The Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC’s) key duties include supporting victims, giving them a voice and ensuring the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in Cleveland.
These duties are set out in the oath of office, which is sworn by the PCC when he takes up the four-year post.
As a result, one of the five key objectives in the Police and Crime Plan is making sure there is effective support for victims and witnesses of crime
The PCC commissions a range of services on the behalf of victims. These include the following:
- The Victim Care and Advice Service (VCAS)
- Restorative Cleveland
- Sexual violence and exploitation provision from Teesside Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC,) Arch Teesside, A Way out and Eva Women’s Aid.
- A number of services for victims of domestic abuse and their families provided by My Sister’s Place, Eva Women’s Aid, Harbour Support Services and the Halo Project.
Victims’ needs’ assessment study
In 2021, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) launched a major exercise into how victims accessed support.
The work looked at the needs of victims It was the most in-depth study of its kind conducted in Cleveland. Its aims included the following:
The study resulted in the publication of the following two reports by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI.)
Help for victims of crime
As a victim, what support am I entitled to?
The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime forms a key part of Government strategy to transform the criminal justice system.
It aims to put victims first and make the system more responsive and easier to navigate for everyone.
As a result, the code says that Victims of crime should be treated in a respectful, sensitive and professional manner without discrimination.
Victims should receive appropriate support to help them to cope and recover from crime as well as be protected from further victimisation.
Victims should know what information and support is available to them – from the point of reporting a crime onwards. In addition, victims should know who to go to ask for help.
The Government has just published an updated Victims Code of Practice, which came into effect in April 2021.
Reporting crimes and getting compensation
Supporting Victims of:
In addition to services commissioned locally by Cleveland Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, the following Ministry of Justice-funded services are available:
- National Homicide Service Homicide Service – Victim Support,
- Brake for victims of road traffic incidents Brake | The Road Safety Charity
Crime, justice and the law
- Going to court to give evidence as a victim or witness
- Restorative Justice Council
- Restorative Cleveland
The MOJ also funds the witness care service to support witnesses at court:The Citizens Advice Witness Service – Citizens Advice.