Date 7 July 2004
Embargo For immediate release
5 pages including this one
„MOVE TO IMPROVE‟
Dyfed Powys Criminal Justice Board – Annual Conference & Witness Consultation Event
Increasing public confidence in the criminal justice system and improved services for victims and witnesses in Dyfed Powys were two key topics discussed at Dyfed Powys Criminal Justice Board’s ‘Move to Improve’ consultation event at the Halliwell Centre in Carmarthen
More than 70 delegates, from a wide range of statutory and voluntary agencies across Dyfed Powys, attended the event, organised by the Dyfed Powys Local Criminal Justice Board,
Current initiatives being undertaken by the Board were discussed, including research into black and minority ethnic communities within Dyfed Powys, establishing an Independent Advisory Group and improving the provision of information and the service to the witnesses and victims of crime across the area.
Dyfed Powys Criminal Justice Event – 2
Tracey Morgan, who campaigned tirelessly for the introduction of the UK‟s anti-
stalking law, The Protection from Harassment Act, was one of the keynote speakers at the conference.
As a survivor of stalking, Tracey described her experience and demonstrated that help, advice and support was previously almost non-existent. Her incredible story gained national media coverage a few years ago and at the event she urged delegates not to patronise victims and treat them with respect..
She said; “Being a victim can be a daunting or even harrowing experience and
therefore agencies within the legal system must not dismiss people like me as paranoid, emotional and the victim of a minor crime. Victims should be taken seriously and given support and guidance throughout the legal process and I‟m
pleased to see that the Dyfed Powys CJB is making considerable strides to improving the care provided to both witnesses and victims.”
Maxie Hayles Chairman of Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring Unit (BRAMU) gave a lively and thought provoking speech about his work as a member of the Victims Advisory Panel set up as a result of the Governments White Paper „Justice for All‟.
He said “ BRAMU was set up following a Home Office report in 1989 that highlighted an increase in racial harassment. The report revealed that statutory agencies were insensitive to the needs of Black and Minority Ethnic communities and that the perceptions of victims were not taken on board. It has taken a long time but I welcome the setting up of the Victims Advisory Panel and am pleased to have been invited to join the challenge to improve the lives of victims and witnesses”
Dyfed Powys Criminal Justice Event – 3
To set the scene for workshop activity in the afternoon students from the Mark Jermin Theatre School performed a theatrical scenario based on the lived experiences of victims and witnesses. The students researched and devised the piece themselves and through an excellent and emotive performance were able to give delegates an unexpected insight into the experiences and feelings of those affected by crime.
Chair of the Dyfed Powys LCJB, Simon Rowlands said the conference was an invaluable way of directly communicating the Board's aims and objectives to the wider community.
Mr Rowlands said: "This conference was the first real opportunity for the board to explain its role face-to-face with stakeholders and to engage them in discussion to plan future consultation arrangements.
"One of the targets of the Criminal Justice Board is to improve public confidence in the criminal justice system. Dialogue with stakeholders is important if this is to be achieved."
Those who attended the event included representatives from district councils, the Welsh Assembly Government, Community Safety Partnerships, Victim Support, and organisations representing minority ethnic groups, youth groups, the police and the Criminal Justice System in Dyfed Powys.
For further information please contact;
Amanda Duffy, Dyfed Powys Criminal Justice Board
Tel No. 01267 242154
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The Dyfed Powys Criminal Justice Board was set up in April 2003 to manage
the CJS at a local level. It, along with the other 41 Local Boards across
England and Wales, reports to the National Criminal Justice Board which
supports them in their work to meet Public Service Agreement targets at a
local level and reduce crime in Dyfed Powys.
2. The results of the 42 areas‟ performance against the Public Service
Agreement targets to date is published at www.cjsonline.org/news
3. Narrowing the Justice Gap (NJG) target is the key priority for Local
Criminal Justice Boards. Local Boards have been set the target of
increasing the number of offences brought to justice by 5% in 2003-04. This
is a stepping stone to the overall 17% national improvement target required
by 2005-06. Narrowing the Justice Gap is about improving the way the
system works. By bringing more offenders to justice more effectively, NJG
will improve satisfaction for victims and witnesses and help increase public
confidence in the CJS. The Narrowing the Justice Gap framework document
published in October 2002 is available on www.cjsonline.org/njg and
contains information on the Persistent Offender Scheme.
4. The Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets are:
; PSA 1. Reduce crime and the fear of crime.
; PSA 2. Increase the number of crimes for which an offender is
brought to justice to 1.2 million by 2005-06
; PSA 3. Improve the level of public confidence in the Criminal Justice
; PSA 4. Protect the public and reduce re-offending by 5%
; PSA 5. Increase value for money from the CJS by 3% a year. 4
5. For further local information media should contact: Simon Rowlands, Chair of Dyfed Powys LCJB on 01267 242100
6. For further national information media should contact:
Home Office press office on 020 7273 3782; or
Department for Constitutional Affairs Press Office on 020 7210 8803; or
Attorney General‟s press officer on 020 7271 2440.