PCCs: ‘We make a difference to victims'
The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) has published the latest in a series of documents in which it details the improvements its members are making to communities, this time focusing on victims’ services.
Putting Victims First In Focus, published on Monday (July 1), highlights how police and crime commissioners (PCCs), Police Fire and Crime Commissioners (PFCCs) and Mayors have been transforming the services provided for victims – putting them at the heart of the Criminal Justice System.
They were given the responsibility for commissioning victims services in 2012 and have since invested in a number of programmes to support those affected by crime, particularly sexual and domestic violence.
APCC Victims Portfolio Leads: Sophie Linden, London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime & Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner said: “PCCs, PFCCs and Mayors have responsibility for commissioning the majority of local services to help victims of crime, ensuring they are supported throughout the criminal justice process and have access to the support services that they need to help them cope and recover. We do this by working in close partnership with other stakeholders such as local authorities, health services, specialist third sector organisations and charities.
“We also have responsibility for monitoring how the criminal justice system locally is meeting the needs of victims, ensuring that victims are receiving their entitlements under the Victims Code of Practice.
“Putting Victims First In Focus is a snapshot of the ground-breaking work that we and our colleagues are engaged in with partners across England and Wales to bring about real change in the ways in which victims of crime are helped and supported in our communities.”
The innovative projects highlighted in the document include:
- West Mercia’s new Victim Advice Line;
- new and enhanced Domestic Abuse Support Services throughout North Yorkshire;
- introduction of Victims’ Services Coordinators in Manchester;
- launch of a consistent quality assurance framework for victims’ services in Sussex, the first of its kind in the UK;
- the appointment of London’s first independent Victims’ Commissioner; and
- how improved Restorative Justice services in Devon and Cornwall helped the parents of young woman who was killed by a hit and run driver.