London is to get powers over criminal justice while Wales will remain shackled to a 'one-size-fits-all' system designed and controlled in Westminster – that was the message from Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards who has attacked the second class status Westminster continues to impose on Wales.
Mr Edwards was scathing in the remarks, stating that Carmarthenshire and Wales was seeing the axe taken to local courts, the police helicopter and other important services, whilst the Tories were signing a Justice Devolution agreement with London Councils and the London Mayor "to ensure London has the powers and funding to be able to join up and improve services."
A Written Statement by the Ministry of Justice this week confirms that the Mayor of London will be granted responsibility for delivering victims and witness services, future probation services, electronic monitoring technologies, and specialist services for young offenders and women in the criminal justice system.
Plaid Cymru has long called for the devolution of Policing and Criminal Justice to Wales in order to have policies and services which meet the needs of local communities, rather than a one-size-fits-all policy from London. Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as the English cities of Manchester and London all have policing devolved.
Carmarthenshire MP Jonathan Edwards said the latest actions of the Westminster government was another example where London treats Wales like a penal colony.
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards said:
"The devolution of Policing and Criminal Justice to Wales is widely supported by many individuals and organisations, indeed the devolution of policing will lead to Welsh police forces receiving an additional £25million each year for local services – enough to have protected vital police and helicopter resources.
"It is a remarkable insult to Wales that the Westminster government considers Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as the English cities of Manchester and London capable of controlling their own affairs, but the people of Wales are not considered worthy of such responsibility.
"The latest example of Westminster's disdain for Wales is devolving sweeping criminal justice powers to London, enabling the City to create a modern and responsive justice system which is fit for purpose whilst we in Wales face the axe on our Magistrates Courts and legal aid, and where London treats us like a penal colony, imposing prisons and importing prisoners to our communities.
"Meanwhile we have a shortage of facilities for women and youth offenders, and our efforts in rehabilitation are hindered whilst Westminster uses us to solve the penal crisis of another country.
"For as long as our justice system is designed and delivered from Westminster it'll never meet the needs of Wales."