardiff Council for a TaskForce on Racial Equality and Alun’s Deputy Commissioner, Emma Wools, has been appointed as a member of that Taskforce and given lead responsibility for its approach to Criminal Justice, one of the five strands of action identified by the taskforce which is chaired by Councillor Saeed Ebrahim.
The official webpage for the South Wales Police & Crime Commissioner is here:
Find out what some of the people supporting Alun have to say here.