Victim Support NI held their AGM at the Europa Hotel in Belfast in November, with the theme of Cybercrime in Northern Ireland. Guests from Criminal Justice agencies in Northern Ireland heard very engaging presentations from Sam Kinkaid from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Cybercrime Centre, and Godfrey Gaston, who is Director of Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies. Cyber attacks on individuals and businesses are a growing concern, and this event certainly focused on current threats and what we can do to protect ourselves and our organisations from attacks.
The AGM also marked a sad occasion for Victim Support NI as we said goodbye to our outgoing Chair of the Board of Trustees Brendan Loughran. Brendan has been a constant support to the management and staff of Victim Support NI during his time on the Board, and is an unerring champion of Victims’ Rights, who will continue to make sure the voice of the victim is represented at government and throughout the criminal justice system as he carries on his work with Victim Support Europe. We wish him well with all his future endeavours. Brendan’s position as Chair of the Victim Support NI Board of Trustees has been taken up by Board member Joan Broder, who brings a unique sense of perspective to the role due to her experience as a social worker and her position of Director with Extern, Northern Ireland’s leading social justice charity. We are sure that her appointment will lead to the continued improvement of services for victims and witnesses of crime in Northern Ireland.
In order to mark European Victims of Crime Day on 22nd February, Victim Support NI will be holding an Openspace Conversation event with invited guests from criminal justice agencies and victims groups, to discuss the ideal model for Northern Ireland’s Criminal Justice System.