Response to the appointment of an Interim Victims' Commissioner
The Ministry of Justice has announced the appointment of Baroness Newlove as the Interim Victims’ Commissioner.
Sophie Linden, APCC Joint Lead for Victims has welcomed the appointment:
“With the Victims and Prisoners Bill reaching a critical stage in its journey through Parliament, it is imperative we have a strong and experienced voice to scrutinise the Bill’s delivery and ensure it lives up to its promises.
“Although PCCs preserve the rights, needs and voices of victims of crime locally, the Victims’ Commissioner provides advocacy at a national level. The role is essential in holding the government and criminal justice agencies to account and maintaining independent oversight to ensure victims receive the high standard of care and treatment they deserve.
“While her appointment is to be welcomed, this role has remained unacceptably vacant for far too long. We are disappointed that after two campaigns, the government has yet to appoint a suitable permanent candidate and would urge for this to be resolved as soon as possible. It is vital that long-term stability is brought to the role to rebuild public confidence."
“We must do everything possible to ensure the views of victims are heard, listened to, and acted upon. As a victim of crime herself, Baroness Newlove has an extensive understanding of justice journey and brings her own personal experience to the role to promote powerful and meaningful change in the way victims themselves want. Having already spent six years in the post and with a long and successful history of advocating for victims, her re-appointment will help fulfil the promises of the Victims and Prisoners Bill and ensure criminal justice agencies honour their statutory duty of care to all victims of crime.
“The announcement that a new Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner has been selected following an 18-month delay is also welcomed. The arrival of Eleanor Lyons, the current Deputy Children’s Commissioner, will provide critical oversight of the UK’s progress in responding to modern slavery and examine the implementation of new laws to detect and support trafficking victims that were made while the post remained vacant. It is another important step forward in ensuring survivors’ experiences remain at the heart of national reform and decision-making processes.
“I look forward to working with both Baroness Newlove and Eleanor Lyons to ensure the needs of victims continue to be met.”