South West PCCs come together to tackle reoffending
Senior leaders in criminal justice, health and voluntary work have met for the first time to discuss how to stop offenders breaking the law again and again.
The new South West Regional Reducing Reoffending Board came together in Bridgwater on Friday 1 March and included leaders from Criminal Justice, Health, the voluntary sector and the Ministry of Justice.
The board was convened by the south west's Police and Crime Commissioners, including Wiltshire and Swindon's Angus Macpherson, following discussions with the Justice Secretary last year in relation to reducing reoffending and changes to the Probation Service. Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens acted as Interim Chair of the inaugural meeting.
During the meeting, the board discussed:
• Regional strategy and working towards the shared goal of reducing reoffending
• An update from the Ministry of Justice on the impact of the insolvency of the South West community rehabilitation provider Working Links and future probation structures
• The Ministry of Justice's relationship with the board
• The voluntary sector's engagement with the board going forward
• A future south west event
• Community Rehabilitation Company provision in the south west
PCC Sue Mountstevens said: "It was clear from our previous meetings with the Secretary State that it would be beneficial to bring together senior leaders from key agencies with the aim of co-designing, co-commissioning and coordinating our services. I look forward to working together on this important agenda to offer the best possible support for offenders in the South West."
PCC Angus Macpherson said: "I welcome the new regional board which will work to support and rehabilitate offenders.
"Helping those break the cycle of crime is not easy but with the right backing from partner agencies and local services it can be done.
"A good example of this is today (13/03) I attended the Public Service Board in Wiltshire and the need for the new service to work with those in health, housing and the local authority was welcomed unanimously by partners.
"Similar to the way my office resources facilities and services to prevent youngsters falling into a life of crime in the first place, this board takes the offender and helps them step on to a better life path away from habitual law breaking."
Zoe Short, RESOLVE - reducing reoffending senior responsible officer, added: "We are all working towards a shared goal; reduce the number of victims by reducing the levels of at which people reoffend in our region.
"The new South West Regional Reducing Reoffending Board means key agencies can work together and create innovative and collaborative solutions to tackle the complex problem of reoffending. And break the cycle of crime."
The south west PCC's include Gloucestershire's Martin Surl, Wiltshire and Swindon's Angus Macpherson, Devon and Cornwall's Alison Hernandez, Dorset's Martyn Underhill and Sue Mountstevens from Avon and Somerset.
Published on Wednesday 13 March 2019.