Information for victims of crime
In December 2013 a revised Victims Code replaced the 2006 version.
The move towards locally commissioned services means that there will be new opportunities for organisations that provide victim services.
Development of an online directory for victim services
An important part of the service has seen the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) develop an online directory of organisations to support victims of crime.
This online directory:
- Allows victims to indentify organisations that they feel would best meet their individual needs;
- Acts as a resource for staff and volunteers within the newly established victim care unit to refer victims (with consent) to the most appropriate organisations;
- Provides a ‘public face’ for a network of organisations that provide victims services for those living and visiting the peninsula;
- Provides clear information on the services that organisations provide, and identify those that can offer restorative justice interventions, and support for with victim personal statements.
The police and crime commissioner has a vital role in ensuring that victim needs are identified and met within their areas. This includes a legal duty to consult with victims in setting the policing priorities for their area and from April 2015, responsibility for commissioning victim services.
The Victims Code sets out clear entitlements for all victims including adults, children and young people and places a duty on organisations within the criminal justice system to ensure these are delivered. The code includes detail about the information, services and support victims are entitled to receive at every stage of the criminal justice process and identifies who is responsible for making sure this happens.
New provision has been made for enhanced entitlements to be provided to victims who are most in need, namely:
- victims of the most serious crime;
- persistently targeted victims, and;
- vulnerable or intimidated victims.
Key improvements to the new Victims Code include:
- Strengthening the voice of the victim by putting the victim personal statement under statutory code and for their statement to be reads aloud in court;
- A separate chapter for businesses and an opportunity for businesses of all sizes to make an impact statement, so that their voice is fully heard;
- Information will be provided on restorative justice for victims of adult offenders;
- An improved complaints process so that victims are better able to hold criminal justice agencies to account if things go wrong;
- A new dedicated section for victims under 18 years of age and their parents and guardians.
The other main agencies given duties under the code are:
- Crown Prosecution Service;
- Prison service;
- Parole board;
- Witness care units;
- Youth offending teams;
- Criminal injuries compensation authority;
- Criminal cases review commission.
A full copy of the Victims Code can be found through the attached link. Links are also provided to other sites containing further information of use to victims.
If you have been the victim of a crime and you have a comment or something to say about the service you received the police and crime commissioner would like to hear from you. Please use the feedback form at the bottom of this page.
Useful links for victims:
Victim Care website - http://victimcaredevonandcornwall.org.uk
Victim Support - http://www.victimsupport.org.uk
Citizens Advice - http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
Action Fraud - http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Crown Prosecution Service - http://www.cps.gov.uk/victims_witnesses/
Criminal Justice System - http://www.cjsonline.gov.uk/