Working with Women in Criminal Justice

Over 60 people concerned about women in the criminal justice system gathered from all over the Thames Valley at Reading Town Hall on Tuesday.

They had come together to hear the latest about the impact of government changes on services for women.

Participants included people working with women fleeing domestic abuse, rape crisis workers, police officers, and those supporting women offenders and their families.

The event was organised and run by the Women’s Resource Centre (WRC), the leading national umbrella body for women’s charities, in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld. Vivienne Hayes, Chief Executive of WRC, who chaired the event said:

"Big changes are happening in criminal justice. For example, in the future, much of the money for victims of crime will come from the Police and Crime Commissioner”.

In the morning attendees heard from Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley. The PCC’s role includes making sure that victims of crime are properly supported to ‘cope and recover’ as set out in the new government Code for Victims.

Anthony Stansfeld said:

“I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet with and hear the views of a range of women’s organisations. Supporting this event, along with other work, such as a victim needs assessment, will assist me in making future commissioning decisions.”

In the afternoon the women’s organisations represented were able to meet, network and discuss how best to influence policy in the future.

Ila Chandavarkar, Head of Policy at WRC said:  "We are seeing a worrying decline across the country in small charities working with women, because of cuts and the trend to commission services from larger bodies. This event has helped to make sure that local groups are up-to-date with changes, and have had the chance to make sure vital work can continue."

ENDS

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