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South West PCCs come together to tackle reoffending

The new South West Regional Reducing Reoffending Board met for the first time in Bridgwater on Friday 1 March and included senior 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 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.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “The revolving door of crime – in which people leave prison only to go onto carry out further offences – affects future victims and  wider society.

“This is a complex problem which requires a joined-up approach and I am optimistic that the new board will bring together a wide group of agencies to find new regional and local ways of dealing with this issue.”

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.

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