Review of Victims’ Services – report now published!

In June this year, I published a post inviting people’s views on existing support services for victims of crime.  The Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel had set up a small Task and Finish Group to undertake an extensive review of victim support services in the county and to evaluate the extent of victims’ needs and expectations being met by existing provision in Warwickshire.

The Group members gathered and received evidence from a wide range of sources, including local representatives of support services and victims of crime. As a result, 19 evidence-based recommendations have been identified to address a number of thematic issues that relate to the full range of victim support services in Warwickshire. Members believe that the recommendations will help to place victims at the heart of both the voluntary and criminal justice sector and bring greater sustainability to the array of voluntary organisations, who contribute significantly to the recovery of victims of crime in Warwickshire.

A copy of the report and recommendations is available here. Victims front page

The Task and Finish Group will present its report to the Police and Crime Panel on 21st November (click here to access meeting details and the agenda). Following this, the report and recommendations will be submitted to the Police and Crime Commissioner, who is now responsible for the delivery of victim support service.

The Task and Finish Group would like to pay tribute to the commitment of Warwickshire’s existing victims’ support services, volunteers and support staff and express it gratitude to those representatives and victims of crime who gave up their time to contribute to this review.

Police and Crime Panel – 21 November

There are a number of sensitive but extremely important issues scheduled for discussion at the next meeting of the Police and Crime Panel on 21st November.

Child Sexual Exploitation

The Commissioner has been asked to provide a verbal report regarding Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). The Panel will be looking for assurances from the Commissioner about how the threat of CSE is being addressed in Warwickshire, with a particular focus on his partnership working arrangements with Warwickshire County Council regarding vulnerable children and the role of the Warwickshire Police in tackling and investigating CSE. The spotlight is now on local authorities, the police and Commissioners following the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham (1997-2013) by Alexis Jay OBE, which highlighted the failure of key partners to protect vulnerable children and victims in Rotherham.

Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

The Panel has expressed concerns previously regarding the reported low ‘conversion rate’ (i.e. the number of reported crimes that result in a prosecution) for cases of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence. The Panel will receive a report from Warwickshire Police which will outline how the force and the Commissioner will address this issue.

Cyber, Rural and Business Crime

In his Police and Crime Plan 2013-17, the Commissioner has prioritised funding to address these three types of crime and an update on recent activity will be shared with the Panel.

Get Involved

The meeting starts at 11am in the Council Chamber at Stratford-upon-Avon District Council and is open to the public (click here for the agenda and reports). If you wish to ask either the Commissioner or the Panel a question at the meeting, please visit here for further information.

Police and Crime Panel – 26 September

Reviewing the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner

At the next meeting of the Police and Crime Panel, there will be a key focus on policing in Warwickshire. The Commissioner will be in attendance to talk about how he monitors the performance of Warwickshire’s Chief Constable for the operational aspects of policing across the county. Part of this will include a report on Operation X – the targteting of resources in key areas (known as Policing Priority Areas)  to tackle prolific offenders and cross-border criminality. The Commissioner will be sharing his views on the possible continuation of Operation X (known as Operation Devonport).

The Panel will also be listening to the views of the county’s two Chairs of Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) who are members of the community selected to visit police stations unannounced to check on the welfare of people in police custody.

Other areas for discussion includes: a) how the Commissioner intends to engage and listen to the view of the community; and b) and update on the Community Safety Ambassadors.

Get Involved

The meeting starts at 10am in the Council Chamber at North Warwickshire Borough Council and is open to the public (click here for the agenda and reports). If you wish to ask either the Commissioner or the Panel a question at the meeting, please visit here for further information.

Police and Crime Panel – 18 July

Reviewing the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner

At its next meeting on Friday 18 July, the Police and Crime Panel has an importance role in reviewing the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner – Ron Ball – over the past 12 months. The Panel will examine and question the Commissioner in respect of his Annual Report 2014, which outlines his activities and achievements throughout the year including the development of the Stratgic Alliance with West Mercia, progress against his Police and Crime Plan and management of the policing budget.

Get Involved

The meeting starts at 10am in the Council Chamber at Rugby Town Hall and is open to the public (click here for the agenda and reports). If you wish to ask either the Commissioner or the Panel a question at the meeting, please visit here for further information.

Review of Victims’ Services

Have you been a victim of crime, or know someone who has?

Do you work with and provide support services to victims of crime?

The Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel has set up a dedicated group to review existing support services for victims of crime, which will focus specifically on the successes and gaps in supporting victims and provide an assessment of local need. A key part of the review is to listen to the views of the people who have first-hand experience of those support services – either the victims of crime, or those that support them.

This is a crucial piece of work that will help the Police and Crime Commissioner in his ongoing work to commission victim services in the future and it is important that those services reflect victim needs and priorities. National research of best practice support to victims demonstrates that it should:

  • Be equally accessible across the county;
  • Have an approach that puts the needs of the victim at the heart of the system;
  • Be multi-agency, where appropriate;
  • Provide support to victims of anti-social behaviour and hate crime;
  • Have consistent, specialised provision for victims of domestic and sexual violence; and
  • Provide specialised support for children and young people. (‘Listening and learning: Improving support for victims in Warwickshire’, VSA project)

If you wish to share your experiences and views, or make suggestions about how existing services could be improved, please contact the Panel by 25 July using the contact details below:

Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel
Warwickshire County Council
PO Box 9, Shire Hall
Warwick, CV34 4RR

Tel: (01926) 413747
Email: democraticservices@warwickshire.gov.uk

For more information on the role and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Panel, please visit: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/policeandcrimepanel

First Annual Report of the Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel

The first Annual Report of the Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel has been published and is available here.

It’s been a very busy and challenging 18 months for the Panel since its first meeting in December 2012. This first report outlines the background work in setting up the Panel, the key activities and achievements in the first 18 months of its existence and how the Panel will develop over the coming year to expand its role to undertake, not just the statutory duties, but also proactive scrutiny of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s policies and core areas of work.

The Annual Report will be considered at Annual Council on 20 May – this meeting is open to the public and details are available here.

Get Involved

Meetings of the Police and Crime Panel are open to the public and allow for questions to be asked. For further details or meetings and how to participate, please visit the dedicated web page here.

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