Mayor secures extra £2.4m to improve support for crime victims
• Comes as major review into the treatment of crime victims and witnesses, led by the Victims’ Commissioner Baroness Newlove, is published
• New funding will allow improved services and gaps in provision to be plugged when MOPAC will take on responsibility for funding victims’ services
The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh, has announced that London has secured an additional £2.36million to fund a series of improvements in services supporting victims of crime in London.
Although crime in London is falling, the police still record over 50,000 victims of notifiable crimes each month and Victim Support receives over 17,000 new cases each month. The funds mean that the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) will have £6.7m to commission improved victims services from October that meet local needs.
At the same time, a major new independent report, commissioned by MOPAC and led by Baroness Newlove, the Victims' Commissioner, is published. The Review of Victim Services contains 13 recommendations for improvement, including the need to create victim-centred approaches tailored to individuals; to address gaps in provision of services for young people, repeat victims and victims of hate crime; to establish a centralised database of victims' services; and for improvements in the way victim data is recorded and shared to build a more complete picture of how to help individuals cope and recover from their experience
The review’s recommendations will now be considered by the Deputy Mayor and will help to shape future service provision and funding priorities.
The £2.36m has been secured by MOPAC from the Ministry of Justice's Police and Crime Commissioner Competed Fund and follows lobbying from the Mayor to redress the imbalance created by population-based allocations, which had meant that London received less than its fair share of funding.
Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “Crime is falling and victim satisfaction is going up, but there are still too many victims of crime and the experience for victims and their families can be devastating. The Met Commissioner has made victim care a key priority for the police, but we need the whole criminal justice system in London to work harder to address the individual needs of crime victims, and not to see them as simply a pawn in a larger legal process. This important review, led by Baroness Newlove, provides the Mayor and I with invaluable insights into what is working and what needs to change. The report has highlighted some key gaps that I want to fill and we are delighted that our case has been heard and we now have the extra funding to do that.”
Baroness Newlove, Victims' Commissioner, said: “No matter where a crime happens across the country – victims want and deserve quality care that fits their needs and not just those of the criminal justice system. London does have a complex set of challenges - these recommendations address the level of victimisation experienced in the capital; what services are available to victims, how they feel about them and what improvements need to be made. I’m pleased that these have been taken on board by the Deputy Mayor and I want to see real change made as a result – sooner rather than later. Over the next year, I’m going to be looking very closely at how victims are being treated; if agencies are complying with the Victims’ Code and if their complaints are being taken seriously.”
Notes to editors
1. From October 2014, MOPAC assumes a new role as the commissioner of victims’ services in London. Services were previously commissioned on a national basis by the Ministry of Justice.
2. In September 2013, MOPAC announced that Helen Newlove, the Victims’ Commissioner had agreed to lead a review into the current provision of services for crime victims and witnesses in London. The review was officially presented to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh, at City Hall (picture).
3. The plans for how MOPAC will commission services and which projects will receive funding, based on the review’s findings, will be announced in the autumn.