Victims’ Strategy (2021 – 2025)
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is committed to ensuring that anyone who is affected by crime in Lincolnshire receives the support they need, regardless of whether they choose to report the crime to the police or not.
This Strategy aims to build on and enhance the existing services provided to the public, and sets out how the PCC will work in partnership with other relevant organisations to meet the PCC’s statutory responsibilities to give victims the help, information and support they need, whenever they need it.
In making arrangements to support victims, the PCC will aim to make the best possible use of available resources, take an evidence-based approach to commissioning services, and seek continuous improvement by putting the voice of victims at the very heart of processes to plan, deliver and review services.
This strategy provides the following:
- The context within which the PCC is supporting victims;
- A set of strategic objectives;
- A programme of the key activities that will be delivered;
- A framework for performance and governance;
- Principles for use of resources and commissioning.
Aims and Objectives
The Police and Crime Commissioner will work with partners to provide accessible and responsive services, tailored to ensure that anyone who suffers as a result of a crime in Lincolnshire receives the support they need to cope and recover.
- Victims have access to the help they need, whether they choose to report the crime to the police or not.
- The provision of support services will be seamless, integrated, and responsive
to victims’ needs throughout their journey through the criminal justice system.
- Timely and responsive services will be available to meet the needs of individuals, especially those with complex needs.
- Commissioning of services will be evidence-based and ensure that feedback from
victims about their experience is used to enable continuous improvement.
- Resources are managed efficiently and effectively, ensuring anyone who has
been a victim has access to the support they need, whilst providing targeted and specialist services to those with more complex needs.
The PCC, police and their partners will work together to help and support victims of crime in Lincolnshire, regardless of whether they choose to report the crime or not.
The views, needs and expectations of victims will be central to determining the services that are made available to provide support.
Victims will be able to report a crime in a way that is convenient to them, be clear about the service they can expect to receive from the police, the support services available to them, and what to do if they have questions or are unhappy with the service provided.
Whether victims want information, advice, emotional or practical support, they will have access to independent services that have victims’ safety and wellbeing as their priority.
Victims’ needs may change over time, so they will be able to access services whenever they need them, not just immediately following the incident.
The PCC is committed to continuously improving the services offered to victims of crime, and will regularly assess needs and feedback to ensure services can be tailored accordingly.
National Legislation and Policy
Provisions were made in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (PRSR Act) for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to be elected by the public. PCCs are accountable for securing an efficient and effective police service in their force area. In carrying out their responsibilities, they are required to work in cooperation with other local partners with a responsibility for crime and disorder, and work together with other criminal justice bodies in order to secure an efficient and effective criminal justice system.
Responsibility for commissioning the majority of emotional and practical support services for victims’ services was passed to PCCs in England and Wales in 2014. A Commissioning Framework published by the Ministry of Justice in 2013 provides advice and information to those involved with victims’ services. The Framework defines a victim as ‘a person who has suffered harm which was directly caused by a criminal offence, or in relation to a person whose death was directly caused by a criminal offence, a family member who has suffered harm as a result of the person’s death, or a family member who has been affected and suffered harm as a result of a criminal offence against the victim’. To enable PCCs to commission appropriate services at a local level, the Ministry of Justice provides a grant on an annual basis.
In addition to the services commissioned by PCCs, some specialist services have previously been commissioned at a national level, including:
- Rape support centres;
- Services for victims of trafficking and modern-day slavery;
- A homicide service; and
- A court based witness service
- Some national telephone helplines; and
- Some domestic violence and sexual violence specialist services.
The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (the Victims’ Code) is the statutory code that sets out the minimum level of service that victims should receive from the criminal justice system. PCCs and police forces are amongst the organisations required to deliver services set out in the Victims’ Code. Specific requirements PCCs should have regard to when carrying out their responsibilities, such as commissioning support services, include:
- All victims should be referred to support services within 2 days
- An enhanced service should be provided for victims of serious crimes, a persistently targeted victim or a vulnerable or intimidated victim, as defined by the Victims’ Code
- Access to the following information must be offered from first contact with the police: where and how to get advice or support, including access to medical support, any specialist support (such as psychological support) and alternative accommodation
- PCCs must consult victims of crime when setting policing priorities
- Service providers must include information about the Code on their websites
- PCCs have a reciprocal duty with other criminal justice agencies to work in a way which delivers an efficient and effective local criminal justice system
- Respond to complaints about the service provided through the organisations own complaints processes. If complaints are sent to the wrong organisation, the service provider will pass the complaint onto the relevant organisation. An acknowledgement or full response is required within 10 working days.
