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Victims voice at the heart of proposals for support services


Improving victim satisfaction and putting the voice of victims first is at the heart of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens intentions for future support services in Avon and Somerset.

Sue Mountstevens has set out her plans in three documents on her website in preparation for when she will be responsible for commissioning support services for victims of crime and anti-social behaviour.

Commissioning victims' services will fall to Sue Mountstevens from this autumn, and significant research and consultation has already been undertaken to establish what support victims want and need locally.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system is one of my key priorities. I want victims to know that they will be believed, taken seriously and will be dealt with effectively and compassionately by everyone. 

“It is clear by the research undertaken by my office and the Constabulary that often a victim can be contacted multiple times by different organisations. Current arrangements create potential for duplication and sometimes complete gaps in provision for certain victims of crime. This leads to confusion for the victim and a disjointed experience of the criminal justice system.”

In Avon and Somerset there will be a significant focus on improving and ‘joining up’ services for victims.

Last November the PCC, together with Avon and Somerset Police, the Probation Service and other statutory and voluntary partners began a ground breaking new approach to put the victims at the heart of the criminal justice system.

Plans to build an integrated team that will support victims from the moment they become a victim through to the final resolution in court or through restorative justice are being developed in detail.

Sue Mountstevens added: "I want to make sure that a victims experience is seamless and supportive. By working with all the criminal justice and voluntary partners and by developing clear commissioning intentions in consultation with victims and professionals, I hope to establish the very best specialised support services particularly for the most vulnerable of victims.”

Sue Mountstevens is continuing to consult on her draft commissioning intentions, and urges as many residents as possible, particularly those who have been victims of crime or who have had contact with existing services to share their views - http://www.consultation.avonandsomerset.police.uk/pcc/victim-services-commissioning-intentions

The consultation will close on May 30.

Useful information:

You can read the Victims Services Commissioning Intentions here

The Integrated Victims Strategy here

The draft Victims Needs Assessment here

Have your say here




Posted on Friday 7th March 2014
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