30 Apr 2018

The longest serving Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police, Mr Ray White has travelled all the way from his home in Australia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the force, in a service that will take place tomorrow (Friday 27 April).

The event marks the start of a year of events planned to celebrate the special anniversary, and is an opportunity for serving and retired officers and staff to come together to share their memories and experiences.

Mr White has a long, distinguished history with the force after he was appointed Deputy Chief Constable in September 1986, and went on to take up the top position as Chief Constable in June 1989.

In 2000, he retired after 11 years at the helm of the best performing police force in England and Wales at the time.

There were many highlights during his 44 year career in the police. He served in 3 constabularies, was seconded to the Home Office, graduated from the FBI National academy in Virginia, and trained senior officers of the Indonesian Police in Jakarta in police management. In the 1996 New Year’s Honours List, he was awarded the CBE, and had been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 1991. Notably in October 1996 he became President of the Association of Chief Police Officers, one of the most powerful jobs in policing for a Chief Constable, and the only Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police to do so. During this time he campaigned to improve conditions for witnesses and to restrict lawyers’ ability to question them in an aggressive manner, pressed the Government to introduce a big expansion of DNA sampling, and promoted greater use of video interviews of witnesses and defendants in court.

A warm welcome awaits the well-respected retired Chief who was described by colleagues who worked with him as someone who “lived and breathed policing 24 hours a day” and a keen promoter of police successes. He said at the time of his retirement his legacy was a powerful team of very good people, highly committed and well-equipped with technology as advanced as anywhere else in Britain, and performing to a level as high as anywhere else.

Current Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Constable Mark Collins recalls: “I first met Mr White when I joined Dyfed-Powys Police as a Special in 1987, when he was the Deputy Chief Constable, and he later promoted me to the rank of Sergeant in Haverfordwest. He was renowned for the innovations he introduced in the force, for example the introduction of the Armed Response Vehicles which ensured support for officers when they needed it. Scenario based training was introduced for officers for the first time which helped them build strong skills, particularly when dealing with our communities. There were sweeping changes to IT which have left a long legacy for the force. And during his long and successful tenure leading Wales’s most rural and geographically largest force, all murders apart from that of Peter and Gwenda Dixon, were detected. Thanks to breakthroughs in forensic science a man has since been convicted of the Dixons murders too, which wouldn’t have been possible were it not for the foresight of the officers that dealt with it originally in respect of forensics. I am very much looking forward to reminiscing with Mr White, and everyone else attending, and am very grateful he’s made the long journey back to Wales for this milestone celebration.”

You can follow proceedings tomorrow on Twitter #HDPP50