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I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to be a part of this review and for the suggestions that have been made. Some of these have already been actioned. But for all the good work that the Police, councils, and others are doing, people are still telling us that they want to see more. As such, the following recommendations are made by me the Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent:
I will look to continue with my Victims' Panel to listen to the views of women and girls and consult them on the response to crime, getting feedback on new proposals, commissioning strategies, education programmes, and the service provided by criminal justice agencies.
In considering the mechanisms through which different agencies can be held to account for their response to violence against women and girls, I will use my position as Chair of the Kent Criminal Justice Board to agree a shared data set and terms of reference so that those agencies responsible for delivering justice can hold and be held to account. This data will be published quarterly after each meeting.
Kent Police currently runs three victim satisfaction surveys – domestic abuse, rape and hate crime. Data on the service offered to other victims is therefore not available. The Annual Policing Survey has a limited amount of information from victims. As part of the re-tendering of the main Victims' Service contract, I will make sure that there is an independent victim satisfaction survey as part of this contract. This will test victim satisfaction across all crime types and provide a specific report on VAWG.
It is disappointing that men and boys do not have their own national strategy and are included within the violence against women and girls definition. I will hold the system to account for the service they provide to male victims, commission services to help them, and campaign for a separate men and boys national strategy.
Every six months, an audit should be published using publicly available information and data held by criminal justice agencies showing how well they are performing for victims of crime, and specifically VAWG. Bringing together official published data, criminal justice scorecards, victim satisfaction surveys and criminal justice outcomes. This will be published for all to see and be an opportunity to assess whether further VAWG inquiries need to be held.
One of the most common recommendations made was to increase the amount of education on VAWG in schools, and at an early age. With education, I will commission a schools intervention programme which will focus on VAWG, violent crime and online harm and charities and other organisations will be invited to bid to run this.
In addition to the proposal for a schools intervention programme, my office will make further funding available for VAWG-related projects and encourage Community Safety Partnerships to use the existing funding they receive from my Office to run local VAWG initiatives.
There is low public awareness of the rights that victims of crime have and how they can exercise them. We will raise awareness of the Victims' Code and key opportunities to challenge criminal justice agencies with a training programme called Victim Champion, which will bring all of these issues together. Delivered in the community, it will enable neighbours, councillors, and others to support one another.
The success of reporting mechanisms like StreetSafe isn’t just the number of reports that people are making, but the results which come from it. Local agencies should work together to provide regular updates on what action has been taken as a result of the concerns reported via Street Safe.