GWENT Police's chief constable will retire later this year arguing she “dealt robustly” with challenges that have mired the force over the past five years.

Pam Kelly joined Dyfed-Powys Police in 1994 after volunteering in the special constabulary.

There, she rose to the rank of assistant chief constable and became deputy chief constable of Gwent Police in 2017.

Police and crime commissioner Jeff Cuthbert gave Ms Kelly the top job in summer 2019, praising her as an "outstanding candidate" who demonstrated a "strong commitment to the people of Gwent".

She was recognised for her service in the Platinum Jubilee honours, when she received the Queen’s Police Medal, and is also the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for workforce.


Announcing her plans, Ms Kelly said: “It has been a huge privilege to serve as the chief constable of Gwent Police. The bravery and commitment shown by officers and staff is truly inspirational.

“Policing has changed enormously since I joined the service but the basics of working hard to prevent and detect crime and protect communities has and always will be at the heart of policing.

“It has been a fantastic career, and I would encourage anyone who would like to join the service to do so – it is such an opportunity to make a difference.

Free Press Series: Ms Kelly says policing has 'changed enormously' since she started 30 years agoMs Kelly says policing has 'changed enormously' since she started 30 years ago (Image: Gwent Police)

“I have announced my retirement ahead of the police and crime commissioner elections and will work closely with the newly elected commissioner to appoint my successor before retiring later this year.”

Ms Kelly’s tenure in charge has coincided with a number of hits to public confidence in the force fuelled by investigations of internal misconduct and one high-profile inquest into the death of a Newport man in 2021.

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Last summer, Ms Kelly told a House of Commons committee she was meeting every new recruit to warn against bad behaviour.

Last month, she became the first chief constable in Wales to formally apologise for issues around the historic policing of LGBTQ+ communities as part of a Peter Tatchell Foundation campaign.

Reflecting on her premiership, Ms Kelly said: “The last few years have been very challenging for UK policing, and for Gwent Police, and we have dealt robustly with all these challenges.

“I very much hope that our work in shaping organisational change has paved the way for our superb staff to deliver the best service possible for our communities.

“The staff, partners and community within Gwent have been outstanding to work with.

“It is a community that is strong with a real ability to work together to make change. It has been my absolute privilege to serve and be a part of policing for the last 30 years.”