Plaid Cymru AM backs ex-top cop for Gwent Police commissioner job

South Wales Argus: SUPPORT: Jocelyn Davies AM SUPPORT: Jocelyn Davies AM

A PLAID CYMRU AM has come out in support of a former senior policeman who is running to become Gwent police and crime commissioner.

Jocelyn Davies has endorsed Ian Johnston, saying he knows the business of police inside out.

Plaid Cymru has been critical of the new role, and the South Wales East AM said it doesn't look like any members of her party were interested in the position.

Mr Johnston, who served in all ranks from constable to chief superintendent, is one of two former policeman to have put themselves forward as an independent candidate for the November 15 election.

He was chief superintendent at Blackwood between 2001 and 2004 as well as head of CID in Gwent between 1995 and 1999.

Mrs Davies said: "I've known him for various years in various capacities. I always found him highly professional.

"I think he would be an excellent commissioner, and I think that if these posts are filled by people from political parties there's a danger that the role will become politicised.

"I think he knows the business inside out."

Mrs Davies said Mr Johnston had a good record in representing people, having formerly been president of the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales.

"He doesn't come with any political ideology. I have got no hestiation at all in offering Ian my support," she said.

The endorsement is personal one from Mrs Davies and not the party, although Mrs Davies said she would be urging Plaid members to give Ian serious consideration.

"It will be a matter for party members whether they decide to support Ian or not," she said.

Retired policeman Chris Wright is intending to stand as an independent, while Hamish Sandison is running for Labour.

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