Police Specialist in Criminal Justice and Terrorism Is New Chief Constable of Gwent

Article excerpt

A POLICEMAN with a reputation for success against both bureaucratic incompetence and the Real IRA is taking charge as chief constable in Gwent.

Mike Tonge will leave his Merseyside Police deputy chief constable post in April

..TEXT: His handling of the inquiry into the 1998 Omagh Bomb is regarded as one of the most major tasks of his career so far. He was called in to defuse a series of intense rows over the Royal Ulster Constabulary's handling of the investigation.

His work from December 2001 to April 2003 resulted in the inquiry progressing and offenders being charged for the worst single terrorist atrocity in Northern Ireland's history.

In taking control of the daily operations of Gwent Police, Mr Tonge will be joining one of the United Kingdom's most dynamic forces.

Gwent's 48% detection rate is the second highest in the country. But, according to the British Crime Survey, violent crime rose by 62%. This is blamed on a change in how the figures are compiled.

While an inspector with Lancashire Constabulary, Mr Tonge was successful in putting forward recommendations to streamline the criminal justice system. The Gwent Criminal Justice Board is seeking to shed its record for the worst victim and witness court attendance figures in Britain.

Mr Tonge has told his colleagues on Merseyside that he plans to develop 'neighbourhood' policing in Gwent. …