North Wales police boss steps in to protect vulnerable man from abuse

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A police boss went back to the future when he stepped in to protect a vulnerable man being abused by a couple – earning the praise of the chief constable in the process.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones, a former police inspector intervened when he saw the man being threatened in Lord Street in Wrexham.

The region’s Chief Constable, Carl Foulkes, tweeted: “Well done Arfon. Once a copper, always a copper.”

Mr Jones, who retired from his role as the force’s Eastern Division operational inspector in 2008, said he wasn’t prepared to stand by while a defenceless person was being bullied.

Although he is no longer a warranted officer, Mr Jones pointed out that all member of the public have common law powers to act in a situation like this.

Mr Jones said: “I was with my wife in Dragon Travel, Lord Street chatting to staff when I became aware of something of a ruckus outside. It was clear that a vulnerable man, who I have previously met, was being threatened and abused by a couple.

“I brought the man inside the travel agency and told the couple to, sling their hook. They refuse to go and continued shouting abuse and were trying to gain access to the travel agency.

“The police were called and I actually took photographs of the offending couple on my phone so they could be identified later.

“This was nasty anti-social behaviour and I’m afraid, retired or not, I’m not prepared to stand by and ignore bullying, discrimination or abuse in any form.

“I will always intervene if any vulnerable person is being harassed by people I can only describe as hoodlums.”

“It’s important to realise we all have common law powers to step in and intervene although I would also say it’s important to think about personal safety too.

“I just think we must defend those that are unable to defend themselves if we possibly can. This argument appeared to be about an allegation of a personal debt. However, the conduct of this couple, both the man and the woman, was very threatening and amounted in my opinion to a breach of the peace.

“Had I still been a serving officer I would have arrested them both without question. As it happens they did leave the area and the subject of their abuse was able to leave himself after he gave an account of what had happened to the police officers that arrived.

“As I understand it officers are now dealing with this incident and are fully aware of the identity of the offending couple so I will leave the matter in their hands.”

He added: “I enjoyed a fantastic career in the police service and would love to still be serving. However, time moves on and I’m delighted to be able to serve as North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner.

“North Wales is a very safe place in which to live, work or visit. Much of that is down to police officers, their supervisors and the civilian staff that deliver my Police and Crime Plan.

“It is they who serve and protect North Wales communities and businesses around the clock.”