Commissioner's survey to become permanent voice for victims
A survey of victims of crime in Hertfordshire, which was due to close, is to remain open permanently so that people can continue to feed back their experiences into the future.
The Victims’ Voice consultation was launched by the Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd to learn more about the quality of service provided to victims in the county and what could be improved. In its first two months, almost 400 responses to the online and telephone questionnaire were received from people wanting to share their views and experiences.
This feedback is being used to help shape a new victims’ service in the county, which will be launched in April this year as the Commissioner takes over the £1.26million victims’ services budget from central government. The survey was due to close before the unveiling of the new service but because of the positive response the Commissioner has decided to keep the survey open on an on-going basis.
Victims’ Voice will become a permanent means by which victims can air their views anonymously with him, raise issues about the service they have received or simply share their experiences. This information will be used to help monitor and further develop the newly-commissioned service.
David Lloyd said: “I am delighted that Victims’ Voice will remain open. The responses to the survey so far have been invaluable in helping shape the new service that will be launched in April. Victim input is a vital cog in my strategy to create a more victim-centred criminal justice system in the county. The new arrangements will be made-to-measure for victims of crime in Hertfordshire rather than a one-size-fits-all approach that we’ve had up to now.”
Some of the responses have been a reminder of the serious impact crime can have on victims. One respondent said, “I was emotionally upset and it took weeks for me to come to terms with the burglary, and I still find it upsetting”, while another burglary victim commented, “It's not what they take, it's what they leave behind. That is what causes the most harm.”
The survey also highlights an issue that has been known for some time, with more than four per cent of respondents saying that they did not report their crimes to police.
Commissioner Lloyd added: “The consultation has so far provided a range of responses, many of which have been quite poignant to reflect on. Some respondents indicated that they had not reported the crime to police and while I would always urge people to report offences, I am grateful that they still chose to take part in the survey. We’ve long known that a proportion of crimes go unreported however my aim is to represent all victims of crime whether it was reported or not, and I want the new service to reflect that.”
There are many ways to take part in Victims’ Voice. The easiest way to have your say is by going to the online survey that can be found here or by calling 0800 999 7499 (free from most landlines) to take part in an automated telephone survey.
People who don’t want to take part in a formal survey but would nevertheless have their say can do so via email to this address; however the telephone survey also has the facility to simply say what your experiences have been.
Hard copies of the questionnaire can be requested from the Commissioner’s office by calling 01707 806100 or by writing to Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, Harpenden Police Station, 15 Vaughan Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 4GZ.