Dyfed-Powys Police, through the Armed Forces Community Covenants, has been working with a new Armed Forces Veterans Charity to support potentially vulnerable people and divert individuals from a life of crime.
The Veterans Gateway is an organisation that offers 24 hr support and advice to service personnel by signposting them to the most appropriate agencies specific to their circumstances.
Far too often, people find themselves in police custody where early interventions could have prevented police involvement, and the reasons for them being in custody are often linked to other underlying problems.
In 2017, approximately 7% of people arrested in Dyfed-Powys Police area stated that they previously served in the Armed Forces, prompting police to work with the Armed Forces Community Covenants to identify suitable support.
Chief Inspector Paul Jones, Head of Custody, said
“Having previously served in the Royal Navy, I understand the difficulties of resettling into civilian life. A number of Armed Forces Veterans who find themselves arrested are actually vulnerable members of our communities who are struggling to cope with that adaption. Whilst we do not condone criminal behaviour, we acknowledge some of the challenges Veterans face, and will do what we can to divert people from crime and reduce the number of victims.”
The Armed Forces Covenant is described by HM Government as “a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly. We’re working with businesses, local authorities, charities and community organisations to support the forces through services, policy and projects.”
Cllr David Jenkins, Carmarthenshire’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “The armed forces family is always there to support veterans, whatever the circumstances. This is a great example of forward thinking to help prevent further offending and a way of supporting people to stay on the straight and narrow.”