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Commissioner supports calls for legally enforceable victim rights

16th October 2017

The Victims’ Commissioner, Baroness Helen Newlove, has urged the government to make the needs and rights of victims central to the delivery of justice.  She has called for victims to have the right to be informed about court dates and decisions, a right to make a personal statement at trial and a right to be consulted on conditions of the offender’s release or discharge.

On Commissioner Newlove’s calls, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird QC said: “I am delighted to join Baronness Newlove in her campaigning for improved victim rights.

“At a force level I will continue to ensure that the services offered by Victims First Northumbria deliver tailor made support for victims of crime. I also look forward to taking forward a pilot scheme funded by the Home Office VAWG transformation fund.”

Dame Vera, who is also Chair of the APCC Supporting Victims and Reducing Harm standing group, launched a successful bid to the transformation fund, securing almost £650,000, part of which is allocated to the development of the role of ‘victims advocate’ or ‘witness advocate’ for people who are pursuing their alleged assailants through a prosecution

“Northumbria police have the highest satisfaction rate in the country for supporting victims of crime but giving complainants a cast iron right to what the VC advocates will guarantee that they are equally well supported throughout the process and across the board.”