New lessons to support victims of the most serious crimes

This article appears in the May 2014 edition of the College newsletter.

New statutory obligations on police to help victims of crime have been introduced, covering those classed as being vulnerable or intimidated.

The new Victims' Code - which came into force in December 2013 - sets out enhanced support for victims of the most serious crimes and those who are persistently targeted.

It also includes specific sections dedicated to the needs of children and young people, and new provisions for responding to businesses that are victims of crime.

We have launched a new e-learning package for officers and staff to help them understand their new statutory obligations under the Victims' Code.

National policing lead for victims and witnesses, Assistant Chief Constable Gary Cann, said:

"This code is very important because the decisions taken on how to obtain the accounts of victims and witnesses, and how to support them through the criminal justice process, can have as much of an impact on the outcome of a case as custody procedures and other evidence handling. These decisions can also have a huge impact on the welfare of the victim and their confidence in the police.

"Our knowledge of the law and procedure for dealing with victims should be at least as good as our knowledge for dealing with suspects. This training will help officers understand their statutory obligations so that we provide the best support possible to victims and witnesses."

Superintendent Ian John, who leads our work on criminal justice said:

"This new training will not only help officers understand the statutory obligations under the Victims' Code, but is also part of our wider efforts to ensure that victims are at the heart of the criminal justice system.

"The College will continue to play its part in providing the right tools and training for officers and staff so they are best able to support victims and witnesses of crime."

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