In September 2018 the Government published their cross departmental Victims' Strategy setting out a criminal justice system response to improving the support offered to victims of crime. Within this, the Government committed to a review of the Victims’ Code and pledged to consult on the detail of a Victims’ Law. The Strategy also introduced an increased focus on compliance with local accountability via Police and Crime Commissioners.
In addition to the broad requirements to provide services to help victims cope, recover and thrive when they have suffered harm as a result of a criminal office, government policy has provided a framework to ensure victims of some of the most serious crimes have access to specialist support tailored to their needs. For example, the Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy (published July 2021) and the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan (published March 2022). Further details about national policy and strategies are referred to within relevant sections of this strategy.
Changing Nature of Crime and Community Safety
The Police and Crime Plan published by the PCC recognises that the face of crime is changing, and the police and partners must respond in new ways. Growing threats like child sexual abuse, modern day slavery, organised crime and online fraud and other computer enabled crimes have a significant impact on those affected, and appropriate support must be in place for victims. Equally, it is important to have a strong focus on preventing crime in the first place. The PCC will work with the force and community safety partners to review the Crime Prevention Strategy, which will define priorities and measures that will be taken to prevent people who live, work or travel in Lincolnshire suffering as a result of crime. It is important that the Crime Prevention Strategy and Victims’ Strategy are closely aligned. In particular, all support services commissioned will include objectives to work with victims to prevent crime.
To ensure that the support services provided to victims are appropriate, measures will be put in place to review the needs of victims on a regular basis. This will include an analysis of the types of crimes, and relevant support service required, and regular engagement with service providers to seek feedback on any potential gaps or areas of improvement, as well as engagement with victims of crime.
The PCC will work in cooperation with local, regional and national partners to ensure victims in Lincolnshire receive the help and support they need to cope and recover. This is because the needs of victims will be varied and often complex, and it is essential that partners work together to ensure the holistic needs of victims are met.
The PCC is responsible for holding the Chief Constable to account for the provision of an efficient and effective police service in Lincolnshire, which includes ensuring that the force is complying with the Victims’ Code. The PCC will work closely with the force to put processes in place to ensure victims:
- Are given information about the support services available to them at the earliest opportunity
- Are asked whether they would like to be referred to support services
- Have their needs assessed to ensure they are referred to the right services appropriate to their circumstances
- Have access to enhanced entitlements if they are victims of a serious crime, persistently targeted, vulnerable or intimidated
- Are given an opportunity to agree how they would like to be kept informed as their case progresses
- Have access to translation and interpretation services
- Are provided with information about how to seek compensation, make a complaint about a service provider, the availability of restorative justice services, and how to recoup expenses incurred as a witness in a criminal trial
The PCC will monitor the force’s progress in complying with these requirements through its performance framework.
County Council and other Community Safety Partners
Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) works in partnership with the police to keep communities safe, reduce crime, and protect and support vulnerable people. LCC and the police work together through a range of multi-agency Boards to tackle a range of public protection issues including the dynamics, impact and effects from, amongst other things, physical, sexual and financial abuse. These include the Public Protection Board, Safeguarding Adults Board, Safeguarding Children Partnership, and the Community Safety Partnership.
The PCC, police, council and other local partners work together to prevent and respond to community safety issues, such as anti-social behaviour. For example, the anti-social behaviour risk assessment conference (ASBRAC) brings local stakeholders together to identify and respond to anti-social behaviour causing a significant impact on communities and individuals. Through this, victims can be referred to support services where appropriate. The PCC will work closely with local partners as community safety partnership priorities and structures are reviewed.
The PCC works together with NHS England and Improvement and the local Integrated Care Board to put in place Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs), which assess and support victims of sexual assault. In addition, the PCC will work with health service providers to build on and co-ordinate existing services to ensure that victims with mental health conditions have access to appropriate support services to meet their specific needs, enabling them to cope and recover as a result of being a victim of crime.
Criminal Justice Partners
Successfully prosecuting offenders and bringing them to justice is essential if the public are to have confidence in the criminal justice system. The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and Victims’ Code require the PCC, police and other criminal justice partners to work together to ensure an efficient and effective criminal justice system, and to ensure victims of crime are supported. Criminal justice agencies include the police, Crown Prosecution Service, probation, prisons and court service. Due to their geographical boundaries, these organisations come together at a regional level to review performance and consider how they can work together to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system.
