Victims should have access to restorative justice

Improvements to criminal justice services begin

Improving the experience of victims and streamlining their journey through the criminal justice service in Avon and Somerset is the motivation behind a new project which has received nearly £200,000 investment from the Home Office Police Transformation Fund.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens, in partnership with the Avon and Somerset Criminal Justice Board, have used the funding to apply learning from behavioural science to put forward practical solutions to transform criminal justice services locally.

The Avon and Somerset Criminal Justice Board, who have led the way nationally on approaches to offender management and victim care, decided on this new approach to bring a fresh perspective to long-standing challenges in the local criminal justice system.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “For victims of crime, the journey through the criminal justice system can be confusing, complex, and daunting.  As your Police and Crime Commissioner I am committed to protecting the most vulnerable from harm and putting victims at the heart of everything we do, the criminal justice system included.

“Together, the police and our wider partners have recognised that fundamental changes are needed within the criminal justice system.  We are working hard to improve the victim experience, strengthen our wider partnership working and create savings that can be reinvested in supporting complex cases and vulnerable victims and offenders.”

The review focused on low cost, tangible solutions to the invisible barriers of the criminal justice process, making the most of new technology to improve the service for victims while reducing duplication and demand.

Sue continued: “Against a backdrop of increasing financial pressures, this work has never been more important.  We need to be working more closely together, exploiting technological advancements that help victims whose cases come to court, get the justice they rightfully deserve and maximising efficiencies through a truly joined-up service.”

Following completion, the review will not only deliver a concept to take the proposed changes forward in Avon and Somerset, it will also influence national policy to help other PCC’s drive similar changes in the criminal justice service in their area.

For the next stage of the process a new senior post has been created to lead this important piece of work and a search is actively underway to find the right person with the passion and vision to make this happen.

To find out more about the Criminal Justice Senior Responsible Officer role and to apply visit

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner successfully bid for £190,000 from the Home Office Police Transformation Fund. Funding from the PCC, Avon & Somerset Constabulary, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) and Her Majesty’s Prison Bristol has been secured for the appointment of a Senior Responsible Officer to work with key partners at a local and national level to develop and deliver a programme of work to deliver a streamlined and victim focused local criminal justice service.

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