PCC candidate and former policeman Julian Sandham returned to his original beat to meet local people and listen to their crime concerns.
The independent candidate, who was North Wales Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner until stepping down earlier this month to run for the top job, attended the Clwb Hirael in Bangor at the invitation of Councillor Jean Forsyth to talk to residents about his plans to increase feelings of safety – as well as reduce crime – if elected.
During the visit, Mr Sandham gave a short speech about his early police career on the beat in Bangor in 1978 and how the challenges of modern policing have changed.
As the former head of Criminal Justice for North Wales Police, he said he understood that many residents, especially the elderly and the vulnerable, feared going out and how vital it was to have a visible police presence in the “right place and the right time” to reassure people and help them lead fear-free lives.
Following the talk, Mr Sandham mingled with residents and listened to their views on crime and policing in the area.
Speaking after the event, Mr Sandham said: “It was great to go back to where it all started for me as a police officer and meet local people who appreciate the difficult job our police officers do to make them feel safe and secure.
“Among the concerns raised was antisocial behaviour, particularly on the High Street area, and drug taking and supply although there was recognition a number of dealers have been successfully brought to justice. A modern police force must take a robust enforcement approach to drugs and I’m committed to doing everything possible to disrupt this illegal activity on our streets.
“Fear of crime can be debilitating and restrict people’s freedom and enjoyment of life. We should never underestimate the power of visible policing patrols in making people feel safe. In North Wales we’ve done everything possible to maintain a robust and capable frontline force throughout the austerity measures. Neighbourhood policing is the lifeblood of safer communities and I am committed to enhancing the reassurance and protection it provides if elected.”
Mr Sandham served North Wales Police for 33 years – the last nine of which were as Chief Superintendent. Among his high-profile posts were Divisional Commander of Central Division and Head of Criminal Justice for the Force.
Following completion of his police service, the former Ysgol John Bright school pupil was appointed project manager for Conwy County Borough Council’s regional CCTV collaboration and later lectured in police studies at the Midlands Academy of Business and Technology before being appointed Deputy PCC two years ago.