Regional and National Policing
There may be opportunities for PCCs and police forces to share learning, practice and work collaboratively to provide services to support victims more efficiently and effectively. The PCC in Lincolnshire is committed to working together with other PCCs across the country where it is practicable and in the best interests of the people of Lincolnshire.
National Commissioning Leads
The roles of Victims' Commissioner and Domestic Abuse Commissioner exist at a national level to champion victims, encourage good practice in their treatment and drive improvements in their respective areas. The PCC will ensure that any learning, guidance or recommendations issued by the Commissioners is reviewed and considered for implementation/adoption in Lincolnshire, as appropriate.
There are many organisations providing services to victims of crime within Lincolnshire, regionally and nationally, the majority of which are charities. The PCC believes it is important that victims have a choice of the support services they access, which may include organisations that are not directly commissioned by the PCC or other public bodies. The PCC strives to achieve a balance between directly commissioning services to meet the needs of victims, and signposting so that victims are aware of the wide range of other organisations available to provide support.
Organisations providing support services to victims will have significant expertise and knowledge about the experience victims have of the criminal justice system and the help, support and information they need. Therefore, the PCC is committed to regularly engaging with service providers to ensure support services can be continuously improved to meet commissioning needs.
Objective A: Victims have access to the help they need, whether they choose to report the crime to the police or not.
Anyone who suffers harm or loss as a result of crime in Lincolnshire should have access to support services that can help them, regardless of whether they choose to report the crime to the police or not. It is equally important to give victims the freedom to access support services that are relevant to their individual needs. This can be achieved by providing easily accessible information about the range of organisations that are available to provide support, information and advice, in addition to the organisations directly commissioned by the PCC and partners. Therefore, the PCC will:
- Ensure support services are in place so that victims can choose to be referred to by the police, or can access directly whether or not they reported a crime. These services will be able to work with victims to offer information, help, and assistance relevant to the individual circumstances and needs, and signpost to any specialist services as required.
- Produce information regarding local, regional and national organisations that can provide support and assistance. This will be used by the police and support services put in place by the PCC to signpost victims depending on their needs, and also be made publicly available so victims can access the information directly at any time.
- Provide a dedicated website that provides information that would be useful for victims, including crime prevention advice, and the details of support services.
- Increase public engagement and awareness about the services that are available to victims, regardless of whether a crime is reported to the police.
Victims of certain crime types might require specialist support, and that it is important to monitor changes in crime trends to ensure services remain relevant. Objective C sets out specific areas where support services to victims will be increased based on specialist needs. In addition, the PCC intends to improve access to support for the following groups:
Victims of Road Traffic Incidents, or those bereaved as a result of a Road Traffic Collision
Although many road traffic incidents may not have been the result of a criminal offence, the people affected may need access to support to cope and recover, including those bereaved as a result of the incident. Therefore, the PCC will put processes in place to ensure that people who are seriously injured, and people bereaved as a result of the incident are referred to organisations that can help them.
Rural crime can be defined as crime that is enabled by, or dependent on the rurality or remoteness of a locality. This might include incidents such as theft of farm equipment and hare coursing. Therefore, the PCC will work with the police force on a strategy to respond to rural crime, which will set out steps that will be taken to prevent and respond to rural crime, as well as identify any specialist needs that victims of rural crime may have.
Objective B: The provision of support services will be seamless, integrated, and responsive to victims’ needs throughout their journey through the criminal justice system.
Although multiple organisations are involved in the process of preventing crime, responding to incidents, supporting victims, and delivering criminal justice outcomes, the PCC recognises that everything possible should be done to put victims’ needs at the heart of process, and make sure victims receive a service that is as responsive and integrated as possible.
In many cases, the public expects to be able to communicate through digital technology and it is important that public services respond by making it easier for the public to interact online. However, enabling the public to interact online is not a replacement for other forms of communication, the public will still be able to call the police, and officers will still attend when it is appropriate to do so.
The needs of victims change over time, particularly as cases progress through the criminal justice system. It is not sufficient simply to offer support immediately following an incident, instead victims should be made aware, and reminded of the services available to them throughout their journey as a result of a regular assessment of their needs.
