Although the UK Government has undermined the devolution settlement by ignoring what the Welsh Government and Welsh Assembly views on police governance, Welsh Commissioners will have an opportunity to work with each other and with the Welsh Government to ensure there is a distinctive, joined up, Welsh approach to policing and crime prevention.
That doesn’t mean that we can ignore cross-border issues: the A55 is our main transport link and criminals use it in both directions too. I will work with the Commissioners in the North West of England on a range of issues including serious and organised crime, procurement and joint services.
The UK Government have talked about Commissioners having a role in relation to the wider criminal justice system – but they haven’t been clear what this means. For years, the Police Authority and local authorities have been calling for a Prison in North Wales. Will the Government listen and deliver on what they know to be a real need, especially given the evidence that re-offending is less likely if contact is maintained with friends and family?
It is essential that the system as a whole works to reduce offending – and it is clear from re-offending rates that this is not happening. I will work closely with the other agencies in North Wales to ensure that the criminal justice system as a whole is effective and efficient and will lobby Government to provide the services and funding required for the integrated management of offenders.
See here for a more recent article on the same issue.