Dame Vera says that increased co-operation between police forces as recommended by Sir Tom Winsor could have 'immense advantages' for victims

In response to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services’ (HMICFRS) State of Policing: The Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2019 report which has been published today (2 July 2020) the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales Dame Vera Baird QC said:

“I welcome Sir Tom Winsor’s report. I think many of the possible changes he suggests would improve the quality and consistency of victim care across England and Wales.

“As he says there cannot be 43 best ways of doing things and more joined-up working between police forces, and the introduction of a ‘network code’, could have immerse advantages for victims of crime.

“Currently there can be a marked difference between the services and support victims receive depending on where they live – sometimes even between neighbouring forces – which is not acceptable.

“Further to this, despite doing some excellent work individually, having more than 40 victims’ hubs run by the Police and Crime Commissioner for each force area, is not the most efficient way to spend funds.

“Streamlining the multiple management structures, buildings and systems, and improving consistency in service provision can only be a positive for victims.

“And I echo his comments regarding the way the police service has responded to the unprecedented and unique challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Officers have continued to work to keep communities safe throughout the crisis. Knowing this is the case will no doubt have provided victims of crime – especially those suffering domestic abuse – with reassurance and confidence that even during the lockdown restrictions help would be available if they needed it.”