Julia welcomes Victims’ Commissioner
The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, Baroness Newlove, has visited North Yorkshire to see how support for victims of crime has developed under Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan.
Baroness Newlove visited on Thursday 16 August and spent the day in the City of York to learn how new services, such as counselling and restorative justice are making a positive impact to victims’ support. She also met victims and witnesses, hearing first-hand about their experiences as crime victims across the county.
Julia invited Baroness Newlove to explain how she has focused on ensuring the help available is locally commissioned and based on a Victims Needs Assessment rather than focused on a regional victims’ service based in Wakefield.
Baroness Newlove advises the government and criminal justice system on how best to support victims and witnesses of crime. Appointed as a Peer in the House of Lords in 2010, she was appointed Victims’ Commissioner in 2012 as a committed campaigner for victims.
Victims and crime are both causes close to her heart. In August 2007, Baroness Newlove became a crime victim herself, when her husband Garry was fatally attacked by a gang on the family’s doorstep.
Victims services across England and Wales are now the responsibility of Police and Crime Commissioners, who commission the services locally which they feel are needed.
Those services have been developed in recent years in North Yorkshire, with a more comprehensive selection of services than ever before, and one a stop shop for victims via the Supporting Victims service, based in York.
Baroness Newlove said:
“It is clear that Julia takes victims services seriously, and I was impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm of the staff and volunteers who support victims across York and North Yorkshire.
“The team based in York do a sterling job, but I want to make sure the service is consistent for all crime victims with nobody being short-changed.”
Julia Mulligan, elected Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and York added:
“It was a pleasure hosting Baroness Newlove for the day. She has done more than anyone to raise the plight of victims in the criminal justice system and I know she was as impressed as I am with the dedication shown by all those in North Yorkshire to help victims and witnesses of crime, whether as their vocation or as a volunteer.
“I plan to keep on improving victims’ services in York and North Yorkshire, which has been a focus of mine since coming to office in 2012 when the services to victims in North Yorkshire were not what they should have been. That has changed, but there is always more we can do”.
If anyone has been a victim of crime, whether they have reported to the police or not, you can speak to Supporting Victims on 01609 643100 or visit the website – www.supportingvictims.org.