Police and Crime Commissioner puts the needs of victims at the top of her agenda

August 18, 2021

Joy Allen, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Durham has launched a recruitment exercise to appoint an Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and Victims’ champions to join her office and provide an independent voice for victims of crime and ASB.

Both roles stem from her commitment to tackle ASB and to ensure the voice of victims is at the centre of everything she does in County Durham and Darlington by providing tailored support to victims and survivors of crime and secure justice for them.  

The ASB Champion will work alongside the Commissioner as an independent champion for victims and survivors of anti-social behaviour in the Durham Force area and be a point of contact for local individuals, communities, alleged perpetrators and those affected by anti-social behaviour.

The role of the ASB Champion will be to ensure the voices of those experiencing ASB are represented in the commissioning of support services and ensure victim experience is captured from across police and local authority systems to influence service improvement and operational delivery.

The Victims’ Champion will be responsible for ensuring a victim’s voice is embedded in policy, planning and commissioning within the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office and ensuring their voices are heard locally, regionally and nationally.

They will also play an important role in supporting the independent scrutiny of victims’experience across the Criminal Justice System and encourage multi-agency action to address issues raised by individual victims.

Joy Allen,Durham Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I was shocked to read the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales report ‘Anti-social behaviour – living a nightmare’ how badly victims of ASB were being let down with many victims suffering in silence.  This was supported by findings from my Police and Crime Survey that highlighted ASB was the residents of County Durham and Darlington top priority.

“These key appointments are the first of many actions I intend to take to get a grip of ASB in the force area by delivering what matters to local people whilst ensuring the victims of crime get the support they need.

“Over the next 3 years I intend to work with partners and the public to make the communities of County Durham and Darlington safer, stronger, and more resilient to crime and anti-social behaviour.

“If you want to be involved in making a real change for the communities of County Durham and Darlington then please get in touch and apply.”

The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, Dame Vera Baird QC, said: “As a former Police and Crime Commissioner, I know how crucial it is that victims and witnesses have trust and confidence in their local services: to come forward to report crime, to remain engaged in the justice process and, ultimately, to ensure more perpetrators are brought to justice.

“As Victims’ Commissioner, I have been encouraging all PCCs to appoint a local Victims’ Champion – a dedicated professional committed to deepening the understanding of victim needs and ensuring that the victim’s voice is heard in all local policymaking and decisions.

“I am pleased to see Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner make this commitment and recruit two new Victims’ Champions,including a dedicated anti-social behaviour champion. We know that persistent anti-social behaviour can have a devastating impact on lives and can corrode any sense of community cohesion. So it is incredibly important that victims of anti-social behaviour feel they have a voice and are being listened to. Indeed,victims must be at the heart of all PCC Police and Crime plans.

“I look forward to engaging with Durham’s new Victims’ Champions and I hope this will be a model for PCCs across England & Wales to emulate.”

If you’d like more information on the roles and want to apply, please visit: https://www.durham-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/vacancies

Deadline for applications is 27 August 2021.

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