Jane is committed to ensuring people who may be at an incredibly vulnerable time in their lives are given the best possible support.
Since taking office, Jane has invested considerable time and effort in making sure victims are put at the heart of the criminal justice system.
This work became even more important in from autumn 2013, when the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) outlined its proposals to expand the remit of Police Commissioners around the country to include a wider range of victims’ support services. The MoJ initially indicated that from March 2015 to March 2016, this would carry a budget of around £1.175m for Merseyside and include the delivery of some services for victims of sexual offences, domestic violence and those affected by anti-social behaviour and hate crime.
The MoJ later confirmed that a total sum of £1.546m would be provided for the commissioning of victims' services on Merseyside for 2015/16.
Victim Care Merseyside
Following these announcements, on June 8th, 2015, the Commissioner officially launched a new package of care and support for those affected by crime in Merseyside.
Jane Kennedy united with Merseyside Police and a host of regional charities to unveil Victim Care Merseyside, a specialist new support service which puts victims at the centre of the region’s police service and criminal justice system.
The service is designed to give victims the best possible help to cope and recover from the after effects of crime and ensure victims get enhanced support from the first moment they report a crime to Merseyside Police right through to greater emotional support and increased counselling and therapeutic services.
Find out more about Victim Care Merseyside here.
You can also find details of how this service has worked since its launch using the links below:
As part of this new service, Jane also launched a dedicated victims' website to act as a one stop shop of information and advice for anyone affected by crime. It is available at www.victimcaremerseyside.org
Before the Commissioner launched Victim Care Merseyside she carried out an extensive research and mapping programme to inform how she would go about commissioning vital support services for people affected by crime on Merseyside.
Find out more about this Victims' Research Programme here.
Following the initial announcement that Commissioners would be taking over the responsibility for commissioning victim support services, Jane made a public commitment about how she intended to approach this major new responsibility.
Putting Victims' First was released in August 2014 and detailed her aims and objectives for commissioning victims’ services for the people of Merseyside during 2014/15 and explained the preparations being undertaken for 2015/16.
Victims' Services & Restorative Justice Fund 2014/15
Prior to the launch of the Victim Care Merseyside service, and after receiving the initial funding released to PCCs by the MoJ, the Commissioner launched a fund to support the development of victims' services and deliver restorative justice schemes across Merseyside.
The fund provided an extra £175,000 of funding to help victims cope and recover and £100,000 to expand and improve restorative justice initiatives in the region.
It was designed specifically to improve and expand services for 2014/15 with a view to the shift in commissioning responsibilities going forward 2015/16.
Find out more about this fund and the successful organisations here.
Restorative Justice & Anti-Social Behaviour Reforms
Jane is not just responsible for victim support services, in October 2014 she was also given responsibility for increasing the use of restorative justice in the region and the introduction of new anti-social behaviour powers that came into force on October 20th, 2014.
Restorative justice brings together people harmed by crime or conflict with those responsible for the harm, to find a positive way forward.
Find out how more about the benefits of restorative justice, how it works and who provides this service on Merseyside on our Restorative Justice page.
As part of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, new powers have been introduced which shape the way the police, local authorities, health partners and social housing providers respond to anti-social behaviour (ASB).
The reforms are designed to empower victims of ASB and give them a say on how perpetrators are punished. Please use the links below to find out more about these key new powers:
- Community Trigger - a case review for victims of ASB and hate crime if they are unsatisfied with how their case has been handled.
- Community Remedy - gives victims a say in the out-of-court punishment of perpetrators for low-level crime and anti-social behaviour by giving them the opportunity to choose an action from a list of actions compiled following a consultation held by the Commissioner.