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The victim personal statement (VPS) provides victims with a valuable opportunity to tell the Court or Parole Board in their own words how the crime has affected them and their family, and in the case of the Parole Board, what the impact of a prisoner’s release or move to open conditions would have on them.
Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service does not hold centrally data on the number of victims who either made a VPS at the point of sentence or who made a VPS to the Parole Board and who qualified for the statutory Victim Contact Scheme. The data could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
On 9 January, the Secretary of State for Justice, the Rt Hon David Gauke MP, announced in a statement to the House that he would review the case for transparency in the process for parole decisions, how victims are communicated with, and how they are appropriately engaged in that process.