APCC Victims Lead and Deputy Lead comment on HM Inspectorate of Probation CRCs report
APCC Victims Lead, Dame Vera Baird QC said:
“This report provides further evidence of the need for a radical overhaul to how offender management is provided to ensure that vulnerable victims receive the protection they need and that offenders are given support to address their offending behaviour. While the Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy commendably aims to end violence against women and girls, much of the good work being taken forward in this area, is being undermined by the failure of CRCs to adequately support and protect victims of domestic abuse.
“Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have a crucial role to play in how offender management is delivered at the local level and reforms to current arrangements must allow PCCs to work with the Ministry of Justice as an equal partner going forward and we have made this clear in our submission to the recent probation consultation. PCCs are ideally placed to play this role, not least as we have a responsibility for ensuring that victims of crime are supported and that the local Criminal Justice System puts the needs of victims at the heart of how it operates. PCCs are already taking forward a wide range of work locally to ensure that victims of domestic abuse are supported and protected.”
APCC Deputy Victims Lead, Marc Jones, said:
“The findings in the HMIP report are shocking and unacceptable and I am particularly concerned about the risks of any further decline in the service provided between now and 2020 when the current CRCs contracts are replaced. We already know that the current arrangements for CRCs are not working and the Government has just undertaken a review of probation arrangements so now has the perfect opportunity to drive through the much-needed reform to how offenders, including perpetrators of domestic abuse, are managed. We urge the Government to work with PCCs on the new arrangements for probation to ensure that future arrangements not only provide offenders with the support they need to stop offending, but, just as importantly, that need of victims are at the centre of future probation arrangements.”