Commissioner to scrutinise progress in protecting and supporting victims of crime

26 February 2024

Improvements to the way victims of crime are supported through their justice experience and safeguarded from further harm will be scrutinised in a new performance meeting.

Angelique Foster, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, will host an online Performance Scrutiny Meeting (PSM) on Thursday 11th July where she will review detailed evidence from the force on the work it is doing to deliver her Police and Crime Plan priority to improve Victim Support and Safeguarding.

The Commissioner introduced the PSM programme to hold the Chief Constable Rachel Swann to account for the delivery of her safety plans. Members of the public are invited to submit questions ahead of the event for the Commissioner, Chief Constable or senior officers to respond.

Since her election, the Commissioner has made clear her expectations that all victims of crime regardless of the crime committed should received the best policing service possible and excellent victim support services to help them recover afterwards.

In meeting her Police and Crime Plan priority to ensure that all victims receive appropriate, high quality support from the police and to ensure that the most vulnerable are protected, the Commissioner has supported a raft of changes and continues to provide a platform for victims to contribute and use their voice to shape future reform.

Her funding has supported the creation of new dedicated teams to safeguard victims and improve the quality of police investigations including a Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) team, a Domestic Abuse Review Team (DART) and a Missing Persons Investigation Team co-located with the Exploitation Team. Seventy-two per cent of missing person investigations are now resolved solely by the team. Further successes include a 10 per cent reduction of repeat missing children from residential care and a 12 per cent reduction of missing children assesses as being at risk of child criminal or sexual exploitation.

Additionally, a Serial and Repeat Team was launched in 2023 focusing on cases of high harm repeat victims and serial offenders of sexual offences, stalking and harassment and domestic abuse. The team has secured a 22 per cent decrease in crimes by these offenders and an 81 increase in positive outcomes.

The Commissioner has been focussed on the quality of service provided to all victims of crime, from burglary and Anti-Social Behaviour to serious and violent crime.  For example, Derbyshire Constabulary was one of the first forces to commit to visiting all residential burglaries, well ahead of the legislation advocating this. 

Working collaboratively with partners, the Commissioner has driven the development of a Derbyshire-specific Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy to deliver a more effective response across the different organisations responsible for tackling these crimes.

She has also funded a full-time stalking co-ordinator within the force and two independent stalking advocates.

This month, the Commissioner unveiled a project in partnership with Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council to gather the lived experiences of victims of crime and those who support them to shape future improvements to services for victims of crime. The project includes the launch of a new app enabling victims of crime including those of domestic abuse and sexual violence to provide personal testimonies of the support they received in the aftermath of an incident and how these services could be improved in future.

For all crime except domestic abuse and sexual offences, victims now have to opt out rather than opt in for referral to victim services. This has resulted in a referral rate for general crime of 100 per cent. 

Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “I am proud of the improvements made to safeguard and support victims of crime. The resources and services I fund continue to protect vulnerable adults and children from the risks of crime, exploitation, and violence in all its forms. They are also supporting the emotional and physical recovery from crime and delivering greater justice for victims by bringing more dangerous and persistent criminals before the courts.

“Victims of crime must remain at the centre of everything we do. This is why I have worked hard to strengthen the victims’ voices and so the force and partners can learn lessons from their testimonies to deliver change. So much has already been achieved but we will work even harder to deliver the high-quality care and justice that victims of crime deserve.”

In other success, the Commissioner has put Derbyshire on the map in delivering justice for victims of anti-social behaviour (ASB). The new Derbyshire Immediate Justice scheme forces the perpetrators of ASB to pay back their communities for wrongdoing. Since the scheme launched, 209 referrals have been received – the highest figure in the country.

The PSM meeting will take place virtually on Thursday 11th July and will be recorded and published via the Commissioner’s website and social media channels as soon as possible after its conclusion.

The public can submit questions prior to the event between 26th February and 11th March at: https://forms.office.com/e/W8ijJ9qxtR.

Ends

Media Enquiries:
Sallie Blair
Better Times
Telephone 01283 821012
Mobile 07702 541401

PLEASE NOTE: With the exception of legally required data and historic financial records, the majority of the information on the Derbyshire OPCC website covers information, news and events for the current Commissioner only. For access to news articles and information covering the previous Commissioners please contact the OPCC team.
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