HANDBOOK FOR OFFICERS: Communicating with Victims of Crime

9 Apr, 2019

The police service needs to up its game when it comes to dealing with the victims of crime, most of our recent reports say. It means providing better training for front-line police officers, ensuring suitable public access points for all victims to report crime, equal respect for all crime victims and closer cooperation in dealing with victims across the whole criminal justice system is essential.

For the last two years Victim Support Europe has been an associate partner of the project “Improved Response to Victims of Crime” ran by the Human Rights Monitoring Institute.

Each year plenty of people become victims of crimes. A crime violates the victim’s physical and (or) psychological integrity and may damage the person’s self-esteem and trust in other people. Therefore, professional communicating by pre-trial investigation officers is a crucial precondition for avoiding further negative and harmful consequences related to the experienced crime.

The Human Rights Monitoring Institute gathered a team of nine experts and produced a practical Handbook for law-enforcement officers “Communicating with victims of crime”. The aim of the Handbook is to equip law enforcement officers with the knowledge and skills on how to communicate with victims in a respectful, sensitive and professional manner without discrimination of any kind. Special emphasis is placed on communicating and providing help to especially vulnerable victims – children, persons with psychosocial or intellectual disabilities, victims of sex crimes, human trafficking, domestic violence and hate crimes.

This Handbook was reviewed by the Prosecutor’s General Office of the Republic of Lithuania, Mr. Levant Altan from Victim Support Europe (Belgium) and Mr. Pär Stihl from Linnaeus University (Sweden).

We encourage all our members and partners to share the manual with their local police departments.

An electronic version of the Handbook is available on: https://hrmi.lt/en/praktinis-vadovas-pareiguno-bendravimas-su-nukentejusiaisiais/

There is also the website developed, available in LT, EN, PL and RU versions, as well as child-friendly version: https://www.nukentejusiems.lt/en/