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VS responds to HMIC PEEL report into effectiveness of police forces

18 February 2016

Independent charity Victim Support responds to the HMIC PEEL report into effectiveness of police forces across England and Wales in reducing crime and keeping people safe.

Mark Castle, Chief Executive of independent charity Victim Support, said: 

“While it is encouraging that police forces are working well to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, it’s extremely concerning that in so many areas the police are failing to identify, assess or support the most vulnerable victims of crime- in particular children.

“When, as the vulnerability report says, even ‘small failures may have tragic consequences’, it is clearer than ever that, in order for vulnerable victims to get the support that they need and deserve, their rights must be enshrined in a new Victims’ Law which is robustly enforced to deliver real improvements on the ground.”

Ends

Notes to editor

  • 31 forces had either causes of concern, areas for improvement, or both.
  • Four forces were judged to be inadequate.
  • More than half of forces have a stated area for improvement related to compliance with the Victims’ Code.
  • 1/3 (15) of forces have cause for concern or areas for improvement relating to risk assessments. In some areas staff are given discretion as to whether or not to complete a risk assessment (there is evidence that this has resulted in them not being done) and risk assessments for domestic abuse victims are being carried out over the phone rather than face to face (which could mean that the perpetrator is present at the time of the risk assessment).
  • 13 forces have cause for concern or areas for improvement relating to the victims’ initial contact with the police.
  • Almost half (20) of forces have cause for concern or areas for improvement relating to the investigation stage.
  • There is no one definition of vulnerability across all police forces resulting in an inconsistent service across the country for vulnerable victims.

About Victim Support

Victim Support is an independent charity which offers free and confidential help and support to anyone affected by crime regardless of when it took place or if the police are involved. 

To find out how our specially trained staff and volunteers can help, you can call our Supportline team on 0808 1689 111 or visit victimsupport.org.uk. 

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