To complement the Witness Service (currently commissioned nationally by the Ministry of Justice), which offers witnesses emotional and practical help before, during and after the trial, Lincolnshire PCC has also commissioned a Witness Care Unit, which guides victims through the court process, keeping then updated on the case as well as providing support and guidance.
One of the key services available to victims in certain circumstances is Restorative Justice, which can be an important part of the victims’ journey to recovery. This process can involve the victim:
- explaining to an offender the impact of the crime on them;
- seeking an explanation and apology from the offender; and
- playing a part in agreeing reparative or rehabilitative activity for the offender e.g. working for free for a charity, paying to repair any material damage, or keeping the victim informed of their progress in getting off drugs or finding a job.
To ensure that the journey of victims is as seamless, integrated and responsive as possible, the PCC will work with the police and other criminal justice agencies to:
- Enable the public to report incidents online, and track the progress of the case if they wish
- The police will agree an individual ‘incident contract’ with each victim, which includes the method and timing for any follow up communications
- Ensure that victims are referred to support services within 48 hours, unless they decline support
- Ensure an efficient and effective ‘victim contact service’ is in place, which will provide the means for victims to seek information about support services from the point of initial contact, through to the end of the trial and beyond if required.
- Provide clear and accessible information on what will happen if victims choose to report a crime to the police, including their rights, and information about support services
- With the police and partner organisations, ensure the needs of victims are regularly assessed and information about relevant support services provided
- Provide Restorative Justice services to support victims’ journey to recover.
Objective C: Timely and responsive services will be available to meet the needs of individuals, especially those with complex needs
Victims of serious crimes, those who are vulnerable, and those who are repeat victims will have access to dedicated and specialist support services. In addition to the specific groups set out below, it is important that any assessment of needs take account of a full range of factors that might result in a crime having a disproportionate effect on a victim, such as those who are disabled or with learning disabilities. As a principle, it is important that victims have access to services that can respond to their individual needs, especially those who are vulnerable or have complex needs. To help achieve this, an Equality Impact Assessment will be undertaken on the delivery of victims’ services in Lincolnshire and refreshed annually. This strategy sets out below a range of specialist services that will be made available.
Cyber crime can be defined as crime that is enabled by or dependent on a computer or the internet. Specifically, this can include:
- Fraud that can result in financial loss for individuals and businesses
- Bullying, harassment and stalking
- Sexual abuse or exploitation
The nature of this activity is complex as it is not contained within police force boundaries, and requires response and intervention at local, regional, national and international levels. National organisations such as the National Crime Agency and Action Fraud have important operational roles to play in relation to identifying, analysing and disrupting criminal activity. However, PCCs have a responsibility to support victims at a local level, and the PCC in Lincolnshire is committed to making sure that individuals and businesses have access to the information and support they need to reduce the chance of suffering harm or loss as a result of cyber crime, and to cope and recover if they are a victim. To achieve this, the PCC will:
- Work with other PCCs across the country and relevant national organisations to ensure there is a coordinated effort to prevent digitally enabled crime and support victims
- Assess the information, help and support that victims ofdigitally enabled crime need to cope and recover, and commission support services to meet those needs. Create networks for individuals and businesses to provide the latest alerts, briefings and prevention advice
- Run regular briefing events and discussion forums for businesses to engage with police experts on trends and provide prevention advice.
- Work with partners to ensure parents and children know where they can access support and advice in relation to keeping safe online
- Work with experts and other local partners to develop a plan to prevent young people being victims of bullying and harassment enabled by technology and the internet, and to support victims if they have been victims of these incidents.
Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
To support the Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, the Government published a National Statement of Expectations, which sets out what local areas need to put in place to ensure their response to VAWG issues is as collaborative, robust and effective as it can be so that all victims can get the help they need. The Statement sets out expectations that local multi-agency strategies should be put in place to:
- Put the victim at the centre of service delivery;
- Have a clear focus on perpetrators in order to keep victims safe;
- Take a strategic, system-wide approach to commissioning acknowledging the gendered nature of VAWG
- Are locally-led and safeguard individuals at every point;
- Raise local awareness of the issues and involve, engage and empower communities to seek, design and deliver solutions to prevent VAWG.
Although these crimes are disproportionately gendered, which is why the Government’s approach is framed within a VAWG strategy, the Position statement on male victims of crimes considered in the cross-Government Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy and the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan published in March 2022 recognises that men and boys also experience violent and abusive crimes that are captured within the VAWG Strategy and reaffirms the government commitment to all forms of gender based violence.
