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Gwent Police Federation

Federation pays tribute to Force’s first PCC

7 March 2023

The Police Federation has paid tribute to Ian Johnston, Gwent’s first Police and Crime Commissioner.

Mr Johnston, a former Gwent Police detective chief superintendent, and president of the Police Superintendents’ Association, died last month aged 70 after a fall.

Matthew Candy, Gwent Police Federation chair, said: “Ian was an exceptional policeman who dedicated his life to the police service.

“He came up through the ranks and at every level made an outstanding contribution to Gwent, always working for the good of the public and our communities.

“He was a great leader, a great public servant, but more than anything he was a great person who cared about people and made time for them.

“He will be hugely missed by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Mr Johnston grew up in Oakdale and joined the Force as a cadet in 1969 and, after marrying his wife Janet in 1972, he became a detective in 1974.

He became a sergeant in 1979 before a spell lecturing, supervising, and tutoring officers. After returning to CID, he was promoted to inspector and then served as a detective inspector before, in 1986, he was promoted to detective chief inspector.

A secondment to the Home Office followed before he returned to Gwent Police in 1992. He became head of CID in 1995 and a divisional commander in 1999.

Mr Johnston was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2003 and the following year became vice-president of the Police Superintendents’ Association. He was president of the association from 2007 to 2010, and in 2012 was elected Gwent’s first Police and Crime Commissioner.

Jeff Mapps, former Gwent Police Federation chair, shared his tribute with the South Wales Argus.

He said: “It’s taken a few days for this dreadful news to sink in.

“As a police officer, Ian was dedicated to serving the communities of Gwent, his leadership undoubtedly contributed greatly to way police officers in Gwent were able to work effectively in the service of the public.

“As resident of the Superintendents’ Association, he continued to influence how policing was delivered right across the UK.

“Following his election as the first Police and Crime Commissioner of Gwent, he was able to steer Gwent Police through some very difficult times.

“Gwent Police is all the better because of this. Gwent Police has lost one of its greatest leaders. Ian was a larger than life character, with a great sense of humour. He will be truly missed by all that knew him.

“My condolences to Janet and family. RIP Ian.”

Mr Johnston’s funeral will take placeat 11.45 am on Friday 17 March. A church service for family only will be held at St Augustine’s Church, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood.

The internment service will take place at Sirhowy Valley Crematorium, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood, NP12 2YT, at 1pm and is open for all to attend.

Afterwards refreshments will be served at the Travellers Rest, Pen-y-Fan Caravan Leisure Park, Manmoel Road, Blackwood, NP12 0HY.