The Prince of Wales has made a special visit to South Wales Police headquarters as part of celebrations to mark the force’s 50th anniversary.
On 1st June 1969, the predecessor forces of Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, Swansea, and Cardiff came together and a new force came into being.
During the visit on Tuesday, HRH led a re-dedication of a memorial garden and toured the Heritage Centre, met call handling staff at the Public Service Centre and saw some of the technology at the heart of modern-day frontline policing.
The memorial garden features a series of semi-circular memorial walls which include the names of all colleagues who have died in service since the formation of the force. Plaques inscribed with the details of each of them have been mounted on slate and placed on the curved walls.
The prince also spoke to some of the longest serving police officers from each area of the force and volunteers who have given up thousands of hours of their time to support policing in South Wales.
There was also a special moment for Swansea-based Constable Kevin Garner who is due to retire after providing police motorcycle escorts on dozens of previous royal visits to South Wales.
Speaking during the visit, Chief Constable Matt Jukes said:
“This force, which I am so very proud to lead today, has learned so much and achieved so much over the past 50 years. It is highly fitting that HRH The Prince of Wales is with us today. He has been a great friend to the service and has been protected by our teams on many, many visits to the force area. But never to this headquarters. We are truly grateful that he has chosen to spend time with us.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael thanked police officers and staff “who show extraordinary personal commitment, courage, imagination and intelligence as they work to keep our communities safe”. Addressing guests during the visit, he added: “I am humbled by the way our public is served by our police officers, our PCSOs and other police staff and by specials and other volunteers.”