Criminal Justice Experience
AIM: Improvements in criminal justice experience and outcomes for victims of domestic and sexual abuse.
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC)
- We have now launched the Victims First service which allows for a centralised referral pathway for any victim, witness or family member of victim who require additional support.
- We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police to create new guidance and put a technical solution in place which allows officers and staff in contact with victims to check on their welfare and where support is required refer them directly to Victims First.
- The Thames Valley Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Service is funded by the OPCC and works closely with Thames Valley Police Specially Trained Officers to provide support to victims of sexual violence throughout the criminal justice process and beyond.
- We have co-commissioned with local authorities to provide additional support to victims of domestic abuse, this includes the creation of Medium Risk Safety Planners which work alongside the Domestic Abuse Investigation Units and deliver safety planning to victims and refer victims needing support into specialist services.
Thames Valley Police
- The Policing Strategy Unit have issued amended forms and guidance for officers submitting files for domestic abuse cases to improve the quality of evidence and to reduce errors.
- The Policing Strategy Unit has developed guidance to ensure officers and staff are aware of how to refer victims into the Victims First service.
- The quality of Victim Contact Contracts continue to be monitored by service improvement, and Thames Valley Police is currently running a "dotting the i's" and and "crossing the t's" internal campaign to ensure contract quality is high. The percentage of offences per month which have a Victim Contact Contract has risen from 34% (in July 2017) to 78% (in April 2018).
- Criminal Justice (CJ) is supporting the Force Liaison Advisors in delivering a more streamlined approach to the deployment of Family Liaison Officers (FLOS) to deliver a better service to the victims of the most serious crimes. This will contribute to improving response to dealing with witnesses.
- Force CID is exploring an information campaign targeting victims of rape to improve understanding of the criminal justice process and support available. This aims to encourage engagement with and confidence in the CJ process to improve positive outcomes.
- The Policing Strategy Unit has issued amended forms and guidance for officers submitting files for domestic abuse cases to improve the quality of evidence and to reduce errors.
- We have embedded a Detective Chief Inspector in the CPS Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) team in order to improve our understanding of CPS file requirements and improve our case file submissions in order to increase positive outcomes.
- A Rape Gold group has been set up to improve positive outcomes of rape, including file quality.
- Criminal Justice is investigating the correlation between file quality issues and violence against the person offences to find and act on specific areas of improvement.
- Monthly standardisation meetings are being held with the CPS to ensure a more joined up approach and so maximise successful prosecutions.
- Protocols for domestic abuse conditional cautions have been agreed between with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) following consultation with national CPS domestic abuse lead. This will allow the police to mandate an offender to attend a perpetrator programme as part of the conditions of the caution.