PRINCESS ANNE, the Princess Royal, attended a conference on criminal payback schemes in Dewsbury last Friday.
She was at the Town Hall to hear how the Kirklees Restorative Community Safety Partnership is working.
It is a scheme that allows victims to tell offenders the impact their crimes had on their lives.
The process brings together Kirklees Council, probation, housing, health, police and fire officials.
Victims of crime can meet offenders for an apology and an explanation of why they did what they did.
Princess Anne, who is patron of the national Restorative Justice Council, heard about the work taking place in Kirklees since the partnership was formed 18 months ago.
Coun Peter O’Neill (Lab, Batley West) said: “We were delighted to show first-hand some of the excellent work which is being done.”
The cabinet member for communities added: “As patron of the Restorative Justice Council she is aware just how important this work is.”
Contrary to reports, the visit was not “secret”.
There was criticism that her “public appearance” in Dewsbury – getting out of a car and going into the town hall – allegedly lasted just one minute 15 seconds.
The Press understands the event, listed on the royal website for the last eight weeks, was not scheduled as a public royal visit.
A Kirklees Council spokesman said: “The Princess Royal was extremely well-informed and had detailed discussions with us about our work. It was organised to allow her to meet those people making a big difference locally as well as some victims of crime.
“We apologise to members of the public who would have liked to have seen the princess but were not able to witness her visit on this occasion.”