What discussions has the Minister had with the Ministry of Justice and Welsh police forces regarding the creation of a victims' commissioner for Wales?
Whilst justice and policing remain the responsibility of the UK Government I meet regularly with the Ministry of Justice and Welsh police forces to discuss collaborative ways to support victims of crime and to reduce the risk of people becoming victims of crime.
Following her appointment, I have met with Dame Vera Baird the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, to discuss what more can be done to support the victims of crime in Wales, and to explore opportunities to promote the work of the Victims’ Commissioner in Wales. Further to this meeting my officials are in the process of ensuring a Welsh representative on the Victims Commissioner Advisory Group.
I meet fortnightly with the Dafydd Llewelyn, currently the lead PCC in Wales. These meetings provide an opportunity to consider how we can work together to ensure victims of crime in Wales have access to the support they need.
I also chair the Policing and Partnership Board for Wales, a forum for Policing in Wales, Welsh Government and other key partners to come together to discuss and seek resolution to challenging issues that straddle the remit of Welsh Government and policing. Through the Board we tackle the important issues for Wales which cut across devolved and non-devolved aspects of public service, including support for victims.
The Welsh Government shares the vision, set out in the UK Government’s Victims Strategy, of a justice system that supports and encourages more victims to speak up. I wrote to the Deputy Prime Minister Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab MP in response to the Consultation to Inform Development of the Victims’ Bill to advise that, except for the Victims Surcharge, we agree that victims should receive the services they need to process and recover from the impacts of crime. My officials will continue to work closely with Ministry of Justice officials to ensure the new Victims Bill is reflective of the devolved landscape.