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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The thin blue line

One of the new features arising from the Olympics is a regular e-mail letter from the Deputy Chief Constable of South Wales Police to all Assembly Members, MPs, Police Authority Members and the Welsh Government updating us on issues that may arise in the policing of the games.

Yesterday's letter outlined how the public appreciate the intervention of South Wales Police Officers in Cardiff and in local communities around London. It is well-deserved praise for a group of committed and dedicated officers:

I would like to share with you some of the Social media comments we have received to date:-

“Jlry71 – ahappyidder @swpolice and transport police doing an excellent job in Cardiff”

Keith Phillip Jones @ Great Society64 “Good work by @swpolice in Cardiff as Olympic Games begin. One of St. Mary’s Street dancing policeman chatted to my son who was thrilled”

“theFluteEditor - @swpolice@london2012 Was in Cardiff today-police everywhere, all So friendly and nice! Good experience, great atmosphere well done Cardiff”

D Howells @mrdrh - @swpolice kudos to your officers today, really good natured (despite the heat) and very visible. Good job.”

Also, as you may be aware as part of our support and commitment to the Olympic Games we have deployed a number of our police officers to London to assist the Metropolitan Police with the policing of any public order incidents. This is a sample of the feedback that we have received from their deployment last weekend.


I have just returned from the above deployment where I was the PSU commander for the PSU that was sent to London to assist with the policing of the build up to the Olympics. The PSU comprised of one van from Western, one from Central and one from Northern.

I wish to highlight their dedication and hard work for the deployment which only sought to enhance the excellent reputation of South Wales Police that has been built during previous mutual aid deployments across the country.

Officers were mainly welcomed by the locals who seemed surprised to see officers patrolling on foot in the area, it was even commented by a person from the Brixton Housing office ‘don’t you know it is rough around here!’

On Saturday 21st July, the PSU was deployed to Tower Hamlets where there had been reports of Greenpeace targeting a local Shell petrol station, there was also concerns about protesters targeting the route that the Torch relay would be taking later in the day. Officers were again deployed on foot and engaged with members of the public, there were no incidents reported.

South Wales officers came into their own; their engagement with the crowds was excellent, they had photographs with hundreds of people along the route and generally left the crowds smiling as they left. The amount of people who said ‘the MET wouldn’t do this….’ was surprising. A Bronze Superintendent said “I see South Wales look smart, professional and engaging with people, having photos taken! Is there anyway you could bottle that up and send it up to us!”

It is a compelling testimonial and of great credit to the officers concerned, their commanding officers and the South Wales force. But what does it say about the Metropolitan Police?
The downside is that officers are taken from front-line duties in other parts of the constabulary, like Neath and Swansea, to beef up the security in the capital.
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