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Police and Crime Commissioner brings criminal justice partners together to focus on improving the experience for victims and witnesses

THE Dyfed-Powys Criminal Justice Board brings together senior representatives of criminal justice agencies operating in Dyfed-Powys, to improve the delivery of justice and the service provided to victims and witnesses. The Board meets quarterly and is chaired by the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn, who has responsibility for supporting victims and bringing people to justice.

The priority areas chosen by Board members for 2019/2020 are:
1. Mental health, including:
a. Street Triage offering crisis support to those in need
b. Crisis Care Concordat (national agreement between services and agencies involved in the care and support of people in crisis)
2. Violence Against Women Domestic Abuse and Sexual Abuse (VAWDASV)
3. Victims’ Code of Practice (VCOP)

The Board’s July meeting focussed on mental health and a comprehensive update on current activity within Dyfed-Powys, including the work of the Mental Health Street Triage and the Crisis Care Concordat. They also discussed some exciting mental health developments, the first being the new community mental health provision in Aberystwyth. This will offer extended hours access to the Community Mental Health Team, seven days a week, from October 7 2019 and is planned to offer 24/7 access in January 2020. There have also been developments regarding mental health nurse provision in primary care in Pembrokeshire that has improved access to specialist mental health advice and care in the county. And lastly a ground breaking out of hours mental health service for adults has launched in Llanelli – The Twilight Sanctuary. It is the first of its kind in Wales and is open Thursday to Sunday from 6pm to 2am, to offer a place of sanctuary for adults at risk of deteriorating mental health when other support based services are closed. This service is in conjunction with two major mental health charities – Hafal and Mind. During these hours healthcare workers are also available, assisting with transport needs to alleviate the pressure on ambulance and police services. Further plans are being developed to improve access to the provision of outreach substance misuse interventions in the area.

The Board’s latest meeting was held in October and the focus of that meeting was Violence Against Women Domestic Abuse and Sexual Abuse. This meeting included an update on the recent introduction of the Vulnerability Desk within Dyfed-Powys Police which is helping the Force to deliver essential services to victims of domestic abuse and support to frontline officers attending these incidents. There was also a presentation from the Welsh Government Regional Advisor on the progress of partner agencies such as Local Authorities and Health in delivering services to victims. But most importantly on this occasion the Board reviewed and discussed a recent sexual assault case where the victim experienced significant challenges with the criminal justice system. The victim had met personally with Mr Llywelyn where a number of issues were identified. He therefore wanted to raise these with board representatives for discussion and consideration.

Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I am passionate about supporting victims and bringing people to justice. I want the public to have trust and confidence in the police and the criminal justice system, and by chairing the Dyfed-Powys Criminal Justice Board I can ensure that we truly influence and improve the service provided to victims and witnesses, and the delivery of criminal justice services.
“I am committed to representing the public’s voice on policing matters, which is why I’m so keen that the public engage with me so that we can improve things together. I was so grateful to the victim who came to meet me to discuss her recent experience and the significant challenges she faced in our criminal justice system. I appreciate how difficult and harrowing it must have been, but I am determined that by raising these issues with the Board representatives lessons can be learned and improvements will be made.”
For more information on the Dyfed-Powys Criminal Justice Board, or if you wish to share your experience of the criminal justice system in the area please contact the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner by calling 01267 226440 email: opcc@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk
or visit the website www.dyfedpowys-pcc.org.uk

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