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 THE Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent said the government is “dicing with death” with their plans to recruit senior officers from outside the service.

Recently elected Ian Johnston said: "I’m not overstating things when I say that someone joining the service as a superintendent is actually dicing with death.”

He said it “defies logic” for the government to think that someone could join as a critical role such as superintendent without policing experience and have responsibility for investigating murders, rapes and serious incidents.

"One of the arguments which is being put forward to justify this plan is that it’s difficult to attract and retain talent to the ranks of the police. The facts tell a different story because as it stands officers who show leadership qualities can gain promotion through the ranks relatively quickly. However this should always follow the vitally important stage of walking the beat, detecting crimes, making arrests, speaking to the public and all the other things that police constables do on a day-to-day basis.

Mr Johnston added: "If the Government are really that concerned about opening up the Police service to a wider pool of talent and attracting the brightest and the best then they shouldn’t have taken the shameful step of cutting the starting salary of Police Constables by £4000.”