VACANCY: Deputy Chief Constable for North Wales Police

North Wales Police are recruiting a Deputy Chief Constable to support the Chief Constable to lead the Force.

The successful candidate will assist in creating a vision, direction and culture for the Force that builds public and organisational confidence and trust and enables the delivery of an effective policing service.

The Deputy Chief Constable holds direct operational accountability for the policing response to crime and major and critical incidents and its effective command and leadership.

The Deputy Chief Constable is responsible for the implementation and delivery of the Force’s Delivery Plan and the day to day running of the Force in line with the agreed direction and vision, to provide a professional, effective and efficient policing service.

The Deputy Chief Constable contributes to the development of regional and national policing within a specific area of expertise and may be accountable for national operations or standard setting.

North Wales Police is committed to being a bilingual organisation. You will therefore be expected to demonstrate a positive approach towards the Welsh Language. In accordance with the North Wales Police Welsh Language Skills Policy prior to an offer of appointment being made, if you do not already speak Welsh you will be required to achieve Level 2 in spoken Welsh. In essence this means that you can understand and pronounce Welsh place names and peoples’ names as well as an ability to understand and use simple everyday spoken Welsh phrases. You will also be required to demonstrate Level 3 spoken skills within 12 months of commencing in the role, for which you will be fully supported.

As a Disability Confident employer, North Wales Police welcomes applications from disabled candidates and all other minority groups. More information is available on the Force website.

To apply, visit the recruitment page and download the information pack and application form (available in English and Cymraeg).

Closing date for applications is 7th January 2019.

Posted in News | Comments Off on VACANCY: Deputy Chief Constable for North Wales Police

Guest Blog: “I am just a normal person with an amazing life”

By Lee Powell
Customer Contact Centre Agent, West Yorkshire Police

“Does it bother me being small? No, I love being small. I don’t think that I am small, I am just a normal person with an amazing life.”

My name is Lee Powell. I am 29 years old and I live with a condition called achondroplasia, which is a type of dwarfism. You may be wondering why I have decided to share my story – well this is because I would like to raise more awareness about my condition and my daily living with the many challenges I face. Most people that I meet ask, “Lee, is your condition genetic related?” and the answer is No. All of my family are average height – my son who is now two is of average height and half the size I am already! My daughter who is due in July is currently measuring as average height, however we are unable to confirm this for certain until she is born.

I was diagnosed with dwarfism at birth, and my parents were more than happy with this – back in 1989 the condition couldn’t be diagnosed from scans during my mum’s pregnancy. Whilst I was living at home, my parents looked for support groups to give them advice and tips, and eventually they found a charity called Restricted Growth Association (RGA) UK. It was when I was 12 years old that I noticed my legs was starting to bow, and I had to go to hospital to get this checked out. I spoke to a doctor who advised that I needed an operation on my legs to rectify this, otherwise I would end up in a wheelchair quite rapidly, and ultimately the decision was mine if I wanted to have the operation. I instantly said no, but two months down the line I thought “I can get time off school, so I will have it done”. I then arranged with the doctor to go ahead with the operation.

The operation date came and I thought to myself “Have I made the right decision?”, and I thought “Yes, with the added bonus of having additional time off school!” I had my operation, and the next day the staff at the hospital advised me not to get out of bed until the Monday; however I stated to them that I wanted to go home, so I got up and did what I needed to do and was discharged on the Thursday. The following Monday morning my dad was like, “You ready for school?”, I was like “Er… I suppose!”, so I went off to school. The recovery process then started, and it was a very challenging time as I need to re-learn how to walk and mobilise, which I eventually did.

After I had recovered fully from my operation, I got involved with the Dwarf Sports Association, an organisation for people with my condition and other types of dwarfism. I initially entered a couple of events for a laugh, and ended up winning a couple of gold medals! I was then asked in 2011 to go to Canada to represent the UK. I thought, “Wow, yes I will go”, and I won one silver medal in swimming and one gold medal in football. I have continued to partake in sports when I can.

With my condition, every day can be a challenge with regards to the pain and the ability of what I can do. For example, some days I can walk and other days I am bed-bound due to the amount of pain I am in. In 2016 I started to suffer with pains in my back which were getting very strong – I ended up becoming paralysed, and my wife requested me to go to hospital to undergo spinal surgery. The spinal operation was carried out at Sheffield hospital and released a couple of trapped nerves in my back. After the operation I was advised by the hospital to stay in for at least a week, however the next day I was discharged as I had done everything that was required of me to meet the criteria to be released. I had to learn how to walk again and mobilise, which was a challenge – however I never gave up, and I managed to get back on my feet shortly after. Currently I am using a walking frame and a wheelchair, depending on the severity of my condition – however there are still times where I struggle to get out of bed.

In 2015 I met my wife Danielle – we eventually got married on TV and had one child. With a second child on the way, to this day I haven’t regretted any part of my life. I must admit though that without Danielle I wouldn’t have been able to walk again.

In 2017 I applied to join West Yorkshire Police as a call handler, and I thought to myself “I have no chance of getting into the police service with my condition”. Once I submitted my application, a couple of weeks later I got an email asking me to come for an assessment and interview. When I was in the interview and the assessment I was made to feel like “Lee” and not a disabled person. Everyone treated me like a person and not someone who has a disability – they asked me if I needed anything changing if I was successful. I advised them that I would need certain reasonable adjustments, and when I started these were put in place without any hesitation or questions. So I then started my journey with West Yorkshire Police.

My wife asked me recently, “Lee how are you finding the police, are you fully enjoying it?” I replied, “Yes I love every minute of it, I am now part of the blue team and should have come to the police years ago.” I am always eager to go to work and I feel like I am part of an amazing team.

I also get asked the question, “How do I deal with my daily life?” I just reply that you only live once, so make the most of it. If you have a dream, the only person stopping you achieving the dream is yourself – everything is possible.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about my condition, please feel free to get in touch via Twitter at @djweeman89

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Guest Blog: “I am just a normal person with an amazing life”

High Court ruling on disability retirements and injury pensions

The High Court has ruled that police officers retired due to disability should not have to be reassessed by a doctor in order to qualify for an injury pension. This follows a challenge by former Cheshire Constabulary officer Mark Evans, who retired in receipt of a disability pension but was later refused an additional injury pension, following a medical assessment arranged by his ex-employer.

The ruling established the principle that officers retired through permanent disablement should not be subject to later medical challenges in respect of their entitlement to a pension.

Futher reading:

Police Oracle article (registration required)
Injury On Duty Pensioners Association article
Analysis by David Lock QC (LinkedIn)
High Court decision (British & Irish Legal Information Institute)

Posted in News | Comments Off on High Court ruling on disability retirements and injury pensions