Posted: Friday 23rd January 2015
One of my four key priorities is to make sure victims are at the heart of our criminal justice system so I was excited this week to be able to announce the launch of some new or enhanced services for victims.
This is the culmination of a lot of work undertaken throughout 2014 following a move by the Ministry of Justice to transfer responsibility for providing local victim services to PCCs. The move means that victim services can be provided according to what’s needed locally – something which makes absolute sense. We used this as an opportunity to speak to victims in our area, as well as organisations who work with victims, to find out what people in our communities need. We’ve started from scratch to review what’s right for our communities in 2015 and come up with a fresh approach, rather than simply continuing with what already existed.
This week we’ve announced what those services are and the organisations commissioned to provide them from April this year. They include advocacy services for adults and young people – to make sure quieter victims are heard and included in the criminal justice system – as well as an enhancing Independent Sexual Violence Advisors and a pilot of a modern slavery support service. You can find out more about these and other new services on my here and I’m convinced that each of them will bring enhanced benefits for victims of crime and anti-social behaviour when they are launched from April.
Recent events in Paris have again highlighted the risk police officers across the world face to keep us safe. It’s a time to pause and remember the police officers and frontline staff who work across Avon and Somerset and come in to work at all times of the day and night not knowing what they’ll face that day but who will do what it takes to protect us. We are very lucky to have the police service we have and I for one am grateful for everything they do. From speaking with many of you on my travels I know that people share this view.
I spend a lot of time travelling around the area meeting with our communities and local organisations. I think it’s important for me to go and meet people to listen to them in their own communities whenever I can. One way I do this is through the public forums held jointly with local police. Held every couple of months, they’ve recently been held in Bristol and Yate and the next one is in Keynsham on February 5th. If you come live in the area please do come along – it’s your chance to ask questions and raise issues directly with me and your local police commander.
Until next time,