Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber was recently joined by Chief Constable Jason Hogg in hosting a visit from the Rt Honourable Edward Argar to discuss support for victims of rape and serious sexual offences
The visit focused on work to support victims across the criminal justice process from investigations, outcomes and support services with attendance from Thames Valley’s Police’s Rape and Sexual Offences Team and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Victims First Service.
Matthew Barber said “Improving the experience, criminal justice outcomes and victim satisfaction for victims of rape and sexual violence is a key priority. It forms part of my Thames Valley Strategy on improving the safety of women and girls but applies to all victims, male and female.
“I welcome the visit from the Minister of Justice. It provided a good opportunity to discuss the work currently taking place within Thames Valley Police and across criminal justice agencies to improve performance as well as to raise the challenges faced.
“I was also able to share our approach to commissioning services for victims of crime and for the Minister to hear directly from Victims First Officers who are the first point of contact for any victim seeking additional support.
“Thames Valley Police have been working hard to support victims of rape and sexual assault through the investigation and prosecution process. Going to court can add to the trauma of an already awful time in a victim’s life. The work of the police is vital to keeping victims engaged and feeling supported.
“I am grateful to the Minister for taking the time to listen to the staff on the front line and to discuss opportunities to improve the criminal justice system more widely. The Victims and Prisoners Bill, which is progressing through Parliament, will give Police and Crime Commissioners the ability to hold all criminal justice agencies to account for serving victims better.”