South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright has welcomed new legislation aimed at improving the service received by victims of crime.
Mr Wright, who holds South Yorkshire Police to account on behalf of the county’s residents, said the new Victim’s Code was a ‘positive move’.
It will enable victims to read out personal statements in court, which will be taken into account by judges when sentencing offenders.
Victims will also be able to request that crimes are dealt with through restorative justice rather than court – which avoids victims and offenders having to go to court and results in them carrying out punishments in the community instead.
Commissioner Wright said: “This is a positive move and will enhance the service victims currently receive. I am a staunch supporter of restorative justice when it is the right approach for a victim.
“I have already put additional measures in place to make sure we are more victim-focused when it comes to dealing with crimes in South Yorkshire and I want victims here to know they can access support and help as they need it.
“I have worked closely with Victim Support and have funded additional resources, such as victim case workers, who will work with vulnerable victims, helping them with practical and emotional support. I am very pleased to have initiated the Young Witness Service in South Yorkshire.
“This service will help support children and young people and their parents or carers before, during and after any trial, so they can give the best evidence to the court and reduce any further trauma caused by their experience.
“In addition to the work being done by our police officers, working with our partners will make sure the public in South Yorkshire receive the best possible service, if they are ever unfortunate enough to become a victim of crime.”
The Commissioner wants feedback from victims of crime.
Visit www.southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/contact to have your say and to talk about your experiences of crime.