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The team


Dame Vera Baird, Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales

Find out about the role of the Victims’ Commissioner.

Read about the Victims’ Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird.

A picture of Katie Kempen, the CEO

Katie Kempen, Chief Executive Officer

Katie Kempen took up post as CEO at the Office of the Victims’ Commissioner in June 2021.

Katie joined the Office of the Victims’ Commissioner from the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA), where she was the Chief Executive. The ICVA leads, supports and represents local volunteer schemes, who make unannounced visits to police custody in order to check on the rights, entitlements and wellbeing of detainees and to prevent ill-treatment in detention.

Katie joined the ICVA from a background in victims’ services having provided national policy support to reforms that devolved responsibility for commissioning services from the Ministry of Justice to Police and Crime Commissioners. Katie has previously commissioned local specialist services and has a background as a trustee for a domestic abuse charity.


Tom Cracknell, Communications & Stakeholder Manager

Tom Cracknell is responsible for all external communications for the Victims’ Commissioner, including press and media, digital communications, campaigns and external affairs.

Tom has a background in government communications and policy and joined the Office of the Victims’ Commissioner from the Ministry of Justice, where he was a Senior External Affairs Manager.

For media enquiries, see the Contact section.

Reviews and Analysis

Dr Sarah Poppleton, Head of Reviews and Analysis

Dr Sarah Poppleton leads our reviews of victims’ services, to ensure victims and witnesses receive compassionate treatment and their full entitlements under the Victims’ Code.

Her background is in public sector social research. She has a Ph.D. in Psychology and carried out academic research on work and wellbeing before specialising in research into criminal justice matters since joining the Civil Service.

Sarah’s previous role was Principal Social Researcher at the Sentencing Council for England and Wales, carrying out research on sentencing behaviour and sentencing guidelines.

Sarah works part-time, with her non-working day on Thursday.

Madeleine Storry, Senior Research Officer

Madeleine Storry joined the Reviews and Analysis team at the Office of the Victims’ Commissioner in July 2021. Madeleine joined from the Ministry of Justice where she was a Senior Researcher in the Data and Analytical Services Directorate.

Prior to her career in the Civil Service, Madeleine was in academia where her specialism was in prison research. She is in the final stages of completing her PhD which explores the gendered aspects of ageing in prison.

Madeleine works condensed hours, with her non-working day on Friday.


Beccy Shortt, Policy Manager (VAWG)

Beccy is responsible for the Victims’ Commissioner’s Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) policy work. Beccy advises on VAWG issues, including compiling briefings for policy-makers, responding to government consultations, engaging with VAWG stakeholders and assisting the Commissioner to best represent the interests of survivors.

Prior to joining the Office of the Victims’ Commissioner, Beccy worked in the VAWG sector in both policy and legal adviser roles. Beccy has a legal background, having started her career as a criminal law solicitor.

Beccy works part-time, Monday to Wednesday.


Joss Mistry, Correspondence Manager

Joss is the Victims’ Commissioner’s Correspondence Manager. She assists the Victims Commissioner in all correspondence and communications from victims and witnesses of crime who want to share their experience of the Criminal Justice System.

Joss has worked extensively across a number of government departments with over 15 years of case-working, operational policy and training experience, within the Ministry of Justice.

Joss works part-time, from Tuesday to Thursday.

Diary Management

Natasha Pizzuto, Diary Manager

Natasha has managed the Commissioner’s diary since May 2019. She joined the team from the Citizens Advice Witness Service, where she provided support and information to victims and witnesses at court and prior to that worked with survivors of domestic abuse.

Natasha works part-time, Monday to Wednesday.