‘Committee has defining role in future of policing’

The Welsh Affairs Sub-Committee (WASC) will play a defining role in the future of policing across Wales, according to committee member Mark Jones.

Mark, who is general secretary of the North Wales Police Federation branch, predicted the WASC would be “pivotal” at a “really exciting but challenging time for policing in Wales” and has called for talks with key figures within the Senedd as the committee tries to “open closed doors”.

He said: “Undertaking an accelerated programme of meetings with key individuals within the Welsh Government, other public services and third sector agencies will ensure there is a clear understanding of how policing fits into all aspects of public life.

“The WASC, I believe, is going to be pivotal to help shape the way policing works, raising awareness both within Governments in Cardiff and Westminster of the challenges to policing as the political landscape differs on each side of Offa’s Dyke!

“There will inevitably be those who choose not to engage with us but with a collaborative approach we can aspire for positive outcomes for the benefit of our members.

“I will offer as much support as I can to raise awareness, campaign and be the voice of police officers, not just in North Wales, but across Wales on the issues that affect them.”

Mark has been the general secretary and treasurer of North Wales Police Federation since September 2018.

He joined the Force as a regular officer in December 2004 after serving as a Special Constable for about 18 months and became a member of the Police Federation on day one, recognising the importance of being represented after seeing union work in previous employment.

Mark was serving as a response sergeant based in Rhyl when stood to be a Police Federation workplace representative in November 2014 after the seat had been vacant for some time.

Once on the Joint Branch Board, he continued to be active and represent as many members as possible.

Historically, there were separate Branch Boards and Mark eventually became the secretary of the Sergeants’ Branch Board and part of the executive which provided excellent preparation for the role as branch secretary.

He said: “I have also taken on the role as regional secretary for Wales and represent the region at national Police Federation areas of work such as the Finance Committee, Conference Planning and Special Constables’ Working Group.”

Mark said his Police Federation position gave him a local, but also a national, understanding and perspective of the unique position of policing within Wales which was invaluable to his role within the WASC.

He is committed to running the North Wales Police Federation efficiently and effectively, engaging with key stakeholders, chief officers and the Police and Crime Commissioner on behalf of the 1,500 plus brave, dedicated and committed police officers in North Wales.

Mark received a number of community awards while working as a neighbourhood policing sergeant in Prestatyn and Rhuddlan and was presented with a Chief Constable’s Commendation for the community work he led.

He said: “This was wonderful to receive, particularly the community awards, as it was a reflection on all the hard work the team put in to make our area the safest and supported it could be.”

Among the low points were dealing with the aftermath of accidents involving fatalities.

He said: “I was a roads policing officer for a number of years. Sadly, part of that was attending multiple road traffic fatalities. I also trained to be a family liaison officer, supporting families in absolute tragic times. At times this was rewarding to be able to help a family but often it was emotionally draining and is very much an unseen and ‘hidden’ aspect of policing.”