The last few days have once again seen policing thrown into the national media spotlight, and once again for all the wrong reasons.
The crimes of David Carrick were despicable and appalling, made worse by the position of trust he held whilst perpetrating these awful acts.
My thoughts are with the brave victims who exhibited the utmost strength in both reporting these offences as well as subjecting themselves to the prospect of a high-profile trial.
At the same time, it is important to remember that it was the skill and professionalism of colleagues in Hertfordshire who ensured that Carrick was brought to justice.
The devastating effect of Carrick’s offences extend far beyond the Metropolitan Police Service and have put the public spotlight once again on policing as a whole across the UK .
There is much to be proud of in North Wales. We have dedicated skilled officers and staff, who on a daily basis go above and beyond to keep our communities safe, and I believe the overwhelming majority of them are honest, hardworking and completely trustworthy. I know they carry out their duties with the utmost professionalism and dedicate themselves to serving our communities.
We have worked hard to create an environment where people know the standards of behaviour and conduct expected of them both on and off duty and we have confidential systems in place for people to report any concerns.
However, as a force we are not immune to misconduct. There have been court cases and internal misconduct hearings involving employees from my force already this year, as we ensure that we rid ourselves of any misogynistic and predatory behaviour that exists in police culture.
We remain committed to ensuring that our systems are effective in removing officers who are simply not fit to wear the uniform. Investment is planned to strengthen the Force’s vetting unit. This is in addition to a further two police officers for our Professional Standards Department, to support our drive for the highest organisational standards.
The Home Secretary has also launched an internal review into police dismissals to make sure the system is effective at removing officers who betray our standards expected of policing.
I firmly believe that these reviews will restore the confidence of our communities who will know that that the most rigorous care has been taken to ensure that they can once again place their trust in anyone who wears the uniform.