Suffolk Police is launching a new Victims’ Strategy, as the organisation underlines its commitment to ‘delivering a service that values and supports people’.
This new strategy emphasises the police force’s standards and the service that victims of crime can expect to receive from the police.
Its aim is to put victims at the heart of policing in Suffolk by providing the support and information that they need.
The strategy includes information regarding Suffolk Police’s statutory responsibilities under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, which details the action that officers and staff will take once a crime has been reported.
The key principles of the strategy outline that Suffolk Police officers and staff will:
- Listen to the victims’ concerns and desired outcomes
- Take all reports seriously regardless of whether victims want to record a crime
- Explain clearly what will happen, and what to expect from the police
- Signpost the victim to support and other key agencies
- Keep the victim updated as the investigation progresses and where appropriate explain proportionate crime investigation
- Empower the victim to be part of the solution
- Be positive, kind, professional, polite and friendly
The strategy also provides information on services provided to victims by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, which has responsibility for commissioning local services which support victims to cope and recover.
This includes the Victim Referral and Assessment Service, which enables any victim of crime to be referred by the police, or to self-refer, for a needs assessment.
To underline the force’s commitment to victims, all front line officers and staff are being given additional training on the Victims’ Code.
This is being delivered ‘in-classroom’ using a bespoke package and will highlight to staff how important it is to communicate well with victims and spend time ensuring they understand what the process will be in dealing with their crime.
Alongside the strategy, a new leaflet has been produced entitled ‘Supporting Victims of Crime’ which will be given out to victims.
This provides a summary of the key points of the overall strategy and signposts victims to relevant support agencies.
Both documents are available for members of the public to view and download from the Suffolk Police website.
Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Kearton said: “We are here to fight crime, keep people safe, to deal with offenders and support victims and witnesses. Providing a professional service to victims and supporting them is at the heart of what we do.
“Suffolk Police is committed to improving this and is launching the Victims’ Strategy to emphasise our standards and expectations and to recognise that how our police officers and staff listen to, talk with, and address the needs of our victims and communities is the key to excellent policing in the county.
“The service received by victims and witnesses when they have contact with the police is critical in shaping views of the police service and we are aware that each contact is an opportunity to create a lasting and positive impact. It is therefore really important that every officer takes responsibility for listening to and really understanding the needs of our victims and witnesses.”
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, added: “It is important that victims of crime are at the heart of everything we do and I really welcome this new Victims’ Strategy, which sets out what victims of crime can expect from the Constabulary in Suffolk.
“If you are a victim of a crime, we want to make sure that you have the right services in place, available at the right time to meet your needs – nothing else will do.
“As your PCC I need to make sure that victims are treated as individuals, and that victims have access to the support they need to help them move on and recover.
“The most important message to victims in Suffolk is that they deserve to - and will be - heard.”