West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner backs new Victims’ Commissioner’s Standards (28 Jan 2015)

Calls to improve the way victims are supported by criminal justice agencies, including the police, have been welcomed by West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson.

Mr Burns-Williamson said that a major review by Victims' Commissioner Baroness Helen Newlove this week highlighted how important it was to put the victim at the heart of the criminal justice process.

Baroness Newlove has laid out a set of new standards which she expects governments and agencies to adopt when responding to concerns from victims. They include clear information for victims to support them in raising a concern or making a complaint about the service they have received.

Mr Burns-Williamson said that he would be ensuring the standards were incorporated into the work already being done in West Yorkshire to help victims and witnesses.

As part of ongoing work to support victims, the PCC launched the Help for Victims website, www.helpforvictims.co.uk last October at an event attended by Baroness Newlove which ensures individuals will be able to immediately access all the information contained within the Victims' Code and the Witness Charter in a question and answer format.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: "The standards laid out by Baroness Newlove include providing information on what to do if victims are not happy with the response they receive from agencies and we have that facility on our new Help for Victims website.

"I believe setting out these standards is a major step forward in ensuring victims and witnesses are supported and will ensure they are upheld at West Yorkshire Police.

"As part of preparations for me taking over the commissioning of victims' services I have asked Victim Support to map services currently available to victims of crime to identify gaps and best practice.

"I have also made five promises within my Police and Crime Plan to victims and witnesses including ensuring they get the high quality support and help they need, when they need it, in the way they need it from the right agency.

"The Help for Victims website fits that criteria because it contains advice and support from the Victims' Code as well as details of numerous relevant organisations within West Yorkshire, that can also help victims.

"I will do everything in my power to provide a louder voice for victims and will be working with West Yorkshire Police to provide the opportunity for victims to prepare a victim personal statement."


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