Vulnerable Victims - The Victims Charter
The Birmingham Victims’ Charter will focus on victims of crime and anti-social behaviour. We recognise that people can become victims of other types of incidents such as road traffic accidents, medical negligence and mis-selling scams and these can also have devastating effects on their lives.
We propose to build on the Victim Support report commissioned by the Ministry of Justice last year, but the Birmingham Victims’ Charter will be very specific to Birmingham.
The Birmingham Victims’ Charter will contain a number of key policy recommendations that we believe can realistically be achieved. The Charter will also set out the range of services available to victims in Birmingham, and explain the service standards so that victims know what levels of support are available and how to access them. The Charter will also include a values statement, setting out how statutory and voluntary agencies guarantee to treat victims. We hope our partner will join us in adopting this value statement and that we will continue to work together to improve victim’s services throughout Birmingham.
Birmingham City Council places great importance on this area and has appointed Councillor Jess Philips as the Birmingham Victims’ Champion to lead on this work.
Councillor Phillips has been hosting a series of consultation events with both the voluntary and statutory sectors, as well as attending focus groups where she has been hearing first hand from victims of crime and anti-social behaviour. She has also been involved in public consultation, seeking the views of the public through a Victim of Crime and anti-social behaviour survey, both online and face to face. This is just part of the consultation which has been happening since September and which has now drawn to a close, the next stage is to consult with partners about adopting the ‘value’ statement.
It is hoped that the ‘Value Statement’ will be agreed by the end of February, ready to launch the Victims Charter at the end of March, beginning of April. This work is incredibly important to Birmingham City Council, we want to get it right and therefore the time frame is flexible to ensure the Victims Charter is fit for purpose.
‘We will offer victims of crime timely and appropriate services to ensure that they are treated with care and dignity and will ensure that our communication with victims guarantees that their voices are not lost in the maze of services. Victims’ views and experiences will be used to inform service design and shape our work to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and strengthen the public’s feelings of safety.’
What this means to you as a victim
In addition to the Ministry of Justice National Victims’ Code of Practice, as a victim of crime or anti-social behaviour in Birmingham, you can expect:
- To be taken seriously
- To be treated with kindness when reporting the incident and thereafter
- To be treated with dignity, respect and to be treated fairly
- To be referred to Victim Support and-or specialist providers for additional support
- To be kept up to date
- To be offered the option to have a contact plan
- To be listened to, regardless of agency and not passed around
- To know where to go if things are not right and how agencies will be held to account.