PCC welcomes CARITAS report produced by the Leeds Criminal Justice Inquiry
19 October 2020
West Yorkshire Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson spoke at the launch event of the CARITAS report produced by the Leeds Criminal Justice Inquiry. He said:
“Through this report, CARITAS and the Catholic church within Leeds really do encourage practical assistance such as offering their buildings and estate to help accommodate projects and meetings, as well as befriending and mentoring people through professionals, such as the National Probation Service. This is certainly a positive step forward, especially during these hugely challenging times of economic uncertainty amidst all the COVID-19 pressures.
“I was particularly pleased to see the commitment made to youth outreach, which is becoming increasingly important, given the gaps which Covid-19 is now creating in the lives of our young people. Gaps, which can so easily be filled by those seeking to exploit, abuse and criminalise. This is something high on my agenda as PCC, not least through the ongoing work of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) and a number of initiatives supported through my Safer Communities Fund (SCF).
“Similarly, the report recognises that training and coaching is needed to relate to those with wellbeing or addiction issues, sign-posting appropriately to services such as Restorative Justice and Victims Support are also key referral pathways.”
“The plans to support key issues around employment are also a welcome and needed addition, speaking up for the rights of those with a previous offending history. I am a keen advocate of these issues, backing groups such as OffPloy and Tempus Novo, who are key organisations in helping to ensure that people who have offended are given a chance to turn their lives around.
“Recently, I commissioned and launched a report by the ‘User Voice’ organisation, capturing the thoughts and concerns of ex-offenders to develop better ways of working and making sure any solutions reflect the learning from their lived experiences. In empowering people, we need to listen to them and I was again very happy to see plenty of reference to this within the report.”