South Wales Police commissioner names his £66,000 deputy and assistant
THE South Wales Police commissioner Alun Michael has appointed his new deputy and assistant.
The second-in-command will be former Cardiff councillor and special advisor to the Welsh Government, Sophie Howe, while the assistant commissioner will be the former deputy chief constable of South Wales Police, Dave Francis.
Both roles come with a £66,000 pay packet.
Mr Michael said: "These two appointments complete my top leadership team to help take work forward.
"Both Sophie and Dave provide a breadth of experience and knowledge which will assist both myself and Chief Constable Peter Vaughan in taking forward our priorities and to tackle the issues that matter to our communities."
The selection of deputies and assistants has been a controversial issue since the office of commissioners came in to being last November, with accusations of cronyism dogging many appointments.
Under the legislation commissioners are able pick their favoured candidates without a formal selection process.
Mr Michael advertised for the posts in Welsh newspapers last month and enlisted the help of the force's chief constable and the chief executive of Bridgend Council in picking the winners.
The new deputy commissioner said she was looking forward to the role.
Mrs Howe said: "Having been involved in developing the Welsh Government's policy and legislative proposals for the Ending Violence Against Women and Girls and Domestic Abuse Bill, I am keen to get to work with partners from across South Wales to tackle this important and largely invisible issue.
"We need to work together to overcome this problem, at the same time as tackling other issues such as online crime and child abuse and reducing overall crime."
Mr Francis, who spent 30 years in South Wales Police before becoming chairman of the Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, said that while the prospect of being part of the commissioner's team and working with the chief constable was exciting, equally important for him were "the vision and values" held by Alun Michael.
The commissioner will present his choice of deputy and assistant to members of the police and crime panel on February 15 for formal confirmation.