South Wales Police

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South Wales Police
Heddlu De Cymru
Logo of the South Wales Police.
Agency overview
Formed 1969
Annual budget £249M


Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Police area of Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea and Vale of Glamorgan unitary authority areas, UK
South Wales police area map.svg
South Wales Police operations area
Size 2,074 km²
Population 1,227,200[citation needed]
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Bridgend
Police Constables 2,862 (of which 99 are Special Constables)


Police Community Support Officers 300
Police and Crime Commissioner responsible Alun Michael,[2] (L)
Agency executive Peter Vaughan, Chief Constable
Divisions 4

°Eastern °Western °Central °Northern

Stations 43
Total vehicles 773
Boats ---
Helicopters 1
police dogs ---
* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

South Wales Police (Welsh: Heddlu De Cymru) is one of the four territorial police forces in Wales. Its headquarters is based in Bridgend.

Covering Wales' capital city, Cardiff, as well as Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Swansea, and the western South Wales Valleys, it is the largest police force in Wales in terms of population, and the seventh largest in the UK.

Strength and recruitment[edit]

In February 2014, SWP introduced a requirement that anyone wishing to become a police constable first studies for the certificate in knowledge of policing before applying for the role. SWP is the first force in Wales, and only a handful in the UK to introduce this.

Police officers[edit]

South Wales Police employ 2,862 sworn officers. There is an expected recruitment drive for PC's late in 2014.

Special constables[edit]

In recent years, special constables have not been recruited although about 100 remain throughout the force. There was a recruitment drive for specials in June 2014.

Police Community Support Officers[edit]

South Wales Police employ 300 unsworn PCSOs who are posted throughout the force area. They are funded by the Welsh government.

Support Staff[edit]

Approximately 1,631 support staff are employed by the force. Their roles vary widely from call handlers to crime scene investigators. In 1991 the force began an annual recruitment of support staff via the then-government's Youth Training Scheme.


The force was formed as South Wales Constabulary (the name was changed in 1996) on 1 June 1969 by the amalgamation of the former Glamorgan Constabulary, Cardiff City Police, Swansea Borough Police and Merthyr Tydfil Borough Police.[3][4] In 1974, with the re-organisation of local government, the force's area was expanded to cover the newly created Mid Glamorgan, South Glamorgan and West Glamorgan.

In further local government re-organisation in 1996 the force area lost the Rhymney Valley area to Gwent Police. Today it covers the principal areas of Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea and the Vale of Glamorgan – most of the ancient county of Glamorgan.

Under proposals made by the Home Secretary on 6 February 2006, the force would have merged with North Wales Police, Gwent Police and Dyfed-Powys Police, to form a single strategic force for all of Wales. This issue caused sharp divisions amongst some members of the police force.[5]

The South Wales Police has participated in the World Police and Fire Games since 1995, except for the 1999 Stockholm Games. The current Chief Constable is Peter Vaughan.

Police stations[edit]

New Cardiff Police HQ, Cardiff Bay

Police stations in each local authority policed by the Force include:[6]


  • Bridgend police station (divisional headquarters)
  • Maesteg police station
  • Porthcawl police station
  • South Wales police headquarters


Stations in Canton and Grangetown were closed in 2013 and 2009[8] respectively. Due to a change in the way the public access police services, only cardiff bay and cardiff central police stations have front desk services.

Merthyr Tydfil[edit]

Neath Port Talbot[edit]

Rhondda Cynon Taf[edit]


Vale of Glamorgan[edit]

Killed in the line of duty[edit]

This list only shows officers killed as a direct result of their duty and doesn't include officers killed in any of SWP's preceding services prior to 1996.

PC Anthony Randolph Ashmore, 38[edit]

Killed on 31/03/1996 in a motorbike accident while responding to an emergency call.

PC Ian Godfrey, 30[edit]

Killed on 20/06/1999 when the patrol car he was observer in was involved in a road traffic accident.

PC Garry Wozencroft, 35[edit]

Killed on 30/06/2000 when his police car over turned while pursuing a car on Neath Road, Port Talbot

PC Andrew James, 38[edit]

Killed on 02/08/2003 when he was struck by a passing car while chasing a burglar from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on North Road, Cardiff.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tables for 'Police workforce, England and Wales, 31 March 2013". HM Government. Office for National Statistics. 31 March 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Alun Michael is new south Wales police and crime commissioner". BBC News. 16 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Welsh Police Football Association—Teams". Retrieved 2006-11-01. [dead link]
  4. ^ South Wales Police Museum
  5. ^ "All-Wales police force confirmed". BBC News. 6 February 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-01. 
  6. ^ Our Bobby
  7. ^ South Wales Police Authority website Divisional Police Headquarters
  8. ^ BBC Wales News Police station closure plan fears 2 November 2009 (Retrieved 2011-09-21)

External links[edit]