A review undertaken by the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, Baroness Newlove, has found that feedback collected by the police in respect of the support they provide to victims of crime is important; it is used to improve services given to victims by police forces.
Baroness Newlove says:
“I have always placed great importance on criminal justice agencies measuring and monitoring victims’ satisfaction with the services they receive. This feedback can then be used to improve the experiences of victims in their journey through the criminal justice system. Most importantly, it also gives the victim a voice about their experience, which needs to be heard.”
A total of twenty four police forces took part in this review. This included twenty three out of the forty three police forces funded by the Home Office in addition to the British Transport Police.
Whilst the Home Office has previously required police forces to measure victims’ satisfaction, from April 2017, the only mandatory measure of victim satisfaction required will be from victims of domestic violence.
This means that police forces will be free to measure and monitor the satisfaction of all other victims of crime in line with their own strategic priorities at a local level. There is already evidence that reduced mandatory requirement from the Home Office has led to some police forces using this as an opportunity to develop new survey methods, including a broader range of crime types and victims in their surveys than was previously mandated.
Equally, however, it also means that police forces will be free to choose not to measure victim satisfaction at all.
Baroness Newlove said
“I am impressed that the responses from the 24 participating police forces suggest there is good practice across the country in how victims’ satisfaction is measured and in how that data is used to improve services for victims. Police forces have provided some excellent examples of how they say they use victim satisfaction data to develop and improve services for victims.
“All 24 forces indicated that they planned to continue monitoring victim satisfaction and clearly this will be to the benefit of victims. However, given that not every force responded to my survey, I do not know if this commitment applies to all police forces. I am concerned that if the decision is taken by individual forces not to fund satisfaction monitoring, this will ultimately have a detrimental impact upon the services received by victims.”
Commenting on the reduction in national data requirements, Baroness Newlove says:
“The ability to compare and contrast victims’ satisfaction across police force areas will be reduced as a result of the reduced mandatory requirement and this is a shame as the ability to compare satisfaction data can assist in highlighting good practice and where there needs to be improvement.”
To counter this, the review recommends that consideration be given as to whether police forces should continue to collect some core victim satisfaction survey data from the former mandatory requirement in order to monitor changes over time and compare levels of victims’ satisfaction across police forces area. It also recommends that forces work collaboratively to share their good practice and their methodology for monitoring satisfaction levels.
Download the full report: The Victims’ Commissioner’s Scoping Review into the Measurement and Monitoring of Victim Satisfaction with the Police (PDF, 1 MB)
Notes to Editors:
- For further information, please contact Russell A’Court on 07957 693147 or Russell.A’Court@victimscommissioner.gsi.gov.uk
- Baroness Newlove is the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales. Appointed in March 2013 and re-appointed in March 2016, her role is to promote the interests of victims and witnesses; encourage good practice in the treatment of victims and witnesses; and keep under review the operation of the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime