Summary of meeting
1. Welcome and Introductions
The Welsh Government (WG) welcomed attendees to the meeting.
2. Minutes and actions of previous meeting
The minutes of the last meeting on 22 October 2020 were agreed.
3. Implementation Status Update
The group were provided with an update on the work of the task and finish groups. It was noted that the Out of Court Disposals Task & Finish Group and the Operations, Guidance and Training Task & Finish Groups have merged. The new group, the Training Operations, Guidance and Diversion Task & Finish Group met on 3 March.
4. Communications Update
WG provided an update on progress of the Communications work. The current focus of the campaign is stakeholder engagement and campaign preparation.
- Stakeholder engagement – The provision of introductory presentations to a wide range of stakeholders through a PR company continues.
- Campaign preparation – adverts for the campaign had been filmed and were being edited. Resources continue to be prepared such as campaign leaflets and awareness raising information sheets.
The results of the Omnibus Survey carried out in November 2019, to track the ongoing awareness levels of the legislation, were published in February, delayed due to Covid.
5. Safeguarding Processes
The group were provided with information from the Welsh Government on current safeguarding and criminal justice procedures. The ‘first’ and ‘middle’ part of the safeguarding process, from first point of contact through to consideration of a referral or report by police, social services and other relevant professionals was considered. The group considered the view from the Training, Operations, Guidance and Diversion Task and Finish Group that, as the defence of reasonable punishment applies to the existing offences of common assault and battery, professionals would continue to follow the Wales Safeguarding Procedures (WSP). They were reassured that this view had been confirmed through wider engagement with stakeholders.
6. Any Other Business
Date of next meeting: 5 May 2021