The Domestic Violence Crime and Disorder Act 2004 transferred responsibility for commissioning support services for victims to PCC offices in 2015 following the Government consultation Getting it Right for Victims and Witnesses. Since taking office in 2015 the PCC has engaged in a program of consultation events with victims, criminal justice practitioners and service providers, resulting in the creation of innova… Read more about April 2015 – PCC takes over responsibility for commissioning Victim Services
Victims’ Services during COVID-19 outbreak. Click here.
Over the last five years the services offered to victims of crime in the West Midlands has been reformed significantly by the Police and Crime Commissioner. The level of service now offered has increased dramatically in scope and quality and victims are consulted on much more closely. Below is a timeline of how victim services have changed since 2015:
The Victims Commission is a key strategic partnership that evolved from an eighteen-month consultation process with victims, the voluntary and community sector, statutory agencies and partners organisations. Four models of engagement were produced and the Victims Commission was the preferred model selected by all the participants. The Victims Commission is the PCC’s advisory body on the provision of specialist services. The role of the Victims Commission is to ensure that services have a positive impact on victims, improving the circumstances of individuals affected by crime, to cop… Read more about April 2015 – Launch of Victims Commission
The West Midlands Police and Crime Plan 2016-2020, outlines the PCC’s approach to supporting victims of crime as well as a number of other ambitious priorities. Included within the plan is the eradication of the inequality of service delivery sometimes referred to as a post code lottery which existed prior to local commissioning. The PCC has been successful in establishing a number of regional services built through effective partnership working and effective collaborat… Read more about April 2016 – Launch of the Police and Crime Plan
With the transfer to local commissioning the PCC was given the responsibility of commissioning a First Contact Referral and Assessment. Under the MOJ this contract was delivered by the national charity Victim Support. Local commissioning arrangements allowed for greater scrutiny of this contract and since working with Victim Support on a local level we have refined the service to respond swiftly and appropriately to local need. In early 2019, the OPCC requested a review of the contact methodology for the Initial Contact, Assessment and Referral service delivered by Victim Support… Read more about April 2017 – First Contact referral and Assessment – Victim Support
The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, otherwise known as the Victims’ Code is a statutory code which describes the minimum level of service victims should expect from the Criminal Justice System. The current Victims Code has been in force since 2015. During 2018, Government consulted on a new version of the code that aimed to be a clearly defined set of rights that were easier for victims to understand. Across Government there are continued efforts to ensure that victims are at the centre of the Criminal Justice System and the forthcoming update to the Victims Code of Practice… Read more about 2018 – New Victims Code
Victims Strategy 2018 2018 also saw the introduction of the national Victim’s Strategy. This cross-government strategy is the latest milestone in improving the support for victims and builds on important progress over the last few years, including the Code of Practice for Victims, the appointment of the first Victim’s Commissioner in 2010 and the publication of ‘Getting it right for victims and witnesses’ in 2012. The Strategy sets out the government’s approach to making sure that victims and witnesses get the support that they need and deserve. The strategy outlines… Read more about September 2018 – National Victims Strategy
Harnessing expertise of communities Also in 2018 the PCC embarked on a journey to harness the expertise of community organisations who work with local communities. In response to the increase in reports of Honour-based Abuse and Forced Marriage, the OPCC in October 2019 supported three local organisations Roshni, Panahghar and Sikh Women’s Action Network (SWAN) to launch the West Midlands Honour-based Abuse/Forced Marriage helpline. The purpose of the helpline is to provide high quality telephone support and signposting to those experiencing or at risk of Forced Marriage and Ho… Read more about November 2018 – Harnessing the skills and expertise of community organisations
In 2019 the PCC published a victims statement outlining his continued commitment to securing improvements in services for victims by working directly with those who are impacted by crime as well as with the voluntary and community sector. His priorities included: Ensure victims continue to receive quality support services as and when they need them. Improve victim satisfaction and overall experience by continuing to develop excellent support and service provision that is informed by victims. Improve… Read more about April 2019 – Refreshed Victims Statement
The Victims Summit 2020 In 2020 the PCC held his annual Victims Summit. Which brought together services commissioned regionally and locally as a result of recommendations made by the Victims Commission. The Commission has played an integral role, assisting the PCC to shape delivery for victims of crime across the region. The Summit addressed ‘Online Abuse and Technological Victimisation’ which was the theme on the day. The Summit addressed the challenges of online abuse and tech victimisation from the perspective of survivors/victims, an academic from Birmingham City Univer… Read more about February 2020 – The Victims Summit
The Vulnerable Victims Review The PCC made a commitment within the Victims Statement to ‘establishing a victims panel which will listen to the lived experiences of victims, their ideas and recommendations for how the commissioning of local services could be improved’. The Vulnerable Victims Review provided a step towards fulfilling this commitment and sought to learn from the experiences of victims themselves. This report is a testament to the brave individuals who came forward and shared their experiences. The comprehensive recommendations which formed part of the… Read more about October 2020 – The Vulnerable Victims Review
The PCC appointed Cllr Nicky Brennan as the region’s first ever Victims’ Commissioner.