John Dwyer - Police Commissioner
John Dwyer, Cheshire police and Crime Commissioner was our guest speaker on Thursday 10th April.
Mr Dwyer outlined his career in the police force prior to retirement and subsequent election in 2012 to the newly created post of Police Commissioner.
His career started in 1971 when he undertook Home Office training including boxing blankets and drills, which seemed at the time not relevant. It was only when he attended a mass disorder by dockers did he appreciate the importance of Police marching as a disciplined body of men in dispersing such disorder.
He subsequently spent some time in the C.I.D. and recalled an occasion when an old lady had been taken advantage of by a fake gasman. On going to investigate Mr. Dwyer presented his C.I.D. identification card. The old lady studied it carefully and declared " Yes, that is definitely one of them"!
He experienced the difficult policing in the miners strike in the Nottinghamshire area and became Chief Inspector of uniformed operations in Birmingham.
In 1994 he became Assistant Chief Constable of Cheshire during the period of the Manchester bomb and the false alarm of a lorry bomb at Sandbach Service Station on the M6
In 2001 he retired and set up his own security business. When the government decided to create the new post of Police Commissioner instead of the Police Authorities, he decided to seek election as the Conservative candidate.He was elected albeit on a low turnout into the post he now holds.
Mr. Dwyer stressed that he saw his role as serving all the people of Cheshire not purely as a Tory.
Whilst being harassed by the media, his biggest challenge has been to improve policing in Cheshire under significant budget cuts, working closely with the Chief Constable, who is retiring in the near future. The new Chief Constable will be Simon Byrne who will take up his new position on 4th May 2014.
Mr. Dwyer claims that despite these constraints, crime has reduced to below 1990 levels and detections have gone up albeit from a low level of 8%.
Mr. Dwyer stressed his focus on local policing and 150 special Constables have been recruited with the target of having one per parish.
The vote of thanks was given to Mr Dwyer by John Williamson.
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