Delight for cop returning to old stomping ground
IT is a return to his old stomping ground for the new officer in charge of policing in Morriston and the Eastside of Swansea.
Chief inspector Tony McAlinden joined South Wales Police 14 years ago after a career in the Armed Forces and began by walking the beat in Morriston.
After moving on to force headquarters in Bridgend he is now back at Morriston police station — this time in charge of the sector.
He said: "I was absolutely delighted when I found out I was coming back to Morriston — I know the patch very well.
"Since coming back I have been very impressed by the way the neighbourhood police teams work in their communities — that is the key to policing.
"We can only police our communities effectively with the co-operations of those communities."
He added: "There is a tremendous push across the force to put the needs of the victim first, and that is fundamental to what we do here too — if you can't get the victim bit right, then there is something wrong."
The new chief inspector highlighted tackling violent crime and anti-social behaviour as the key areas he wanted his officers to focus on in the coming months.
And he acknowledged that police forces were in "challenging times" with reductions to their budgets but he said he was proud of the way the South Wales was restructuring to cope.
Mr McAlinden joined South Wales Police in 1999, and after serving as a response officer in Swansea for eight years he became a force incident manager in HQ — where among the more unusual incidents to happen during one of his shifts was rugby player Andy Powell's spin the M4 on a golf buggy after Wales' victory over Scotland in the 2010 the Six Nations.
He then led the project to create a centralised call-handling centre for the force in Bridgend to replace smaller centres in Swansea, Pontypridd and Cardiff, before returning to the city-by-the-sea.
The previous occupant of the Morriston and Eastside hot seat — Phil Ashby — has moved to the force's northern command unit in Pontypridd.
The new chief inspector said he was looking forward to getting back to operational policing — and that he regards himself as an "adopted son of Swansea".