The PCC will ensure that commissioned services are clear about what support they offer and that they take a gender-informed approach, understanding the harmful gender and societal norms that can act as barriers.
As expressed through the VAWG Strategy and National Statement, protecting and supporting victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence requires an integrated, multi-agency response and the PCC is committed to working with local partners to prevent people from suffering as a result of these crimes and to support those who are victims. To do this, it is important to understand how victims can best be supported and work jointly and collaboratively with local partners to commission services that meet those needs.
Domestic Abuse has a significant impact on individuals, families and communities and affects a high percentage of the population. It also has major implications for service providers and agencies across Lincolnshire and increases the demand on services and organisations.
The Safer Lincolnshire Partnership identifies DA as a key priority, with the Domestic Abuse Strategic Group leading on Lincolnshire’s response to Domestic Abuse, including strategic direction and priorities, delivery of services and interventions, reflecting national and local objectives and striving to take innovative approaches to support people and their families that are experiencing abuse.
To complement services commissioned nationally, the PCC supports Lincolnshire County Council to ensure that the services available to victims of domestic abuse include:
- Outreach services
- Accommodation based services, such as refuges
- Drop-in centres
- One to one support
- Advocacy services
- Services to prevent re-offending
The Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership has responsibility for the county’s strategic response for preventing and responding to child sexual abuse.
Essential services are commissioned by the PCC, including Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA) for adults and children, and together with partners for a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). In order to manage the differing and complex needs of adults and children there is a specialist SARC service including ISVA for adults in Lincoln and a separate paediatric SARC in Nottingham with specialist child ISVA’s in Lincolnshire. In addition to these physical locations it is important that victims of sexual violence have access to a range of support services that meet their individual needs, regardless of whether they choose to report the crime to the police or not. Equally, support services should be available to support those who have been victims of non-recent sexual violence.
Stalking and Harassment
Stalking is a pattern of repeat and persistent unwanted behaviour that is intrusive and engenders fear. It is when one person becomes fixated or obsessed with another and the attention is unwanted. Threats may not be made but victims may feel scared. Even if there is no threat this is still stalking and it is a crime.
- 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men will experience staking in their adult life
- Victims do not tend to report to the police until the 100th Incident.
- 1 in 2 domestic stalkers, if they make a threat, will act on it
- 1 in 10 stalkers, who had no prior relationship, if they make a threat will act on it
Stalking and harassment is an identified priority area within the government’s Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.
In 2017 HMIC and HMCPSI published their thematic inspection on stalking and harassment ‘Living in fear’. The recommendations were considered by the PCC who works with the police and local partners to drive change and local delivery in the county. This includes how to tackle online offending, where the internet has also facilitated the obsessive behaviour of stalkers. Stalking must be identified at the earliest opportunity so that appropriate interventions can be put in place to disrupt the underlying delusion of power and control which is prevalent in this type of offending.
Improving the police and criminal justice response to stalking and harassment is central. The court process can be lengthy and challenging – it is imperative that the first response by police but also by any other agency, is right first time, every time. The PCC will
- Ensure the police understand the scale of stalking and harassment in Lincolnshire
- Ensure locally commissioned services which provide support to victims and survivors of stalking and harassment have access to specialist training
- Adopt the authorised professional practice from the College of Policing
- Respond to recommendations from HMIC and
- Explore opportunities for joint working i.e. police and mental health approaches to tackling stalking perpetrators.
Children and Young People
The Victims’ Code defines a vulnerable victim as anyone who is under the age of 18 at the time of an offence. In addition to the special measures set out in the Code, it is important that the support available to children and young people who are victims of crime is appropriate and relevant. For example, the provision of Children and Young People’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisers, access to advice, information and support about online bullying and harassment, and support for those affected by domestic abuse.
In addition, partners will work together to ensure a coordinated approach to preventing child sexual exploitation and female genital mutilation, and provide the services necessary to support victims to cope.
Certain crime types may have a more significant impact on elderly people and their quality of life. It is important to have an ongoing awareness of these issues and work closely with partners to prevent these crimes taking place, and protect and support victims. For example, the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan recognises the importance of working with partners to tackle elder abuse that takes place in the home or institutional settings. The PCC will work closely with the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Adults Board and the Safer Lincolnshire Partnership to ensure that a comprehensive programme of activity is in place to understand the crimes that affect elderly people, prevent and disrupt this criminality, and ensure that victims have access to holistic services to help and support them.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 recognises that servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking are all forms of modern slavery. Victims of modern slavery may be vulnerable and their needs may be complex. The Home Office currently commissions support services for victims of modern slavery. Details of the services available will be included in a regional strategy that sets out how police forces and other agencies within the East Midlands region will act to prevent and respond to modern slavery.
A Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat was published by Government in 2014 makes a commitment that includes the following statement: “We commit to work together to improve the system of care and support so people in crisis because of a mental health condition are kept safe and helped to find the support they need – whatever the circumstances in which they first need help – and from whichever service they turn to first.” The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has signed the statement on behalf of PCCs in recognition of the importance that PCCs place on the need to ensure people with mental health conditions receive the support they need.
The PCC in Lincolnshire recognises that victims may have a mental health condition, or may have their mental health affected as a result of the harm or loss they suffer because they were a victim of crime. Services to support people with mental health conditions are already provided by local health services but it is important to coordinate and build on these to ensure that appropriate services are made available to help victims with mental health conditions to receive the support they need. To achieve this, the PCC will work with the police and health partners to:
- Develop a mental health strategy for Lincolnshire, creating an integrated, seamless, multi-agency service to ensure the people of Lincolnshire receive the appropriate care at the right time
- Develop a ‘referral pathway’ for victims assessed as having mental health conditions to ensure they receive the help and support they need dependent on their individual needs and circumstances
- Put processes in place to ensure that victims with mental health conditions are identified and referred to appropriate support services at the earliest opportunity, including funding nurses to advise frontline officers dealing with cases involving people with mental health or learning difficulties.
Repeat and Vulnerable Anti-Social Behaviour Victims
Although the Victims’ Code primarily requires that services are provided to victims of crime, which may not include incidents of anti-social behaviour, anyone who is vulnerable or suffers from repeated incidents should also have access to support services. In Lincolnshire, the police and partners adopt an Anti-Social Behaviour strategy, which aims to reduce instances of anti-social behaviour and the numbers of people who are involved in, or at risk of anti-social behaviour (both victims and perpetrators). Where anti-social behaviour does occur, partners commit to putting the victim first, particularly if they are vulnerable or a repeat victim. To ensure that victims’ needs continue to be identified and met, the PCC and police, together with other local partners will:
- Ensure the policy is continually reviewed and updated in line with changing policy or legislative requirements, as well as in response to feedback provided by the public
- Ensure that repeat and vulnerable victims of anti-social behaviour are identified at the earliest opportunity and referred to support agencies
- Ensure services are in place to support repeat and vulnerable victims of anti-social behaviour
Objective D: Commissioning of services will be evidence-based and ensure that feedback from victims about their experience is used to enable continuous improvement.
Crime trends change over time, and it is important to ensure that the services available to support victims are continuously reviewed to take account of these changes. This includes reviewing the types of crime and the level of impact on victims, what kind of information, support and advice might be needed by victims to cope and recover, and analysing the services currently provided to identify any potential gaps in service.
The PCC will consult victims and take account of their experiences when developing and amending the Police and Crime Plan for the area, setting priorities, and making decisions about the commissioning of support services. The services commissioned to support victims will also be regularly reviewed and continuously improved to take account of the experience of victims. To achieve this, the PCC will:
- Carry out a needs assessment ahead of the commissioning of services to support victims, taking account of different crime types, demographics, categories of need, and available services. The needs assessment will then be updated on an ongoing basis.
- Develop a Public Consultation and Engagement Plan that sets out how the PCC will seek feedback from the public to inform the Police and Crime Plan, and services required to support victims.
- Take account of any national frameworks for the monitoring of outcomes for victims, and put mechanisms in place to seek feedback from victims about their experience, and ensure this is used to continuously improve the services provided.
- Work with the police and CJS partners to ensure that feedback received from victims about their wider experience of the criminal justice system is used to improve the delivery of services.
- Create a network of services providing support to victims, enabling practice and learning to be shared between organisation and with commissioners to ensure that services can be continuously improved.
