Support for Victims
AIM: Improved routes into services from police and other agencies for victims and witnesses who require support.
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
- 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 requires additional support.
- We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police to create new guidance and put a technical solution in place to allow officers and staff in contact with victims to check on their welfare and where support is required refer them directly to Victims First.
- Victims First has also being promoted to the public and other partners to ensure that people that need support, regardless of whether they have reported the crime to the police, are aware of Victims First and know how to access it. This includes the creation of Victims First Connect which involves points in local communities that people can access information about support and be referred to Victims First.
- We have co-commissioned some domestic abuse services with local authorities including Medium Risk Safety Planners who are located in Domestic Abuse Investigation Units and work with medium risk victims to deliver safety planning and signpost to support services.
Thames Valley Police
- The Policing Strategy Unit has developed guidance to ensure officers and staff are aware of how to refer victims into the Victims First service.
- There has been continued forcewide internal communications to promote the Victims Code to staff and officers.
- 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 Criminal Justice process to improve positive outcomes.
- A new Victim & Witness Care portfolio has been established which expands the role of the witness care unit. This aims to relieve pressure on officers, improve success rates in court and ensure victims feel better supported.