Tree to mark North Wales Police's 50th anniversary

April 02, 2024 - 302 views

A silver birch tree has been planted on the grounds of Police Headquarters in Colwyn Bay to commemorate North Wales Police’ 50th anniversary.

Policing has occurred in North Wales for over 160 years but North Wales Police as we now know it was officially formed on 1st April 1974.

North Wales Police was formed when the new counties of Gwynedd and Clwyd came into existence. The force served the geographical areas of both the new counties as had its predecessor, the Gwynedd Police, which had been formed on 1st October 1967 by the merger of the former Flintshire, Denbighshire and Gwynedd Constabularies, the latter having been the police force for Caernarvonshire, Anglesey and Merionethshire.

The small ceremony saw Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman unveil a plaque commemorating 50 years of North Wales Police.

Chief Constable Blakeman said: “The tree planting ceremony is one of many events being held throughout the year to celebrate our 50th anniversary.

“Activities are planned over the summer with attendance at shows and events and our popular North Wales Police Open Day will return to Colwyn Bay in September.

“We’re also working with NARPO (National Association of Retired Police Officers) to arrange a concert which will be held at the Rhyl Pavilion in October as well as our Force Awards in November.

“Whilst much has changed since 1974, our core values remain the same – protecting people from harm, catching criminals and keeping our communities safe.

“North Wales Police has changed in several ways over the last 50 years, changes which have been necessary to maintain and improve our policing services. Technology has advanced to transform how we work today and assist us in solving crimes quicker - officers can view images and retrieve information at the touch of a button, we’ve invested heavily in the latest Drone technology and our fleet have modernised with electric vehicles being introduced onto the roads.

“Of course, equality for women has come on leaps and bounds – a female Chief Constable would have been unthinkable 50 years ago. Now women are able to carry out every role in the force without restriction – from Firearms Officers to dog handlers, from Crime Scene Investigators to Custody. The opportunities these days are endless.

“Our passion and commitment to helping to keep our communities safe has remained the same over the last 50 years. One key thing we’ve always been able to rely on has been the support of the communities we serve. The contribution made by the communities of North Wales in helping us to fight crime cannot be underestimated and I would like to thank everyone for their support.

“I am proud of the modern force we have today, and I am extremely proud to lead an organisation full of dedicated and hardworking officers, staff and volunteers who are committed in delivering the best possible service to our communities.”

The 10ft tree was chosen to match the existing trees on the grounds of headquarters. They can grow up to 24 metres tall and are of great value to wildlife such as small birds that are attracted by the abundant seeds and insects that it hosts.