Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden has a clear commitment to championing victims' rights and ensuring vulnerable people are supported.
The Commissioner wants victims to have their voices heard, and to be able to access the services he knows they need, based on what victims of crime from across Lancashire have told him.
Responsibility for deciding what services will be offered to victims now rests with Mr Snowden – meaning he has the opportunity to put funding into services for Lancashire which really support the needs of its residents when they are at their most vulnerable.
What those services will look like is still being decided, but the Commissioner has made 10 clear commitments for what they will deliver through his victims' and witnesses' strategy:
- Victims and witnesses are to be treated with dignity and respect and feel valued and safe at all stages of the process.
- The needs of victims and witnesses will be recognised by the police – and everyone else connected with the case – and addressed.
- Victims and witnesses will receive clear, timely updates about what the progress of their case and will be told what they can expect as their case goes to court.
- People will be able to report crimes via third-parties and other public sector agencies.
- Victims of all crime – including anti-social behaviour and hate crime – have access to the services they need.
- Where victims need specialist services and emotional support to help them cope and recover from their experiences this is available, regardless of whether they have reported the incident to the police.
- The impact crimes can have on others close to the victim, such as parents, siblings and the wider community, is recognised and addressed.
- Services will be able to recognise the needs of children and young people, and support them.
- Victims will have the opportunity to access restorative justice at any point of the criminal justice system.
- Victims will be regularly consulted and have the opportunity to influence the design and delivery of support services to better suit their needs.
You can find out more about what victims' services in Lancashire look like – and how to access them - by visiting the Lancashire PCC website.