Northumbria Police 'one of the best' for supporting victims

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Northumbria Police has been highlighted as one of the best forces in the country for supporting vulnerable victims and witnesses.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate Constabulary (HMIC) report of vulnerability in police cases showed that Northumbria correctly identified cases where the victims or witnesses were vulnerable and special measures were implemented.

The Force has achieved above the national average, where some figures across the country have been disappointing.

Of the 10 cases inspected by HMIC, all of the relevant case files contained an adequate summary of key evidence in the police report and all of the cases involving interviews also contained an adequate summary of the interview.

It also showed that in all relevant cases, the witness care information was completed correctly and available for the information of the court.

Inspectors found that vulnerable victims and witnesses were involved in three of the 10 cases. In two of these cases, the police had correctly identified the vulnerability of the victims or witnesses. In the third, the vulnerability was identified at a later stage by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Force continues to provide relevant support for vulnerable victims and witnesses, however Deputy Chief Constable Winton Keenen and Police and Crime Commissioner believe they are not complacent and more can be done to help improve support for victims and witnesses.

Deputy Chief Constable Winton Keenen said: "Victims are our absolute priority and we continue to put them at the heart of everything we do. Never more so than in cases which bring them into the criminal justice system.

"Our officers and staff receive specialist training to identify those who may be vulnerable and how best they should be supported.

"Taking into account individuals needs we are able to put special measures and procedures in place to help protect our most vulnerable victims. We work closely with our partners to ensure they are given the support and specialist care they need.

"We welcome the findings of the HMIC report of vulnerability in police cases, however, we are in no way complacent and will always look to improve any of our processes where necessary to provide the best possible service to victims."

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: "It's great for Northumbria Police to be highlighted once again as being one of the country's best forces. It is especially pleasing that they are good at supporting vulnerable victims.

"We work very closely with the police to ensure a streamlined service to help victims to cope and recover from their experience by Victims First Northumbria. Even those who do not want to report a crime to the police can get help there. However we hope that this report will help more people to have the confidence to report crime since it shows that they will receive a high quality supportive service from local officers. Well done to Northumbria Police once again."