Shining a spotlight on the experiences of victims and witnesses of crime in West Mercia, PCC John Campion holds the Chief Constable to account on the issues that matter to them.
There is currently a large backlog of court cases in West Mercia due to delays in the criminal justice system. At the accountability session on Tuesday 28 February, Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion focused on what the force was doing to mitigate the impact of the backlog on victims who are seeing their trials being delayed and justice denied.
To support victims and witnesses, the PCC has extended funding for two additional Witness Care Unit staff, to ensure victims get the support they need leading to the outcomes they deserve from the criminal justice system.
Chief Constable Pippa Mills confirmed that the force is putting victims and witnesses first by improving compliance with the Victims’ Code of Practice and increasing referrals into the Victim Advice Line, funded by the PCC.
As the voice of the public in policing, PCC John Campion sought reassurance that improvements were also being made to crime investigations and file quality.
To ensure charging rates are high it’s important investigations and case files are completed to a high standard. The Chief Constable confirmed that the force is taking action to improve standards which has seen a welcome increase in charging rates.
PCC John Campion said: “Victims are at the heart of everything I do as Police and Crime Commissioner. I want victims to get the best possible service from their police force.
“I welcome the positive steps the Chief Constable has taken. However, I’m under no illusion that there is still much more that needs to be done. To ensure improvements continue, I will support the force with the resources it needs to ensure the voice and needs of victims are always put first.”