Baroness in plea for more sup­port for crime vic­tims

Vic­tims of crime must never be over­looked says chief

Hinckley Times - - TRAVEL TIMES - STAFF RE­PORTER hinck­ley­[email protected]­plc.com

VIC­TIMS of crime must never be over­looked or not given the sup­port they need, a Gov­ern­ment ad­viser has told po­lice chiefs.

Vic­tims com­mis­sioner Baroness Newlove met Lord (Willy) Bach who, as Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner (PCC) ar­ranges ser­vices to sup­port vic­tims of crime, and Chief Con­sta­ble Si­mon Cole at Le­ices­ter­shire Po­lice HQ.

She then went on to talk to staff and vol­un­teers from Vic­tim First, the PCC’s coun­ty­wide vic­tim care ser­vice. This was fol­lowed by a visit to the Sex­ual As­sault Re­fer­ral Cen­tre at Ju­niper Lodge, in Le­ices­ter.

Dur­ing the visit, the Baroness was in­tro­duced to sev­eral vic­tims of crime to hear their first-hand ac­counts of their ex­pe­ri­ence and the ser­vice they re­ceived, be­fore ad­dress­ing at­ten­dees at a Sex­ual Vi­o­lence and Do­mes­tic Abuse Ser­vice Re­design Work­shop at County Hall, Glen­field.

Speak­ing about her con­cerns that the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem is still not sen­si­tive enough to the dif­fer­ent needs and ex­pe­ri­ences of vic­tims of crime, the Baroness high­lighted the im­por­tance of vic­tim per­sonal state­ments as an in­te­gral part of the court process.

Baroness Newlove said: “Meet­ing peo­ple around the coun­try is one of the most valu­able parts of my job, es­pe­cially when I have the priv­i­lege of hear­ing di­rectly from vic­tims and sur­vivors like I have here in Le­ices­ter­shire.

“Of course, ev­ery vic­tim’s jour­ney is dif­fer­ent, but what­ever the na­ture of the crime, peo­ple want to know that there will be the right sup­port avail­able.”

Lord Bach said: “The Baroness raised some re­ally valid points about the over­all crim­i­nal jus­tice process.

“We have to get things right, lo­cally and na­tion­ally, for all vic­tims of crime so that they re­ceive the right sup­port, at the right time, in or­der to help them re­cover from their ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I cer­tainly scru­ti­nise the ser­vices we pro­vide very care­fully and have re­cently changed the way in which cer­tain sup­port ser­vices are de­liv­ered. But I think there is more to do.

“I’m re­ally grate­ful to the Baroness for vis­it­ing Le­ices­ter­shire.

“I think ev­ery­one got a lot out the day which I feel cer­tain will help shape ser­vices in the fu­ture.”

The work­shop was or­gan­ised to gain views from providers, ser­vice users and part­ners on a re­design of the ser­vices pro­vided to vic­tims of sex­ual vi­o­lence and do­mes­tic abuse across the city, county and Rut­land from April 1, 2020.

The find­ings will be used to de­velop a num­ber of op­tions on which to carry out a more de­tailed con­sul­ta­tion in the new year.

LE­ICES­TER­SHIRE COUNTY COUN­CIL

VISIT: Baroness Newlove, wear­ing a yel­low scarf, sur­rounded by Coun­cil­lor Joe Or­son, Jane Moore, of Le­ices­ter­shire County Coun­cil, Paul Hind­son, Coun­cil­lor Deb­o­rah Tay­lor, Chief Con­sta­ble Si­mon Cole, and Lord (Willy) Bach

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