Objective E: Resources are managed efficiently and effectively, ensuring anyone who has been a victim has access to the support they need, whilst providing targeted and specialist services to those with more complex needs
The ambition of the PCC is to ensure that anyone who has been a victim of crime in Lincolnshire has access to the help, support and advice they need. In summary, the following types of services will be made available:
- General support services that will meet the needs of the majority of victims by providing information, offering advice, emotional support, and practice help
- Specialist support services for people with complex needs
- A website providing the details of a wide range of organisations available to offer advice, information and support
To enable the delivery of these services, the PCC has the following financial means available:
- An annual grant provided by the Ministry of Justice specifically for the provision of services to support victims of crime, including the provision of Restorative Justice Services
- The ability to make Crime and Disorder Grants
- The ability to bid for national funding
The PCC is also enabled through legislation to work with other community safety and criminal justice partners to reduce crime and provide efficient and effective services, which provides the opportunity to work together to commission services. This is important to ensure that services are integrated and coherent, and can be meet the holistic needs of a community or individual.
As a result, the PCC will commission support services directly, but also collaboratively with other partners wherever possible. The Ministry of Justice Commissioning Framework provides a reference document for the PCC and partners to commission services effectively, based on an ‘Understand, Plan, Do, Review’ commissioning model.
In addition, the PCC will work with colleagues at a regional and national level when it is in the best interests of providing an efficient and effective service for the people in Lincolnshire.
In summary, to ensure services are delivered efficiently and effectively, the PCC will:
- Set out in the Police and Crime Plan how resources will be managed to deliver services in Lincolnshire, including the provision of any crime and disorder grants
- Where it would enable the provision of a holistic, integrated service to victims, seek to commission support services together with other local partners. In particular, the PCC will work with local partners such as local authorities, housing and health providers to commission services to support victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence, as well as repeat and vulnerable victims of anti-social behaviour and victims with mental health conditions.
- Seek to realign the timetable for the commissioning of support services so that a needs-based, holistic system of integrated services can be provided.
- Where possible, collaborate with other regional and national PCCs to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of service provision.
- Use the Ministry of Justice Commissioning Framework as the basis for commissioning support services for victims.
Section 7: Governance and Performance
The PCC must hold the Chief Constable to account for the provision of an efficient and effective police force. In addition, the PCC must work with other community safety and criminal justice partners to reduce crime and provide an efficient, effective criminal justice system. Governance and performance processes enable the PCC to ensure he is fulfilling his responsibilities. In relation to victims, the PCC will have regard to the following requirements:
- Compliance with the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011
- Compliance with the Victims’ Code of Practice
- Oversight of the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan for Lincolnshire, including the performance framework agreed with the Chief Constable
- Compliance with specific grant terms and conditions
- Compliance with commissioning and procurement policies applicable to the PCC in Lincolnshire
- Have regard to the national Victims’ Services Commissioning Framework
The role of Commissioners, delivery agents, service providers and service users as part of the commissioning cycle
The role of commissioners, delivery agents, service providers and service users is underpinned by providing services that are efficient and value for money, based on an analysis of need, and with a performance framework enabling continuous improvement.
- work within the legislative framework
- prioritise requirements, develop strategies and define outcomes
- commit resources
- coordinate and commission the delivery of services
- set performance framework and objectives
- identify opportunities for continous improvement
- deliver commissioned services
- collect and report performance data
- provide feedback about services received
- Enable outcomes to be monitored
The table below shows how the governance arrangements for the PCC and police force, services that are commissioned collaboratively with local partners, and criminal justice agencies could be delivered in the context of the ‘understand, plan, do and review’ commissioning model. These provide the basis for the governance and performance framework for overseeing the delivery of victims’ services in Lincolnshire.
The performance framework for the provision of victims’ services will need to take account of the outcomes framework currently under review by the Ministry of Justice once this is available.
To enable a collaborative approach to overseeing and driving forward the commissioning of victims’ services in Lincolnshire, the PCC has established a Victims and Survivors Strategy Group. The police force, county council, and health services will be invited to join the Group, which will be responsible for the following:
- Mapping the interdependencies between the Group and related structures such as the Safer Lincolnshire Partnership, Adult’s and Children’s Safeguarding Boards, and Criminal Justice Board.
- Maintain oversight of the implementation of this Strategy, and reviewing/amending it in light of future requirements.
- Identify strategic interdependencies, such as the relationship to crime prevention, and offender rehabilitation.
- Commission needs assessments to understand the support services that are required in Lincolnshire.
- Define shared priorities.
- Define the support services that are required, and the budget available (including pooled funding).
- Develop a performance framework for commissioned services and monitor performance.
- Ensure the views of victims are used to inform decisions about the services required, and how the delivery of services could be improved.