Yorkshire police boss pledges to 'champion interests of all victims and witnesses'

A Yorkshire police boss has pledged to put victims of crime first with the launch of an innovative new scheme "championing the interests of all victims and witnesses".

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has pledged to put victims of crime first with the launch of an innovative new scheme "championing the interests of all victims and witnesses".
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has pledged to put victims of crime first with the launch of an innovative new scheme "championing the interests of all victims and witnesses".

The Supporting People Harmed by Crime strategy will be officially launched by West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns Williamson and the national Victims Commissioner Dame Vera Baird QC on Monday, November 11, in central Leeds.

Keynote speakers will include Mr Burns-Williamson who will reveal more about the strategy and his regional role in supporting victims, Dame Vera herself, and the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police John Robins, who will discuss how the force supports victims of crime.

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Mr Burns-Williamson said: "One of my most important roles as Police and Crime Commissioner is to champion the interests of all victims and witnesses, and this strategy goes some way to addressing that.

"I urge anyone with an interest in victims and witnesses to consider what we can do collectively to support them and to attend this important event launch.

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The strategy has been development with the full involvement of other criminal justice partners including councils across West Yorkshire, the NHS and other representatives from the third sector.

Victims and survivors have also played an important role in developing the strategy and will be speaking about their own experiences at the launch event.

Mr Burns-Williamson said previously: "A particular focus for me over this last year has been the care for victims.

"We now have an expanded, more accessible service available to victims of all ages through the new Victim Support contract. We have established specialised victims hubs in each district of West Yorkshire, as well as commissioning a live chat facility".

The Police and Crime Commissioner also recently funded a facility for video link technology in Calderdale so that vulnerable witnesses can give evidence remotely.

He said: "This reduces the emotional burden for victims and will hopefully increase the number of perpetrators brought to justice and achieving better outcomes.