The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has appointed Claire Waxman as the first Victims Commissioner for London to help dramatically improve the experience of victims of crime in the capital, alongside with dedication of £47m for services in order to better support them over three years .
As it is stated in Mayor of Lonodn’s press release, Claire Waxman brings a wealth of personal insight and expertise to the role. She was a victim of crime for 12 years, during which time she founded campaign group Voice4Victims to fight for improved legislation and support for victims. She takes up the post, one of the Mayor’s manifesto commitments, this week following a nationwide search. Working with victims, central government, the Met Police, Crown Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Justice, Ms Waxman will act on victims’ behalf, ensure their voices are heard and develop ways to improve their experience of the criminal justice system and ability to recover.
Moreover, Mayor’s office brings information that last year, there were 734,190 victims of crime in London recorded by the Met, but only 10 per cent of those referred for further support took up the offer, which is data of the Ministry of Justice from 2015/16. With around half of trials classed as ineffective due to the victim or witness not attending or withdrawing from the process, Sadiq Khan has put improving support for victims at the core of his police and crime plan, with the aim of increasing the number of effective trials and bringing more criminals to justice.
Regarding the appointment of the fisrts Victims Commissioner, Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Crime can have a profound and lasting impact on victims, and it is essential that they are able to access the right support to help them recover. As London’s first Victims Commissioner, Claire Waxman will stand up for survivors of crime across the capital, making sure their voices are heard and that their needs are at the heart of our policing and criminal services. By investing in these services, we can help ensure victims have faith and confidence in our criminal justice system, and that they get the support they need to move on.”
Claire Waxman, Victims Commissioner for London, said: “Becoming London’s first Victims’ Commissioner is an honour. Having been at the fore-front of championing victims’ rights along with having first-hand experience of the victim’s journey for many years, I welcome this opportunity to serve London in this vital role. Victims can struggle to access a fair, inclusive justice system and timely and effective support. These barriers can have a detrimental impact on their lives, delaying their recovery. As Victims’ Commissioner for London, I want to ensure that no victim is left isolated nor unsupported and that the justice system and services are strengthened to offer victims a more compassionate, efficient and supportive experience which will help them to become survivors.”
The Victims Commissioner for London will complement the national role, currently filled by Baroness Newlove and created in 2010 to cover England and Wales.
Complete press release of the Mayor of London’s office regarding the appointment of the Commissioner you can find here.