Met Police: Victims of crime to get more support

police officers

The Metropolitan Police has announced new measures to support crime victims, including the ability for people to give “instant feedback” to the service.

Victims can now question officers or join an independent forum to drive improvements.

Feedback can be given via QR code and phoneline hours have been extended.

London’s victims commissioner, Claire Waxman, says the changes will “rebuild trust and confidence” in the Met.

The Met’s three new announcements are:

  • My Met Service, an instant service where victims can use a QR code, email or SMS to give instant feedback after they’ve spoken to an officer.
  • Extended hours for the Victim Focus Desk phone line, so officers and staff can provide victims with more regular updates, support and advice through each step of the criminal justice process
  • Information leaflets that will alert victims to their rights under the Victims’ Code of Practice (VCOP)

A new Victim Voice Forum has been set up which brings together victims of crime to share their personal experiences and help the Met deliver a better service.

Cdr Nick John, lead for victim care at the Met, said the force knew it has “let victims down in the past”, but that it was “absolutely committed to improving” its service.

“We’ve heard from many victims, [and are] already acting on their feedback, and I want to thank those who have worked with us as we strive to deliver better support and care,” he said.

In March, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced a £3m annual fund for a free phoneline for victims in an attempt to overhaul how the Met treats victims of crime.

The announcement came as it emerged that one in three victims of crime in London was unsatisfied with the Met’s level of service, according to a report by the mayor’s office.

The Victim Focus Desk phoneline, which provides victims with updates on their case and offers them support and advice, has been expanded since March as a result of feedback from victims, the Met said.

Sir Mark Rowley

PA Media

Victims said too often there was a lack of communication as investigations progressed through the sometimes-complex criminal justice system.

The line receives an average of 26,000 calls a month and has handled 180,000 calls since March.

The service has extended its hours and now operates seven days a week, 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am-4pm on weekends. It also has a recruitment campaign under way to help boost the number of staff answering calls.

‘Rebuild trust and confidence in police’

Mr Khan said he was “encouraged by the progress made in the first six months” but that “there is more to do”.

Ms Waxman said she was pleased the Met had followed her recommendations to improve its support offer to victims.

“Victims should always feel supported and empowered to come forward, and be given the help they need to stay engaged in the justice process once they do,” she said.

“Unfortunately, victims often experience a number of issues with updates and communication from the police, which is why I have long advocated for a ‘troubleshooting’ mechanism in the justice system, through which victims can have questions and issues quickly addressed.

“I’m confident that this significant investment from the mayor will support victims to stay engaged in the justice system and rebuild trust and confidence in the police.”

The My Met Service tool is currently in the pilot stage and is being rolled out across London boroughs, including Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

Since it was rolled out last month, the Met has seen an increase in feedback from typically hard-to-reach communities, including younger people.

Logo-favicon

Sign up to receive the latest local, national & international Criminal Justice News in your inbox, everyday.

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

Sign up today to receive the latest local, national & international Criminal Justice News in your inbox, everyday.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

This post was originally published on this site