THE Police Commissioner for Merseyside is calling on the victims of crime to have their say on how they can be better supported.
From next April Jane Kennedy will work with her deputy Ann O’Byrne will take responsibility for support services across the region from the Ministry of Justice.
In preparation for the change they are launching a region wide consultation asking victims about their views and experiences currently on offer.
It is hoped that the exercise will help improve services for others in the future.
Jane said: “I don’t want to second guess what victims want. I want them to tell me what they need so I can make sure I make the right decisions for them.
“That is why we are launching a scheme to listen to their views. This is a unique opportunity to make sure we get it right and put victims first.”
The first stage of the consultation will last six weeks and will include focus groups and interviews with people affected by crime. Discussions will also be held on a range of crimes including sexual and domestic violence, hate crime, anti-social behaviour and violence.
The process will be led by Ann O’Byrne.
She said: “This is a really important piece of work. We need to get it right for victims now and in the future. This is something I feel hugely passionate about.
“I believe we can make a difference to vulnerable people by making sure we deliver the right services at the right time.
“This consultation is a new approach. It gives people the chance to speak out, to share their experiences and tell us what they want to see.
“By talking to us now victims will help to improve the services on offer to others.”
To mark the launch of the consultation a new report, Putting Victims First, has been released explaining how these plans will be put into action.
It also outlines their key principles and objectives for the coming year.
Ann said: “This is a chance for victims to help us change things for the better. By speaking out they will be taking a positive step in helping Jane and I to make sure victims have the best possible support and care in the future.
“I would urge anyone who has been a victim of crime here on Merseyside to speak to us either by filling in the online survey at http://www.merseysidepcc.info/home/get-involved/puttingvictimsfirst.aspx or by contacting our office with your views.”
You can take part in the consultation at http://www.merseysidepcc.info/home/get-involved/puttingvictimsfirst.aspx