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Justice Committee to probe Victims Bill with local government and crime commissioners

17 June 2022

The Justice Committee will continue its scrutiny of the draft Victims Bill on 21 une by hearing the views of local government leaders, police and crime commissioners (PCCs) and victim support groups.

Session background

The Government wants the Bill to improve support for victims throughout the criminal justice system, give them confidence to engage with agencies such as police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), and help them to recover from the impacts of crime.

A key aspect of the Bill is to put the Victim's Code into law. In a recent consultation, the Ministry of Justice said there is poor compliance with the Code and what victims' rights are too often not met. Office for National Statistics data showed only 18% of victims were given the opportunity to make a personal statement, and only 45% felt the police and other agencies kept them informed.

The Bill would also put duties on police and the CPS to collect data on their own compliance with the Code, and give oversight of this to PCCs.

Session focus

MPs will ask witnesses to comment on the Bill's proposal of introducing a duty on PCCs, local authorities and NHS Integrated Care Boards to collaborate and create more holistic and better coordinated victim-support services.

They will also be asked about resourcing implications that this, as well as new duties to collect data, would have on local public services.

Victim support groups giving evidence in the second panel will be asked to comment on the proposed duty to collaborate on providing support to victims, and the Government's proposals to define the roles of Independent Secual Violence Advisors and Independent Domestic Abuse Advisors in law. The session will also provide the opportunity to consider proposed changes to the Victim's Code.

The cross-party Committee will also see witnesses' views on how the proposals will ensure that people from marginalised groups will have their voices heard and needs supported.

Witnesses

Tuesday 21 June, Committee Room 15, Palace of Westminster

From 2.30pm

  • Councillor Nesil Caliskan, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board and Leader of Enfield Council
  • Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in London and Joint Lead for Victims for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners
  • Mark Norris, Principal Policy Advisor on Resilience, Safety and Regulation, Local Government Association

From 3.30pm

  • Tracy Blackwell, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Refuge
  • Jayne Butler, Chief Executive Officer, Rape Crisis England and Wales
  • Suzanne Jacob OBE, Chief Executive, SafeLives
  • Alex Mayes, External Affairs Manager, Victim Support
  • Dr Hannana Siddiqui, Head of Policy and Research, Southall Black Sisters

Further information

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