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Dyfed Powys chief to retire next year

Mark Collins returned to his home force as chief having served in the Met and Bedfordshire
Published - 14/12/2020 By - Gary Mason

Mark Collins, the chief constable of Dyfed Powys Police has announced his retirement with a view to leaving his post in the Spring of next year.

CC Collins was appointed to lead the force in 2016 having first served as a Special there early in his policing career in 1987 before becoming a regular officer with the Met and returning to Dyfed Powys where he worked in uniform and CID up to the rank of superintendent.  He also served in Bedfordshire where he reached the rank of deputy chief constable.  

Other 35-year career highlights include being the first officer to lead a Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit (WECTU) in 2006 and working as a Met borough commander in 2012.

He says that rejoining Dyfed Powys as chief presented a number of “challenges” as he felt at the time that the force had lost focus and direction which he needed to address early in his tenure.   

He said today on announcing his retirement: “Having gone from a force that others aspired to be, to one which appeared to have lost some direction and focus, there have been tough calls to be made on resourcing, structure and our broader model for policing the safest, yet most rural communities in England and Wales.

 “Disestablishing chief officer posts at the centre in order to enable improved management structures across the four counties was a priority for me, as was a realigning our divisions to be coterminous with our local authority areas again.“

Ensuring that the UK’s geographically largest and most rural force area had a policing function which understood and was able to respond to the policing challenge unique to farming and isolated communities was also one of Mr Collins’ priorities. In 2018 he introduced the rural policing teams across the force area – a move that has been welcomed by farming unions and wider communities. These teams remain a priority and have been enhanced with further resources since their inception.

Under Mr Collins’ watch, Dyfed-Powys Police has led the way in the development of digital crime investigation and scientific support, with an investment in staff into these departments in recent years. These specialist units have both been hailed as leading in their fields, and central to the success of a number of significant investigations.

Chief Constable Collins, awarded with the Queen’s Policing Medal in the New Year’s Honours List 2020, has also held the national portfolio on policing and mental health, and in more recent years has also led UK policing in understanding and tackling group based child sexual exploitation.

In ensuring the dignity of those in mental health crisis, Mr Collins has been determined that those who are at the most vulnerable period in their lives receive the support most appropriate to their needs – acknowledging that policing isn’t and shouldn’t be that service.

Invited by Sir Simon Wesley to join the review of the Mental Health Act, which has provided some fundamental recommendations that will change the way the police service operates, he has worked tirelessly with health partners across Wales, England and service users, to ensure those changes are made and are felt.

Chief Constable Collins also acknowledges the strength of the public, partnership and third sector relationships across the force area and in the year of a global pandemic, thanks all those who he and the force have worked with in delivering the response to Covid-19.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “Mark’s leadership has been instrumental to the improvements made within Dyfed Powys Police over recent years. He has worked assiduously to improve performance and his commitment has been of tremendous benefit to the workforce and the community we serve. Mark has been a successful appointment as Chief Constable and he has been a pleasure to work with. Mark leaves a legacy which I am confident will see

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