APCC Victims Leads welcome plans to improve the Victims Code of Practice
The Government has published an updated Victims Code of Practice which will come into effect from April 2021.
APCC Victims Leads, Sophie Linden, London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime & Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner said:
"For too long, criminal justice in this country has operated as a system of processes, measures and targets, rather than a service focused on meeting the needs of victims of crime and the wider public. The introduction of the Victims Code of Practice in 2006 helped refocus minds on the fact that victims’ needs must come first. If victims know their rights and feel supported, they are more likely to seek help and stay engaged in the process.
"However, we have seen poor implementation of the Code, hampered by low levels of awareness amongst victims of their entitlements and about what to do if those entitlements are not being met. We welcome the changes which are being made. In particular, we hope the Summary of Victims’ Rights section, and the presentation of the document as a whole, will provide more clarity to victims and witnesses so that they are fully informed as to what services they are entitled to receive.
"PCCs are responsible for commissioning many of the services which support victims, and we continue to play a key role in ensuring the Victims Code delivers what it sets out to achieve. We also look forward to working with Government on shaping the new Victims Law which will guarantee these rights."