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Crime tsar Winston Roddick has been elected to the top job in policing in England and Wales.

The North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner is the first ever independent chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC).

It is the latest in a long line of historic firsts for Mr Roddick.

A native of Caernarfon, he was chosen to carry the baton for the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games on the leg out of the town on its journey to the stadium in Cardiff when he was a sixth form pupil of Sir Hugh Owen Grammar School .

After training and working as a police constable in Liverpool, Mr Roddick studied law at University College London from which he graduated as a Master of Laws.

Mr Roddick went on to carve out an illustrious career as a barrister, taking ‘silk’ as a Queen’s Counsel in 1986 and later becoming the Leader of the Wales and Chester Circuit, a Recorder of the Crown Court and the first Honorary Recorder of Caernarfon.

In 1986, as a member of the first Welsh Language Board, he was responsible for drafting of the report which led to the passing of the Welsh Language Act of that year.

He was appointed as the first Counsel General of Wales in 1998, the most senior legal adviser to the Welsh Assembly and then in 2012 he became the first ever North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner.

Mr Roddick described being made chair of the APCC as a “great honour and a great responsibility” but pledged his main concern would always be the people of North Wales.

The Commissioner said: “I also want to give the people of North Wales my absolute assurance that it will not diminish my effectiveness as the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner.

“Far from it. The policing of North Wales will always be my first and foremost priority. My job is to make sure we continue to have an effective and efficient police service in North Wales and to hold the chief constable and the force to account.

“I take my responsibilities very seriously and I will continue to keep my eye on the ball.

He added: “Being chair of the APCC is not a position I sought, but I consider it to be a vast compliment to have been asked to put myself forward.

“It’s a very challenging time for policing generally because of the severity of the financial cutbacks and vast readjustments are having to be made.

“Police forces must still endeavour to give good effective service, value for money and reduce crime.

“It is going to be more challenging than ever to maintain those high standards in the light of the cutbacks. But I am confident, reflecting on the experience here in North Wales, that those high standards will be maintained.

“Policing has changed very considerably in the last two and a half years, not only in terms of governance because of the changes made by the Act in 2011 in introducing police and crime commissioners, replacing the police authorities, but also there are new and emerging crimes like cyber crime and child sexual exploitation that we need to tackle.

“The introduction of police and crime commissioners has made a vast difference to the accountability of the police and the transparency of the police.

“The police and crime commissioners are known, they receive a lot of publicity from the newspapers and other media and importantly they are more accessible to the public.

“As the first independent chair of the APCC, my primary duty will be to represent all police and crime commissioners, each and every one so that there is someone who can speak well of the exemplary contribution they have made in improving the standards of policing in Britain.

“I will not see any political colour, I will only see commissioners. It’s very, very important. I have dealt with a number of police and crime commissioners who are representatives of political parties and I must say I have not seen their political colour.

“All I have seen is their endeavour as police and crime commissioners in seeking to improve the policing of their areas.

“This is quite exciting for me and I acknowledge how lucky I have been in that I have a very able team here in North Wales and very strong family support.”

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