I am pleased to be able to present the latest deep dive review undertaken by my office, looking at the prevalence of and factors affecting victim withdrawal in Dyfed-Powys. I have been encouraged by the Force’s response to my office undertaking this work and thank all those who contributed honestly and thoroughly to the review.
The review stemmed from the apparent rise in victims withdrawing support for investigations into domestic and sexual crimes, along with individual cases that have recently been highlighted to me.
The review found that victims are clearly a priority for Dyfed Powys Police and there are some good examples of officers giving significant time to investigating incidents and empathy shown to victims. However, the review recommends a number of areas where improvements could be made to ensure delivery of the best possible service to victims.
Over 80% of victims who withdrew their support for an investigation still reported being satisfied with their overall experience but it is vital that these victims are able to access the appropriate support to help them cope and recover from the impact of the crime. The review found significant duplication in the contact being made with victims and a lack of awareness of the support services available. Victims are at the heart of everything we do and it is vital that their voices are heard and that we provide a service that is tailored to their needs.
One of the most significant gaps is in relation to mental health, which has been demonstrated to be a significant factor in almost all victims who withdraw from the investigation. There are numerous services that exist to support individuals in this area; the Force needs to ensure that both officers and victim services are signposting victims to the appropriate support to ensure that mental health issues do not impact negatively on the progress of their criminal justice journey.
My office will be continuing to promote a variety of ways in which victims can share their experience and provide feedback regarding how services could be improved. I would encourage anyone who has experienced our services to use these opportunities to help us shape future provision. Thank you.