THE College of Policing has published its first Welsh Language Scheme which sets out its commitment to the language and supporting police forces in Wales.

The scheme outlines how the professional body for policing in England and Wales will deliver some of its services to the public, as well as support Welsh-speaking officers and staff.

Fiona Eldridge, head of Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement at the college, said: “I’m really pleased to be able to support policing in Wales in this way. Welsh is a growing language and being able to support Welsh speakers both in forces and within the communities they serve is a big step forward for the college.”

The scheme has been developed in collaboration with North Wales Police.

Inspector Gethin Jones, a Welsh speaker who led the development of the scheme while seconded to the college, said: “While there is no formal obligation for the College to have a scheme, it is great that they are supporting the Welsh language in this way.

“Working with the college has made me see just how much they support policing in critical areas and I’m pleased that people from Welsh-speaking communities will now have greater access to that support too.”

The scheme has been endorsed by the Welsh Language Commissioner and the Welsh Language Standards imposed on the Welsh Police forces have played a critical part in its development.

Deputy Chief Constable Richard Debicki of North Wales Police said: “It’s great to see the scheme come to fruition and I am pleased we were able to collaborate with the college on this important piece of work.

"I know that North Wales Police and policing colleagues across Wales will welcome the additional support this will bring to local communities and our Welsh-speaking colleagues.”

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin said: “I am proud that North Wales Police has played a key role in helping the college of Policing to develop its new Welsh language policy and in particular I would like to thank Inspector Gethin Jones for his hard work and commitment.

“North Wales Police has been rightly acclaimed for pioneering the use of the Welsh language in policing and this is another vitally important step in providing practical support to Welsh speakers living and working in our communities.”

Work to implement the scheme is already underway, including translation of key documentation and support materials.