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From special one to number one for globe-trotting homespun officer

New Gwent chief ?proud to be able to lead a Welsh police force?
Published - 12/08/2019 By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle

A newly-endorsed chief who has proved to be a ‘special one’ since the start of her policing career a quarter of a century ago says only the “right people, right training and right support” for officers can deliver a service that works for communities.

Gwent Police today confirmed temporary chief constable Pam Kelly as its new leader – an officer proud of her Welsh heritage with a “knowledge, experience and commitment” to the people of her adopted region.

Bridgend-born CC Kelly – the “outstanding” candidate in the selection process, according to police and crime commissioner Jeff Cuthbert – has seen police duties take her across the globe to help with large-scale human tragedies in Japan, Afghanistan and Libya.

The former deputy chief constable took the reins of the force at the beginning of July following the retirement of Julian Williams and her appointment has now been ratified by the Gwent police and crime panel at a meeting in County Hall, Usk.

Following the official endorsement, CC Kelly said: “Having lived all of my life in Wales, I am immensely proud to be able to lead a Welsh police force.

“Policing affects us all and I don’t underestimate the responsibility I have to make sure we are there for the people that need us the most.

“With over 24 years of service, I am very conscious of the demands on our workforce and the changing shape of policing.

“We are constantly evolving but with the right people, the right training and the right support for our officers and staff, we will deliver a service that works for our communities.

“We are not alone in our responsibilities; together we need to continue to forge strong partnerships in order to keep Gwent safe.

“Many hands make light work and we must continually look to identify where we can nurture opportunities of joint working that support our communities.

“I am confident that with the support of my officers and staff, we are very well placed to continue to deliver the service that our communities have rightly come to expect.”

The new chief, who hales from the Cefn Cribwr and Cornelli of Bridgend, began her time in policing as a volunteer in the Special Constabulary before becoming a regular officer in the Dyfed-Powys force in 1994.

Much of her 25 years of service has been within the criminal investigation department, dealing with covert policing, public protection and professional standards.

CC Kelly has a strong operational background, having performed the role of senior investigating officer for approximately 10 years, predominately investigating murder, manslaughter, rape and serious organised crime cases across Wales and beyond. 

Her “main motivation” throughout her career has been safeguarding the most vulnerable and during the 1990s she was seconded to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary where she was tasked with inspecting forces in England & Wales on their child protection procedures following the tragic death of Victoria Climbe.

This work played a key role in the improvement of standards of child protection across the UK.

She was also the first policing author for the All Wales Child Protection procedures which played a key role in implementing the multi-agency public protection arrangements in terms of managing sex and dangerous offenders across the UK.

In 2011, the new chief constable played a key role as a senior identification manager in aiding in the recovery of deceased British citizens following the Japanese tsunami, as well as plane crashes in Afghanistan and Tripoli in Libya.

CC Kelly, who trained as a firearms commander, public order commander and hostage negotiator, has worked as a superintendent in a neighbourhood commander role and a chief superintendent in a territorial policing commander role across the four counties of Dyfed Powys, before becoming the force’s assistant chief constable.

She joined Gwent Police in 2017 as the deputy chief constable from neighbouring Dyfed-Powys and moving up to temporary chief last month.

CC Kelly is educated to post-graduate level, achieving a BA honour in humanities and a post-graduate certificate in education – which she achieved qualifying as a secondary school teacher.

Pam studied at Trinity College Carmarthen and in 2012 became a Fellow of the University of Trinity St David, Carmarthen for her services to local communities.

The over-riding message to the new team: “We now need to build on what currently works and embrace a mind-set that explores new technologies and skills to take Gwent Police into the future.

“I want Gwent officers to be proud of the service that we deliver together and the younger generations from all communities in Gwent to want to be part of this service.

“And I want our communities to have the confidence that we will be there when they need us most.”

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