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Government action plan reflects regional strategy

17th July 2014

A newly published Government action plan has been welcomed by Vera Baird who says its aims reflect her own.

This week the Ministry of Justice published its Transforming the Criminal Justice System Strategy and Action Plan.

This plan considers the needs of victims and witnesses of crime, speeding up the criminal justice process and getting things right first time.

As well as putting victims and witnesses at the heart of the criminal justice system it aims to improve the way specific crimes like sexual violence, domestic violence and abuse, hate crime, modern slavery and cyber crime are dealt with.

Vera Baird, who is also a member of the National Criminal Justice Board which will be monitoring the plan, said: “Putting victims and witnesses first by speeding up processes and making sure things are done in the right way first time is the only way forward.

“When I launched the VAWAG strategy with my fellow north eastern Commissioners we said our vision was for a strong and confident region which strives to be fair and just.

“We said this could only be done if everyone living in the region was safe and felt safe and this latest Government action plan is very much a step in the right direction.

“The VAWAG strategy provides people with access to a range of confidential support and help as well as raising the profile of these crimes through a series of campaigns.

“It is developing a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub to encourage public services and the voluntary sector to work together in order to provide wraparound support for victims, and we are piloting specialist workers accompanying response officers to calls of domestic and sexual violence.

“The strategy is also introducing ways of promoting early intervention work and panels to look at how cases have been tried.

“We are looking at the extent of these issues and how people can be supported and it’s great to see this national action plan.”

The VAWAG strategy includes 20 priorities tackling all forms of domestic abuse and violence, which together reflect the Criminal Justice Board’s priorities.

These aim to make the Victims’ Code and Witness Charter part of the normal business for everyone in the criminal justice system.

It also aims to support police forces to become digital by 2016 as well as introducing digital systems in other parts of the criminal justice system.

Making sure the right people are dealing with the right cases and offenders will also help improve the effectiveness of the courts which will again improve the situation of victims and witnesses.

The Commissioner added: “No one agency or institution can deal with any victim of domestic violence or violence against women alone and we must all come together to ensure a comprehensive and co-ordinated response, making the best use of the limited resources we all have at our disposal.”