1. ITV Report

Policing the night time economy a 'priority'

Police on the beat Photo: ITV Wales News

The number of offences, and injuries, due to alcohol have been falling in recent years. But, according to Professor Jonathan Shepherd, who directs Cardiff University's Violence and Society research group, now is not the time to scale back the number of late-night officers.

Every force in Wales are looking to save around a fifth of their budget meaning difficult choices ahead. However, according to Professor Shepherd: "By far the majority of violent offences and offences of disorder happen in a very small area. in the city centre at night and it's focused there between 11 o'clock at night and four in the morning so that has to be the number one priority for policing."

Next week Wales will go to the polls to elect new police commissioners. But, with the South Wales Force encompassing both Swansea and Cardiff how do candidates vying for the job intend to police the streets after dark?

By far the majority of violent offences and offences of disorder happen in a very small area. in the city centre at night and it's focused there between 11 o'clock at night and four in the morning so that has to be the number one priority for policing.

– Professor Jonathan Shepherd, of Cardiff University's Violence and Society

Labour's candidate, Alun Micheal, said a partnership approach was needed in both cities claiming: "It can't just be about the police, it needs all of us working at it and I believe we can do a great deal on that if the right things are done and if there is the proper leadership both by the chief constable and by the police and crime commissioner."

The Conservatives candidate Caroline Jones warned future services must be sustainable, claiming everyone must operate "within their means."

There are two independents in the race including one a former policeman called Michael Barker. He says if he got the job, he would look to maintain a visible presence promising that "where there is a need for police officers en masse then we should try to do that."

While fellow independent, Tony Verderame was emphasising the wider problems that can surface on weekends.

The elections take place on November 15, and the Commissioner will have the power to set police budgets, appoint the Chief Constable and set council tax levels. But, Chief Constables retain operational control of forces with Commissioners setting strategic goals. They replace the current Police Authority structure.

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