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New series gets exclusive insight into the work of the Probation Service in Wales

01 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Ar Brawf. Image: S4C

A new TV series is set to show the work of the Probation Service in the community – the first time in Wales and England that a series has been allowed such access.

Each episode focuses on Probation Officers from Gwynedd and Anglesey as they manage two offenders that are on probation.

Produced by production company Darlun, the series has been four years in the making since the company temporarily shared offices with the Probation Service in Caernarfon during the Covid-19 pandemic.


In 2023, Wales Probation Service managed 10,000 offenders in the community. According to statistics, 30% will re-offend.

The Probation Officers must work with the offenders to reduce reoffending and keep the public safe.

The first episode will follow Martin and Dei’s stories.

Martin has been in the justice system for 21 years – since he broke the law for the first time aged 15. He’s about to become a grandfather and wants to stay out of prison.

Dei faces the challenge of running his 3rd generation family farm whilst completing 200 hours of unpaid after being found guilty of Cruelty to Animals.

Both must complete their time on probation without breaking any conditions of their orders. If they do, their Probation Officers will send them back to court or straight to prison.

The team of Probation Officers’ work is to robustly manage them to try to prevent them from offending again.


Elin Gaffey is one of the Probation Officers taking part in the series. She said: “Most of our work as Probation Officers goes on behind the scenes and can often be misunderstood by the public.

“I think this series will go a long way in helping people to understand the complex decisions we have to make on a daily basis to keep the public safe.

“Sometimes our work involves working with people from complex backgrounds which makes it really challenging but watching them succeed makes this job incredibly worthwhile.”

Gwenan, who appears in the series, said: “Being on Probation consecutively for nearly 3 years has been hard but it’s also been good and positive for me.

“I was blessed with understanding Probation Officers that could see past the bad that I did and saw the good in me.

“I was really struggling with my mental health and addiction, which Elin helped me with. I can’t thank her enough for everything she’s helped me with. Even helping me with my housing – now I’m on the transfer list waiting to move.”


Anna Marie Robinson, Series Producer, said: “We knew getting access to the Probation Service would be challenging. It hasn’t been done in England or Wales before, and discussions between us, the Probation Service and the Ministry of Justice took three years to finally get the go ahead to start filming this warts-and-all documentary series.

“It’s an important series to make. The general public remains largely unaware of the day-to-day work of a Probation Officer compared to other professionals within the criminal justice system, such as prison officers, the police, and those who work in the courts.

“Until now, no television crew in England and Wales has ever been allowed this level of access to the Probation Service, and it’s a fascinating insight into the pressures and challenges the officers have to deal with on a daily basis.”

The first of six episodes of Ar Brawf will be on S4C on Tuesday 2 April at 9pm and available on S4C Clic and BBC iPlayer.

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