Victims of crime in Stone are being urged to take part in a national survey as part of ongoing work to put their needs first.
Supporting victims and witnesses is one of four key priorities for Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis, as outlined in his Safer, Fairer, United Communities strategy.
Deputy PCC Sue Arnold is reforming victim services on behalf of Mr Ellis and will oversee the introduction of a new Staffordshire-wide Victim Gateway which will offer free advice and support to victims, witnesses and their families.
Mrs Arnold is backing a review of Victim Personal Statements by national Victims’ Commissioner Baroness Newlove which is seeking feedback from victims through an online survey at http://victimscommissioner.org.uk/review/current-review/
Victim Personal Statements give victims the chance to explain how they were affected by a crime. They can be read out at court by the victim or someone on their behalf.
Mrs Arnold said:
“Currently, the very services that are there to support victims and witnesses can be anything but user friendly, meaning the experience people have of the courts and criminal justice system can be as taxing and traumatic as the original incident.
“This new Victims Gateway in Staffordshire will change that by making sure the system fits the victim rather than the victim having to fit around the system.
“It will put victims at the heart of decision-making, meaning that they are treated as individuals, and will avoid duplication by joining up multiple services regarding victims.
“Crime can devastate victims’ lives and Victim Personal Statements are a really powerful way of victims sharing the affect a crime has on them. I fully support this review by Baroness Newlove and urge people to go online and fill it in.”
The new Staffordshire Gateway will be delivered by a Citizens Advice consortium led by Staffordshire North and Stoke-on-Trent CAB after they were successful in winning a three-and-half-year contract. From August this will replace the current regional general support service delivered from Birmingham by Victim Support.