Dyfed-Powys Police is set to benefit from additional funding for the recruitment of new Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) across the force area.

An ISVA is specially trained to provide emotional and practical support for victims of rape or sexual assault. Their main role is to provide support around the criminal justice process, but they are independent from the police and are not legal advisors.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, had been lobbying for the extra funding from the Ministry of Justice.

Dyfed-Powys was one of only 15 areas to be awarded, with an additional £55k secured for the area for the remainder of 2020/21, increasing to £63k in 2021/22.

Mr Llywelyn said: “I have continued to lobby hard at government level for increased funding to be made available, and I’m extremely pleased to be able to announce that we have been successful in securing this additional funding.

“ISVA caseloads continue to increase in both volume and complexity with cases often taking longer to come to court and involving more complex trauma. Our local ISVAs are often carrying more than the recommended case load which is clearly not sustainable.

“Dyfed Powys is a predominantly rural force, with a landmass covering over half the size of Wales.

“The area faces unique challenges due to its rurality and as a result some parts of the Dyfed-Powys region have not always been adequately covered by ISVA services.

“It is important to ensure that ISVA services are available at bases throughout the force area but also that we provide peripatetic ISVA services for those people who have been affected by sexual abuse and rape and who are not able to travel into centres; provision that is a must for a force geography such as Dyfed-Powys.

“The additional funding will enable New Pathways, our service provider, to provide a dedicated resource ensuring that this flexible delivery is available and more importantly sustainable. It will also enable enhanced ISVA support for children and young people.”