Victim’s rights have been outlined in a new pledge released by Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), who hopes the commitment is a further final step towards a new Victim’s Law, which the Government is being urged to introduce.
A short video about the commitment is available to view at https://www.gloucestershire-pcc.gov.uk/the-victims-pledge/
The new ‘Victim’s Pledge’ from Martin Surl, promises to ‘put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system and ensure that all victims and witnesses are treated with dignity and respect.’
The Commissioner is backing a campaign by Dame Vera Baird, the Victim’s Commissioner for England and Wales, to ensure that a victim’s Pledge will one day become a victim’s law.
The role of the PCC is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account. PCC’s also have a key role in relation to victims of crime receiving the best possible support. Therefore, Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, Martin Surl, will endeavour to ensure that:
- All victims receive timely information on the progress of their case (through a contact agreement), the trial and its outcome where appropriate
- Where appropriate, victims are given the opportunity to make a victim personal statement to explain the impact of the crime for them
- All crimes are recorded correctly without unjustified delay
- Victim Services are commissioned and overseen by the OPCC
- All vulnerable and intimidated victims, victims of the most serious crimes and persistently targeted victims will be provided with enhanced support
- Victims are offered access to restorative justice through Restorative Gloucestershire if appropriate
- All statutory agencies adhere to the legal entitlement of victims with OPCC championing compliance
- All victims of crime are offered appropriate support from local services such as Victim Support
- Victims get help to seek financial compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) if appropriate
- Victims and witnesses will have a voice and a simple and effective complaints procedure in order to continuously improve service
The full pledge from Martin Surl, Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, reads, “As your Police & Crime Commissioner, I am committed to putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system and ensure that all victims and witnesses are treated with dignity and respect.
“For me every crime matters and every contact counts, here in Gloucestershire, it is my expectation that all organisations which have obligations to you as a victim or a witness will deliver on their responsibilities. I will challenge and hold to account those organisations to ensure they deliver for you.”