Ensuring that achieving the right outcome for victims and survivors of crime is a central focus of my Police and Crime Plan. Having the right levels of service and support and treating victims and witnesses with respect is vital for public confidence in the criminal justice system and to achieving justice effectively.
In Warwickshire, I believe we have a very progressive approach. I have agreed more than £1 million of continued funding for victim and survivor support services, while my office has a good overview of all activity in the county and is able to make connections to help join up delivery of services wherever possible.
No one asks to become a victim of crime and it is therefore vital that they receive the right level of service and support when they do. As Commissioner I also recognise that some people see themselves as victims, others as survivors of crime. I will put them at the heart of the criminal justice system and make them the central focus for Warwickshire Police and partner agencies at all stages, to assist victims and survivors of crime to cope, recover and achieve justice.
— Warwickshire PCC Philip Seccombe
My approach will be to:-
- Publish a Victims’ Charter which will set out my personal commitment to victims and survivors of crime.
- Work with and influence partners to ensure that victims are placed at the heart of the criminal justice process. They should experience high quality, joined-up support which is tailored to their needs.
- Ensure all the services I commission or fund through my grant scheme to support victims are working effectively and helping victims to cope and recover from what they have experienced.
- Monitor and improve through the Local Criminal Justice Board multi-agency compliance with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime and the Ministry of Justice Witness Charter.
- Work with and influence key partners via the Alliance Restorative Justice Strategic Board to embed restorative justice with all key agencies.
- Support the Chief Constable to implement an online crime progress update facility for victims.
- Support the new West Mercia Victims Board to promote best practice across the two force areas.
As a result of this plan I aim to:-
- Improve satisfaction of victims with the service they receive from Warwickshire Police and other agencies involved in criminal justice.
- Improve the quality and consistency of support services for victims and survivors of crime.
- Tailor the support the force and funded services offer to our most vulnerable and intimidated victims to reduce the risk of them becoming repeat victims.
- Improve compliance with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime and the Ministry of Justice Witness Charter.
- Embed Restorative Justice across the county. This will be measured through the development of a multi-agency performance framework and via my annual survey.
- Use the results of surveys of victims and survivors of crime to influence partners to improve victim-focused services.
- Enable victims to track the progress of their crime online.
- Develop a more coordinated approach to sharing best practice across the Alliance.
Launching the Warwickshire Victims and Witnesses Charter
In November 2017 the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, Baroness Helen Newlove was on hand to help launch the new Warwickshire Victims and Witnesses Charter. The document outlines nine key expectations that the public should have when dealing with the police and other agencies, such as being kept up to date on their case, being able to make a statement to explain the impact a crime has had on them and receiving appropriate and tailored support before, during and after any court case.
It also seeks to give victims and witnesses a voice and ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable and intimidated victims and witnesses will be recognised and understood.
The charter aims to help ensure that the right measures are in place to support people in Warwickshire to cope after crime, and get their lives back to normal as soon as possible. It has been designed to ensure that the police and criminal justice agencies are doing all they can to ensure that witnesses are in the best position to give their evidence to court in order to maximise the chance of convicting offenders.
As an independent charity, Victim Support works towards a world where people affected by crime or traumatic events get the support they need and the respect they deserve. Victim
Support helps people feel safer and find the strength to move beyond crime. Their support is free, confidential and tailored to the victim’s needs.
Given the vital importance of their contribution to the key objective of putting victims and survivors first, last year I provided £461,000 in funding to support their services for Warwickshire, enabling over 6,000 people affected by crime to be offered immediate support and nearly 800 people further in-depth support.
“The service was brilliant, [my caseworker] was fantastic, really helpful, made me feel so
Restorative Justice (RJ)
Restorative Justice exists to help victims of crime and deter re-offending by bringing together those harmed by an offence and those responsible for the crime. By discussing the impact on the victim of the crime the parties can seek a way of repairing the harm, finding a positive way forward.
The Commissioner jointly funds a RJ Development Manager and RJ Coordinator through the Victim Support contract. Under the PCC’s Victims & Witnesses Charter any victim of crime in Warwickshire is entitled to access RJ services.
RJ services are developing well and were awarded the Restorative Service Quality Mark by the Restorative Justice
Council in February 2018, as a badge of quality that guarantees a safe and high quality service.
Adult Restorative Justice Achievements
During 2017/18 Victim Support’s Warwickshire Restorative Justice team achieved:-
- 1,039 Adults provided with information in relation to RJ.
- 84 Victims participated.
- 64 Offenders participated.
- 49 Referrals that met the criteria for specialist RJ service.
- 35 Professionals worked with.
- 31 RJ person-to-person conferences facilitated.
- 9 Offenders participated in Rehabilitation Activity Requirements (RAR) workshops.
- 8 Police officers trained to Level 2.
- 4 Volunteers recruited.
- RJ briefings delivered to all Warwickshire Police’s Patrol and Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
- 100% Satisfaction levels with the service received.
Commissioning Needs Assessment
The Commissioner holds the statutory function for commissioning services to support victims of crime in Warwickshire. In doing so he aims to get best value for money and the most positive outcomes for victims and survivors of crime. To help ensure this, an independent social research organisation was commissioned by the PCC to ask for the views of victims of crime in Warwickshire.
The survey seeks to provide a comprehensive and independent assessment of the needs of victims, to better understand the victim support, child sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and violence services in Warwickshire and the types of help and support required for those individuals and their families affected in order to recover.
The results of this work will allow more informed decisions to be made as to the future direction of commissioned services in Warwickshire and in doing so improve and strengthen the support and services available.