The Warwickshire Victims and Witnesses Charter sets out the standards and services communities should expect to receive from the police and criminal justice agencies in the county if they fall victim to or witness a crime.
It 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, with enhanced support put in place.
In particular, the Commissioner strives to ensure that:
- A victim or witness can expect to be given useful, informative and timely communication about the progression of the crime investigation from Warwickshire Police. This will be tailored to the circumstances of each victim.
- Victims of crime are offered appropriate support to help them cope and recover from any effects of the crime.
- All victims of crime are given the opportunity to make a victim personal statement or business impact statement to allow them to explain the impact the crime has had on them to the court.
- The needs of the most vulnerable and intimidated victims and witnesses will be recognised and understood. Warwickshire Police will enhance the support they provide accordingly.
- Victims and witnesses will be offered appropriate care and support to be prepared to maximise the quality of their evidence in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.
- Support for any victim or witness does not end at court. It is my expectation that appropriate support is available for as long as is necessary to help the victim cope during the recovery process.
- Victims of crime are offered restorative justice opportunities if that is their wish, through professionally-managed engagement with the offender.
- When victims seek financial compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, effective support is provided by agencies as necessary and appropriate.
- Victims and witnesses have a voice. The Commissioner will ensure that processes are in place in order to improve satisfaction, enable complaints to be made more effectively and learn lessons and make continuous improvements.
As your Police and Crime Commissioner, I committed to putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system. I also want to ensure that all victims and witnesses are treated with dignity and respect. Victims and witnesses of crime already have a number of entitlements under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime 2015 and the Witness Charter 2013.
“Here in Warwickshire, it is my expectation that all organisations which have obligations to provide these entitlements to victims and witnesses will do so. I will challenge and hold to account organisations if they fail in these duties.
– Warwickshire PCC Philip Seccombe