Criminal Justice 'must not let down our victims', says Commissioner
Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has vowed to challenge the criminal justice system in its treatment of victims,  pledging to continue to support and enhance the experience of victims and witnesses during the court process, in response to a recent report from the House of Commons.

Commissioner David Lloyd said: “We have already made great strides in improving the way in which victims are treated in the aftermath of a crime and during the investigation. Sadly, it is still the case that things often go less well when victims come into contact with courts and the wider criminal justice system. I am determined to see big improvements in this area.”

The parliamentary report entitled ‘Efficiency in the Criminal Justice System’ in the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts (2016) took a national view on victim experiences of the judicial process. One of its most striking observations says just over half (55 per cent) of victims and witnesses questioned who had given evidence said they would not be inclined do so again.

Amongst its conclusions and recommendations the report cites the Criminal Justice System is “not good enough” at supporting victims and witnesses and suggests the variances in services offered by geographical location results in a “postcode lottery” for victim support nationwide.
In Hertfordshire, the Commissioner has already pledged to work with partners to improve the experience for victims and witness and has already started a review into the working of the Criminal Justice Board to explore and encourage collaborative partnerships with all agencies involved in the justice system.
The Commissioner welcomes anyone with first-hand experience of the judicial system to share their thoughts and experiences via ‘Victims Voice’ - an on-going public consultation platform which allows victims to directly share their experiences openly, honestly and anonymously, helping to shape the future of victim services.

Commissioner Lloyd said: “The undeniable correlation between quality in victim support, quality of evidence and improved outcomes at court means I very much welcome this report and its findings in putting victims experiences and the part we all have to play in that quality of that experience, for discussion on the national agenda.

“Here in Hertfordshire work is already well underway in exploring working of the Criminal Justice Board,  and also with nearly two years in operation, Victims Voice is well established as a direct route to assess public experience and opinion. I am only too aware the key to getting it right is to establish effective and collaborative partnerships with all the agencies involved and assure anyone who can spare the time to share their experience that it will play a valuable part in shaping the commissioning of future services in the county.”
Victims and witnesses can advise their views by contacting the Police and Crime Commissioners Victims Voice open consultation accessible at calling 0800 999 7499 (free from most landlines) to take part in an automated telephone survey.