Police and crime commissioner responds to HMIC report in to the treatment of victims and witnesses by Northamptonshire Police

Adam Simmonds, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, has today welcomed the findings of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary’s (HMIC) report in to Northamptonshire Police’s ability to identify vulnerable victims and witnesses but stressed there is still more to be done to fully support those who are forced to enter the criminal justice system.

The HMIC report– released today – examines the effectiveness of Northamptonshire Police in providing accurate information of the circumstances of cases; identifying the vulnerability of victims and witnesses; and assessing and managing risks so that the needs of victims and witnesses are met effectively.

The county force were judged to have adequately presented the summary of key evidence in seven out of nine applicable cases judged by HMIC, while they were also deemed to have correctly identified and subsequently managed the risk of harm to the victim or witness in three of four applicable cases.

Mr Simmonds – who has made supporting victims and witnesses of crime a priority throughout his term in office – said that although the findings are encouraging, they are still below the high standards that he expects Northamptonshire Police to aspire to.

Adam Simmonds, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, commented:

“Victims and witnesses of crime enter the criminal justice system through no fault of their own and it is our responsibility to give them all the help and support they need, whatever that entails. Accurately summarising key evidence and identifying those at risk should be the very minimum expected from Northamptonshire Police.

“While I’m encouraged that HMIC’s report finds the force have been successful in doing this in three-quarters of cases observed, we need to ensure this is happening 100% of the time, without fail, in order to give people in Northamptonshire our full support.

“During my time in office we have created the pioneering Voice service which supports victims and witness of crime regardless of if a crime has been reported, while we are currently in the process of creating a new service specifically for children and young people.

“I know that the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Simon Edens, shares my ambition that no individual who may be vulnerable escapes our attention and I know he will be working hard to ensure that the force’s performance continues to improve in this area.”

Victims and Witnesses of crime can visit www.voicenorthants.org to access expert advice, guidance and support, regardless of whether a crime has been committed.