To Continue to Improve the Journey for the Victim
We know that the journey for victims still has a long way to go. We have made progress. Dorset is the first County in England to have created a software system that absorbs all agency data and to map progress from the crime entering the Criminal Justice System to the end of the case. The system is called Crest, and it was paid for by my office. The Lord Chancellor, Michael Gove, came to Dorset to see the system in November 2015.
I represent the public on the Dorset Criminal Justice Board. In my view, to speed up and improve the victim and witness journey, in addition to Crest we need to:
- Improve IT structures, so that remands, court cases and prisoner productions can all be done virtually
- Improve IT structures so that police and witnesses can give evidence remotely
- Improve systems so that courts don’t “double or triple” book their court rooms.
These things are all achievable in partnership, and I will continue to pursue these issues on your behalf.
I believe we should examine the model used in some parts of Europe, where victims have their own lawyer. That lawyer will adopt an advocate role on behalf of the victim, representing them during cross examination, reading out the Victim Personal Statement to the court, and helping to fight for compensation. I have lobbied the Home Secretary and Lord Chancellor to sponsor a pilot scheme here in Dorset, and I will continue to do so.
Safer Dorset Foundation
I will create a Safer Dorset Foundation. The Safer Dorset Foundation’s purpose will be to promote for public benefit across Dorset a safer and increased quality of life through the prevention of crime and the protection of property from criminal acts. Furthermore, the foundation will promote the advancement of learning and education to benefit people in all matters relating to alcohol, drug and other substance abuse issues and/or issues affecting their physical and emotional wellbeing.
The foundation will benefit
- Victims and witnesses affected by crime. The foundation will also seek to benefit others affected by crime, including offenders through the promotion of rehabilitation and support services.
- Vulnerable people and the general public
- Organisations supporting the above beneficiaries will be supported through knowledge exchange, guidance and advice as well as assistance in capacity building organisations that assist the foundation in delivering its charitable objects
Thanks for reading this,