A police boss has spoken of his pride after receiving an award for the open and transparent way he and his staff operate.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones has been given a Transparency Quality Mark by CoPaCC, an organisation that monitors police governance.
The award was presented for making information accessible on his website so that members of the public can keep tabs on what he’s up to.
Mr Jones, a former police inspector who was elected last May, has been calling for more openness and transparency in public life for many years.
He said: “This award gives me particular pleasure because I have strong views about the importance of this matter.
“I think we need to move away from the fact that we just publish what we legally have to and say that we publish everything – and that not publishing information is the exception to the rule rather than the norm.
“At the end of the day, we’re all tasked with spending tax payers’ money and tax payers should be able to see what we spend the money on.
“It’s just not good enough to be hiding away behind legislation and exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act and I would encourage every public authority to follow suit with what we’ve done and try to publish as much as possible.
“I’m very proud of the staff that have done the work to pull all this together. I think we are ahead of the game as far as publishing information in an open and transparent way is concerned.
Executive Officer Meinir Mai Jones, who attended the ceremony in London, was equally pleased.
She said: “It is important that we operate as openly and transparently as possible for the people of North Wales so they are fully informed about the work the Commissioner and his team do on their behalf.
CoPaCC chief executive Bernard Rix said: “For my part, these OPCCs have all demonstrated that they are transparent in what they do, meeting relevant legal requirements.
“They present key information in an accessible format on their websites and I congratulate them all on their good work.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Paul Grady, Head of Police for Grant Thornton who hosted the awards ceremony, who added: “Transparency is an essential part of the democratic process.
“For the public to be able gauge how successful their PCC is in delivering their electoral mandate, they need access to information that is accessible, easy to understand and fit for purpose. We congratulate all those who have been successful in meeting the standards required.”
To find out more about what the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner does go to his website at www.northwales-pcc.gov.uk