Page last updated at 14:54 GMT, Monday, 2 November 2009

I'm not Brunstrom, says new chief

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Mark Polin has replaced Richard Brunstrom as chief constable of North Wales Police force

The new chief constable of North Wales Police has a message for local people: "I'm not Richard (Brunstrom)".

Mark Polin, 46, made it clear that his style will be different from that of his often controversial predecessor, Richard Brunstrom.

He was speaking at the Colwyn Bay force HQ on his first full day in the job.

Mr Polin said: "Richard, let's be quite clear, was influential in a number of respects. But I'm not Richard nor would you or anybody else expect me to be".

Mr Brunstrom, who retired earlier this year, became well known across the UK for his stance on speeding and drug legalisation during his eight years in the role.

My first and overriding priority, in keeping with the vision of the organisation is to make north Wales safer and also associated with that is to instil trust and confidence in the services we provide
Mark Polin, North Wales Police chief constable

But Mr Polin, the former deputy chief constable of Gloucestershire Police, was keen to emphasise he wanted to put his own stamp on the job.

"What I'll be seeking to do, is where I do engage in the media, is to ensure it is for the reasons that I have described in terms of raising the profile of the organisation, in terms of the successes we achieve and also the priorities that we want to pursue.

"My first and overriding priority, in keeping with the vision of the organisation is to make north Wales safer and also associated with that is to instil trust and confidence in the services we provide."

Mr Polin worked at Gwent Police for four years earlier in his career.

He started his career in the City of London police and held responsibility for security at the Central Criminal Court and other high-profile venues.

Richard Brunstrom, North Wales Police chief constable
Richard Brunstrom became North Wales Police chief constable in 2001

He joined Gwent Police in 1998 before moving to Gloucestershire Police, rising to the rank of deputy chief constable in 2007.

A father-of-two, he has been described by the chair of North Wales Police Authority, Ian Roberts, as a "very good copper" with a huge amount of experience.

So, what makes a good copper?

"I did think that was quite an odd description, albeit one I appreciated," said Mr Polin.

"I think it's about being grounded. I still go out on patrol, I go to public order training with my officers.

"It's never forgetting, actually, that the reason I joined this job was not to be a chief constable, in fact it never ever occurred to me and I'm still surprised to be sat here now.

"It was about being a community public servant and it was also about - let's be honest - chasing criminals and locking them up when they've done wrong things."

'Balanced individual'

Perhaps surprisingly for a chief constable, Mr Polin admits to being nervous on the first day - not helped by a night on a sofa bed while furniture for his new home arrives.

Asked how he would describe himself, he replies: "Good question. I'd like to describe myself as a balanced individual.

"Clearly I'm very busy but I seek to balance that off with, certainly time with my family.

"I've got a very supportive wife who's a childrens' [nursing] sister and has therefore got a very pressurised job herself. And I've got two children, 16 and 13.

"I have to say at the moment my greatest challenge is dealing with my 16-year-old, not starting in the organisation.

"I'm not sure north Wales has the resources available to it to deal effectively with my 16-year-old, but nevertheless I love them both, and my wife of course, very dearly, and I spend a lot of time with them when I can."

Hobbies include football with his 13-year-old son - they are both Manchester United fans - and white-water rafting with his daughter. He is also a keen sports fan and enjoys keeping fit mountain biking.

And dislikes?

"Untidiness. My secretary will probably wonder how I can have a pet hate like that when she sees my office.

"I like our officers and staff, and me, to look presentable.

"I hate too many e-mails sat in my inbox and I have to keep on top of it.

"An unorganised mind environment is not for me I'm afraid."



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