Alun Michael was the Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Cardiff South and Penarth for 25 years from 1987, before he stepped down to stand in the Police and Crime Commissioner election in South Wales.
Here is a summary of his background and engagement with policing and criminal justice:
Alun Michael has spent all his working life in South Wales
On leaving University he worked as a reporter on the South Wales Echo for six years. During that period he was branch secretary of the National Union of Journalists.
From 1972 he was a youth and community worker in Cardiff for 15 years. He developed innovative projects with a focus on young offenders and unemployed young people.
Having become a Justice of the Peace in 1972, he chaired the Cardiff Juvenile Bench until being elected to Parliament in 1987. He also served as a City Councillor from 1973 to 1989, playing a leading role in planning, redevelopment and economic development.
After a time as a Shadow Minister for Welsh Affairs, he served as deputy to Tony Blair and then Jack Straw at Home Affairs. Following the 1997 general election he became Deputy Home Secretary with responsibility for police, criminal justice, youth justice and the voluntary sector. In 1998 he joined the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Wales, before being elected to the new National Assembly for Wales and becoming the first First Secretary (First Minister) of Wales. After standing down from the Assembly, he became the first Minister of State for Rural Affairs and subsequently became Minister of State for Industry and the Regions.
After leaving Government in 2006, he became a leading member of the Justice Select Committee, playing a principal role in the Committee’s seminal report on “Justice Reinvestment”. Alun was also a leading member of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, taking part in major inquiries into the changing landscape of policing, the city riots of 2011 and drugs policy nationally and internationally. He also chaired the UK Internet Governance Forum and chaired a number of major All-Party Groups such as the Parliamentary Internet and Information Technology Forum, Corporate Governance, Somaliland and Somalia, and Civil Society and Volunteering as well as being Deputy Chair of the All-Party Group on Policing.
He was a member of the expert delegation to examine gang-related crime, radicalisation and elected police chiefs in Los Angeles in 2001, and was appointed to the joint committee of both the House of Commons and House of Lords on detention of terrorist suspects.
His political roots are in strengthening local communities
It was his experience of working with young offenders and unemployed young people in, Llanrumney, Llanedeyrn, Ely, Butetown and Grangetown that brought him into national politics. As an MP he supported local communities – for example playing a leading role in the successful four-year campaign to stop Cardiff Council building on the precious “village green” known as Rumney Recreation Ground.
He has a proven track record on policing issues
As Deputy to the Shadow Home Secretary, he developed Labour’s detailed policies on youth justice, policing, crime reduction partnerships and the voluntary sector. In 1997, as Deputy Home Secretary, he steered the Crime and Disorder Act onto the Statute Book, leading to the establishment of local crime reduction partnerships, youth offending teams, the Youth Justice Board and Anti-Social Behaviour Orders. It has been widely praised by the police as the best piece of criminal justice legislation in a generation.
Contact the Police and Crime Commissioner
Tel: 01656 869366