Norfolk PCC Stephen Bett has welcomed the announcement by Victims’ Commissioner Baroness Newlove that a review of victims’ treatment within the criminal justice system is to be carried out.
Baroness Newlove, who met with Stephen a year ago (pictured) to find out about his approach to ensuring victims’ needs are at the heart of policing in Norfolk, has said the review will look at how criminal justice agencies support victims of crime in compliance with the Victims’ Code, deal with complaints and use restorative justice.
Stephen said: “I was delighted to meet Baroness Newlove in July of last year and speak to her about some of the things we are doing locally to ensure victims get the best possible support to help them cope with and recover from what they’ve experienced.
“Baroness Newlove is an inspirational person, campaigning for the rights of victims as someone who knows what it is like to be in that position. The support she showed for what we are doing in Norfolk was much appreciated.
“I agree with her that there is much more that can be done to improve victims’ experiences of the criminal justice system. This review will highlight exactly where improvements need to be made, and it will also pinpoint examples of good practice allowing agencies to learn from one another.
“I am very keen that Norfolk Constabulary continues the good work with partners to better balance the needs of the criminal justice system and victims of crime. This includes increasing use of restorative justice (RJ) as an alternative to court. RJ is the process of bringing together those harmed by crime to find a positive way forward and it can be transformational for victims as they get an opportunity to tell offenders how the crime made them feel and to get an apology,” Stephen added.
“I would like to see the capacity and capability around the use of restorative justice in Norfolk expand and I think, by highlighting how the approach is being used successfully and where more thought or guidelines are needed, this review could be really useful for ongoing development in this area.”