Responding to the publication of the Government’s Victims Strategy, APCC Victims Lead, Dame Vera Baird PCC, said:
“We welcome the Government’s Victims Strategy and the vision for a justice system that supports more victims to come forward by giving them the support that they need.
“Police and Crime Commissioners have a crucial role to play, at a local level, in ensuring that victims are supported through out the criminal justice process and have access to the support services that they need to help them cope and recover.
“Not only are PCCs responsible for commissioning the majority of local support services for victims, but, as the Strategy acknowledges, PCCs can provide an important overview of how the criminal justice system locally is meeting the needs of victims. Indeed, PCCs are already doing just that and we look forward to working with Government on the Strategy; further developing the role of PCCs to better meet the needs of victims locally and ensuring that victims are receiving their entitlements under the Victims Code of Practice.”
On the decision to review the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and abolish the “same roof” rule, Dame Vera added:
“We also welcome the review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and the decision to abolish the “same roof” rule. It has been clear for some time that, as it stands, the Scheme fails to compensate victims and survivors of some of the most serious sexual offences.
“In July last year we called on the Justice Secretary to make a change as there are a number of rules under the current Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme which are simply not fit for purpose and are failing to compensate victims and survivors of some of the most serious sexual offences.
“We hope that the review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme will be root and branch. There are a number of worrying rules and concerns about the current culture, lack of empathy and low understanding of the impact of sexual domestic crimes and crimes against children, which need to be looked at.”