In addition to the aims and objectives we have set out, we are committed to keep learning in order to improve the service we provide to victims and witnesses.
The steps and action we have highlighted are specifically designed to improve the service we provide. As highlighted nationally, victim code compliance is difficult to measure. Once detailed data is received, we will be able to better understand where improvements can be made. We want to ensure that we are always on the front-foot, being proactive in our approach and looking for ways to progress.
More can and will be done in seeking victim and witness feedback. The Kent Criminal Justice Board “victims and witnesses subgroup” has refreshed its multi-agency review programme, looking at where victims have feedback issues or dissatisfaction across the criminal justice system in order to identify and share learning. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is looking to devise and implement a victim’s engagement panel and is looking at the possibility of using support services to get direct feedback from victims and witnesses about their experience.
Understanding feedback from victims and witnesses is essential in order to be able to improve the service we provide. As well as asking for feedback, we understand the importance of examining and learning from occasions where victims and witnesses have reported dissatisfaction with the service received. It is also important to understand that victims and witnesses may be unable to give informed feedback if they are unaware of their entitlements, rights and standards. New systems and processes need to be designed and implemented that will address what victims want and need but also how well informed they have been. At present, the Kent Police Research Bureau conducts surveys in relation to specific crime types of rape, hate crime and domestic abuse and is due to start surveying victims of residential burglary. All surveys look to examine the service the victim has received from the initial report through to the outcome. Work has also started in relation to ensuring that reports of crime are accurately closed as well as accurately recorded.
This strategy, the introduction of the victim and witness champion and the implementation of a revised, permanent governance framework and dedicated service delivery group will bring focus to the issues at hand, providing structure and traction in relation to continuous improvement. This will include dedicated horizon scanning and close consultation with the National Police Chiefs' Council and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services in order to learn and develop good practice to place us at the forefront of victim service delivery.
We will always put victims and witnesses first and provide the best quality service possible for those most vulnerable in our communities by continuously seeking to improve what we do and how we do it.
- capture learning from victims and witnesses through improved surveys including independent reviews and focus groups
- implement a revised governance structure and ‘victim and witness service delivery group’
- commit to continuous proactive horizon scanning to identify best practice