Posted by _Fat Media on 12 March 2015

Baroness Newlove is the Victims Commissioner for England and Wales and her journey in this role began by having to come to terms herself with being a victim of serious crime.  The role of the Victims Commissioner is to promote the interests of victims and witnesses, encourage good practice in their treatment, and to regularly review the Victims’ Code which sets out the service victims can expect to receive.

Baroness Newloves first review on Compliance with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime(the Victims’ Code) focuses on complaints and their resolution with specific regard to:

  • Awareness by victims and agencies of victims’ rights to make a complaint, as set out in the Victims’ Code
  • The ease and accessibility of agents complaints processes
  • How satisfactorily the complaint was handled
  • Whether criminal justice agencies are learning from the complaints they receive to improve victims’ services.

Baroness Newloves report sets out some examples of what seems to be working well, standards for what she thinks good practice looks like and recommendations to the Government and to the heads of the criminal justice agencies about what is needed to deliver improvements. Ultimately the report sets the standard by which agencies should be handling concerns from victims and what needs to be done to give victims a better experience.  It also says how the criminal justice system can operate in a way which gives victims confidence that their voice will be listened to-and that what they say really does matter.