Crime: Victims

Attorney General written question – answered on 28th November 2022.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Conservative, Witham

To ask the Attorney General, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Crown Prosecution Service's support of victims of crime.

Photo of Michael Tomlinson Michael Tomlinson The Solicitor-General

Improving the experience of victims is a priority for the CPS and is an important part of building public confidence. His Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) independently assesses the CPS to help drive improvement and build public confidence in the prosecution process. Last year, in response to findings from HMCPSI about CPS communication with victims, the CPS commissioned independent research to better understand victims’ needs and have since committed to transforming the service they provide to every victim. A long-term victim transformation programme is underway to improve the way the CPS communicates and engages with victims. This includes plans for a new universal service to improve the minimum level of service that all victims receive and an enhanced service offer for victims with the greatest need. As part of this transformation programme, the CPS has also committed to innovate and pilot new ways to strengthen engagement with victims. Building on the work of Operation Soteria to improve the support victims of rape receive, the CPS has extended the number of CPS Areas testing new approaches. Over half of CPS Areas are now testing new activities to improve the way they communicate and engage with rape victims. This includes introducing more contact points, different methods of communications, better information sharing and collaborative working with partners. In addition to the CPS online guide for victims of rape and sexual offences published in December 2021, a new guide specifically for all victims of crime has been prepared and is available on the CPS website. The guides clarify the role of the CPS within the wider Criminal Justice System, explain how the CPS makes decisions in cases, what support is available to victims to help them give their best evidence and what their Rights are under the Victims’ Code.

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