We at the Commission for Victims and Survivors for Northern Ireland believe passionately in our work and the rights of all victims and survivors to be heard, to be respected and to have access to services that are the best they can be.
Our Vision is to improve the lives of all victims and survivors of the Conflict.
Our Mission is to address the needs of all victim and survivors by ensuring excellent service provision, acknowledging the legacy of the past and building for a better future.
All our work is underpinned by a number of core values. We use these in our day to day work and we seek outcomes based on the fulfilment of these values.
These values are as follows:
• Victim Centred – Victims and survivors are at the centre of all we do and we will encourage and value their participation.
• Open and transparent – We are open, honest, accountable and responsive in all our work.
• Equality and diversity – We will treat everyone equally and challenge inequality with impartiality, independence and integrity.
• Respect – We will be courteous and professional in our approach to everyone who contacts us.
• Impartiality – We will uphold our independence and maintain a critical distance to challenge Government and relevant authorities.
• Delivering Quality – We will strive to deliver all of our programmes to a high standard.
The Mayor of London heads the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), which is responsible for policing in London. MOPAC assumed responsibility for victims’ services in London from October 2014; it commissions victims services for London, working in partnership with all Criminal Justice System (CJS) agencies.
Supporting Justice is a Community Interest Company; we work mainly in the criminal justice arena specialising in issues affecting victims and witnesses and are currently working closely with the large UK charity Citizens Advice on the redesign of their Witness Service service, the development of internal and externally facing policy and procedures, and the design and delivery of training for their almost 2,500 volunteers delivering the service in all criminal courts in England and Wales. Supporting Justice has a simple and clear vision: to help make the justice and social sectors work more effectively for everyone. We offer guidance and advice to help achieve the best outcomes for those affected by crime and we believe that unless people understand how and why things are as they are, and unless a deep and strong focus on outcomes is developed and maintained, the criminal justice system will never deliver what it promises: transparency, fairness and justice.
Victim Support England and Wales supports victims of crime throughout the country. The Organisation has a national infrastructure and receives most of its referrals from the police – using a secure IT system (this is a unique feature of their service). Victim Support also operates in every criminal court in England and Wales.
Support is available to any victim of crime in England and Wales regardless of nationality and any victims affected by crime abroad if they self refer. Victim Support provides different types of support, namely: practical, psychological, social, emotional, assistance to apply for compensation, information on victims’ rights and national criminal justice system.
A victim may contact the Organisation through their hotline, go personally to a local scheme, by e-mail, letter, through police or third parties referral. Accordingly, Victim Support services are held through diverse means: telephone (in English, Welsh or other as available), face-to-face, letter, e-mail, text message and social networks.
Victim Support Scotland (VSS) is the largest organisation providing generic support services to victims and witnesses of crime in Scotland. Victim Services are based in every local authority and Witness Services are located in every Sherriff and High Court to ensure support and information services across the whole of Scotland. The individual needs of each victim/witness are assessed during the person’s first contact with Victim Support Scotland through their specifically developed Assessment Framework to ensure any support services are tailored to the person’s individual needs.
The Organisation also has a very good working relationship with the Scottish Police and in some areas automated referrals between the police and Victim Support Scotland has been introduced. VSS is in the process of developing a national referral arrangement covering the whole of Scotland. Victim Support Scotland is a very strong advocating organisation, commenting on legislative proposals, influencing public policy and working regularly with the Parliament, Government and any other agency to promote and advance the rights of victims and witnesses of crime.
Victim Support Scotland offers support services to “all people affected by crime” so anyone who feels impacted by crime can access the VSS service, there are no strict eligibility criteria or definition. Victims/witnesses usually contact VSS through the hotline, go personally to a local scheme, by e-mail, police referral (90% of victims are referred by police) and self-referral section on VSS website. VSS uses an external language service so that, with prior arrangements, can offer simultaneous translations into any required languages.