Commissioner listens and learns from victims of crime

Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston is to meet victims of crime in a series of workshops being held across the five local authority areas covered by the Force.

The first workshop will be held at the Information Station in Newport tomorrow (February 6th ) and 60 recent victims of crime have received a personal invitation to attend.

Mr Johnston said: "We have invited people who have experienced a variety of crimes to attend and tell us about the kind of service they received from officers. Whether they've had a positive experience or they are dissatisfied with the service, I want to know as this information will help us improve the service.

"We already survey victims of crime every three months and we know that while the majority are extremely satisfied, around a quarter of our victims would like more feedback on the actions the police are taking to detect and bring criminals to justice."

The way victims of crime are cared for is central to Mr Johnston's plans for the future. He will be responsible for commissioning a whole raft of services for victims from next year. Prior to his election Mr Johnston signed up to Victim Support's five pledges to victims.

  • Be open and accountable to victims and witnesses, seeking out and acting on their views.
  • Ensure that victims and witnesses get the high quality help and support they need, when they need it.
  • Make the police more victim-focused and more effective at meeting their needs.
  • Give victims and witnesses an effective voice in the wider criminal justice system.
  • Constantly work to develop new ways of delivering justice for victims.

The Commissioner concluded: "Preventing crime happening in the first place and reducing the number of victims is, of course, one of Gwent Police's priorities. However, how we deal with people who have been victims is another priority which I'm passionate about.

"It's really important that we listen carefully to those who've had experience of our service, and indeed to the officers and staff who provide the service, as only then can we improve things for victims.

"If victims are unable to attend a session I am also happy for them to contact me about their experience separately. They can contact my office and I will welcome their feedback and comments."

Other workshops are being held at Cwmbran on February 20th, Chepstow on February 26th, Ystrad Mynach on March 4th, and Rassau on March 12th, 2013.