October 2023 – October 2024
Objectives of the Victims’ Commissioner, Baroness Newlove
The Victims’ Commissioner has four key strategic objectives for her term:
1. A Victims and Prisoners Bill that delivers transformational change for victims
Advocate for the development of a comprehensive Victims and Prisoners Bill that not only upholds government commitments to victims but brings about significant structural improvements.
2. An effective justice system that works for all and promotes and supports active victim participation
Advocate for an effective and efficient justice system that is sensitive to the needs and interests of victims, delivers procedural justice and gives victims a voice in proceedings.
3. Strong oversight and accountability mechanisms
Advocate for robust oversight and accountability mechanisms to hold criminal justice agencies and organisations accountable for their performance and quality of service to victims and compliance with the Victims’ Code.
4. Quality support for all victims
Advocate for all victims to have access to high-quality and best practice support services, regardless of their location or the nature of the crime they have experienced.
The Victims’ Commissioner will meet her objectives through the following activities:
A. Supporting victims in coping and recovering
We will work with criminal justice agencies to ensure victims are supported in coping and recovering from the impact of crime and are empowered to play a full part in the criminal justice system, including Crown and Magistrates Courts, Coroners inquests, Parole Board hearings, Mental Health Review Tribunals and ASB Case Reviews. This includes being able to access victim services tailored to their needs and being treated with respect and decency.
B. Monitoring and enhance compliance
We will monitor and report on criminal justice agencies’ compliance with the requirements of the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime and the Witness Charter; identify areas that are deficient and make recommendations for change based on evidence of best practice; and improve public awareness of entitlements.
C. Acting as the voice of victims
We will ensure the interests of victims and witnesses are fully considered at all stages in any proposals for development and/or change to the criminal justice system, with specific focus on the Victims and Prisoners Bill currently making its way through Parliament.
D. Amplifying the victim’s voice
Through regular contact with victims and practitioners of victims’ services, we will articulate a view of the criminal justice system from the perspective of victims lived experiences; contribute to, review and challenge decisions taken by policy makers and those responsible for developing practice.
E. Promoting best practice and excellence
Through gaining first-hand knowledge and understanding of victims’ services, we will identify and actively promote examples of good practice and excellence.