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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 January, 2004, 07:05 GMT
North gets more 'village bobbies'
Police
The officers are a reaction to calls for more bobbies on the beat
Towns and villages around north Wales are to find out if they will be given new community police officers to help fight crime.

The new wave of community beat managers has been funded by a rise in council tax.

Holyhead, Colwyn Bay, Prestatyn and Llandudno are believed to be among the places which will be given the extra officers, who aim to provide a regular familiar face on the streets.

Meanwhile, North Wales Police is also launching a campaign to recruit more Welsh speakers to redress a shortage of bilingual officers.

The decision to bring in the latest batch of community beat officers, who have proved popular in many areas, is in direct response to public demands for more bobbies on the beat.

New officers in western area
Holyhead
Llangefni
Aberffraw and Bodffordd
Bangor city centre
Maesgeirchen, Bangor
Caernarfon town centre
Bontnewydd and Waunfawr
Barmouth
Bala

When increases in the police section of the council tax were announced last year, Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom said the extra money would be used to fund 50 community officers.

North Wales Police say these officers allow them to go to the heart of communities and listen to the issues affecting local people.

The force's western division announced on Thursday that it would have nine new community beat managers, bringing the total in its area to 44.

There will also be five new school liaison officers in the western area by the beginning of May.

Richard Brunstrom
Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom wants more Welsh speaking officers
Mr Brunstrom has also opened the force's Welsh language recruitment initiative, chaired by Rhodri Williams, of the Welsh Language Board.

Around 25% of North Wales Police's officers speak Welsh, and the one-day awareness campaign is designed to help raise this figure.

Mr Brunstrom said he is forced to recruit from England because Welsh-speaking communities are losing their young people due to a lack of jobs.

Last year Mr Brunstrom achieved a grade A pass in his Welsh language A-level exam, while his assistant chief constable Clive Wolfendale got a B grade.

The language event is being held in Llandudno's Aberconwy conference centre.

Each of the force's three divisions will then launch their own language initiatives.




SEE ALSO:
Tax hike funds extra police
06 Mar 03  |  Wales
Bobbies force council tax rise
05 Mar 03  |  Wales



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