The woman in charge of Gwent Police announces she is stepping down

Pam Kelly became a police constable in 1994 at Dyfed-Powys Police, after initially volunteering in the special constabulary. Credit: Gwent Police

The chief constable of Gwent Police has announced she will retire this year after 30 years in policing.

Pam Kelly joined Dyfed-Powys Police as a police constable in 1994 after initially volunteering in the special constabulary, and rose to the rank of assistant chief constable.

She became the deputy chief constable for Gwent Police in 2017 before becoming chief constable in 2019.

Announcing her plans to retire, she said: "It has been a huge privilege to serve as the chief constable of Gwent Police. The bravery and commitment shown by officers and staff is truly inspirational.

“Policing has changed enormously since I joined the service but the basics of working hard to prevent and detect crime and protect communities has and always will be at the heart of policing.

“It has been a fantastic career, and I would encourage anyone who would like to join the service to do so – it is such an opportunity to make a difference.

“I have announced my retirement ahead of the police and crime commissioner elections and will work closely with the newly elected commissioner to appoint my successor before retiring later this year."

Gwent Police is one of a number of police forces across the UK which have been marred by allegations of racism and sexism.

It came after "abhorrent and vile" messages sent between retired and serving police officers were discovered on a mobile phone belonging to former Gwent police officer Ricky Jones, who died by suicide in January 2020.

Messages on the phone were shared with The Sunday Times by one of his family members.

Chief Constable Kelly described the content of the messages as "abhorrent" and "painting a picture of a toxic culture which does not represent" the force.

Reflecting on her time in policing, she said: "The last few years have been very challenging for UK policing, and for Gwent Police, and we have dealt robustly with all these challenges.

"I very much hope that our work in shaping organisational change has paved the way for our superb staff to deliver the best service possible for our communities.

"The staff, partners and community within Gwent have been outstanding to work with.

"It is a community that is strong with a real ability to work together to make change. It has been my absolute privilege to serve and be a part of policing for the last 30 years."

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