Meet John Dwyer - Cheshire's newly elected police commissioner
PUBLISHED: 16:02 02 January 2013 | UPDATED: 22:35 20 February 2013
Cheshire's newly elected police commissioner says he can be a force for good for everyone in the county - even though so few people actually turned out to vote for him
There are no airs and graces about Cheshires new Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer. But the coal miners son, who went on to serve as a bobby on the beat before rising through the ranks to become an Assistant Chief Constable, speaks with a steely determination.
Despite the poor turnout at the polls, I am the peoples Commissioner and I intend to serve all the people of Cheshire whether they voted in the elections or not and whether they voted for me or not, he said speaking from his office on the top floor of Cheshire Police Headquarters in Winsford.
They will be represented by me and everybody will start feeling the benefit of this post very soon. I am delighted to have been elected to this position. I have a breadth of experience at all levels in the police service and have a good understanding of the police and its role. But I am here to represent the people of Cheshire and they are my priority. This is a position that I relish.
John has already identified his first job as Police and Crime Commissioner to meet the people of Cheshire and get their views and experiences on crime and policing. His full-time role - on a salary of 75,000 - replaces the role of police committees, so he has his work cut out for him.
Im going to be visiting all parts of Cheshire, parish councils, local communities and neighbourhoods to speak to residents and hear about the matters than concern them. Well have regular surgeries right across the county so everyone can air their views and concerns.
Born in Nottingham and raised in Mansfield, Johns talent for mathematics convinced a careers adviser that accountancy was his future.
It wasnt long before I realised that this was not the right career for me. After giving it some consideration I applied to Nottinghamshire Police and as a result spent my 21st birthday at the police training college, he said.
He quickly settled into the role of a police officer with ease. And he particularly enjoyed dealing with the public on a day to day basis but also learned to cope with the grimmer side of policing.
I remember being sent to deal with a road traffic accident in Mansfield in my early days, added John. An elderly lady had been knocked down.
When I got to her it was clear that she had been very seriously injured and had passed away. Although I had never seen a dead body before, I managed to deal with the incident and carry on. I was able to cope.
Some years later I became involved when a pub landlord reported hearing intruders in his premises. Officers surrounded the pub and searched inside but could find no sign of intruders. Then an officer with a search dog went in and again had no luck.
I went in and began searching through the cellar. It was deadly silent and black as night and so no surprise when I bumped into a large chest freezer. When I opened it up you can imagine my shock to find the mystery intruder crammed in. He was very cold but unharmed. For weeks after my colleagues liked to refer to me as the police officer who preferred to keep his prisoners on ice!
John served with the Nottinghamshire force for 14 years during which time he rose through the ranks. When he moved to the West Midlands force he was promoted to Chief Inspector and he held the position of Assistant Chief Constable for Cheshire Police from 1994 until his retirement in 2001.
Now 62, John lives in the village of Hatherton, near Nantwich, with his wife Zena. Their 23-year-old daughter Nicola is a soldier serving as a musician with the Band and Bugles of the Rifles.
I love Cheshire, said John. The county has been my home since 1994 and we find life here is brilliant. It is a very safe area and I want to make it even safer. Of course 95 per cent of Cheshire people are decent, hard-working individuals like you and me. But there is a small number who ruin it for the rest of us.
Thats why John is about to start turning one of his election promises into a reality by doubling the size of the countys contingent of Special Constables from 500 to a thousand.
Im aware that the public are concerned about the loss of bobbies on the beat as a result of budget cuts. While setting Government budgets is out of my remit, I can create significantly more Special Constables over the next three and a half years to give the public the feelgood factor they need.