The responses will feed into the Government's consultation on the Victims’ Code of Practice
The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales Dame Vera Baird QC has today (7 April) launched a survey to capture the experience of the criminal justice system from victims’ perspective.
The questionnaire, which has been created by the Commissioner’s research team, consists of a series short questions about victims’ experience of every stage of the process from the initial incident, through the police investigation to any subsequent court hearing.
The responses – which must be submitted by 5 May 2020 – will be used as part of the Commissioner’s submission to the consultation on the Victims’ Code of Practice (VCOP) which is currently being conducted by the Government.
Dame Vera said: “Only those who have been a victim can explain how they were treated and how they felt during the process. And it is vital that I am able to capture this so I can ensure their voice and lived experience is fed into the consultation.
“I want to know as much as I can – be that good or bad – about how people felt about being involved in a criminal investigation and what it was like attending court if they were required to do so.
“I understand that it may be difficult for people to share their experiences, but I want to reassure everyone that all information submitted is confidential.
“The survey does not take long to complete, and I would ask anyone who has been a victim of a crime in the past three years to take part to assist me in this important piece of work,” Dame Vera concluded.
Following intervention from the Commissioner the original deadline for submissions to the consultation has been pushed back from 16 April to 28 May to allow interested parties the time to focus on responding to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Government’s consultation is the next step in improving the experience of victims within the justice system and will pave the way for a Victims’ Law that will guarantee victims their rights.
It focuses on VCOP which is the statutory Government document which sets out the minimum level of services that victims of crime should receive from criminal justice agencies and other organisations in England and Wales.
Please click this link to complete the survey – www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/victimscodesurvey/