What does it mean to be a “victim” of crime in Lancashire?

For each individual, the answer to that question will be very different. They will have been the victims of different crimes, had differing victim experiences and be at different places in their lives. But one thing is the same for all victims – when they turn for help, they expect a quality service which is easily accessible and tailored to their needs.

Since my election as your Police and Crime Commissioner, I have been focussed on achieving that for Lancashire, placing victims at the heart of my Police and Crime Plan.

Towards the end of last year the views of hundreds of victims were gathered as part of an extensive review of what services Lancashire currently offers them – and what services they feel they want to receive.

And in January, I welcomed Baroness Newlove, Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, to Lancashire for The Victims’ View consultation event, to officially unveil my new Victims’ Strategy and to outline my draft intentions for commissioning victims’ services.

I want to ensure the victims’ voice is heard – and that is why such extensive research has been done to give those residents with experience of using victims’ services the chance to share their stories.

I want people’s experiences to be consistent – and I want everyone to feel they have received the service they expect and have been treated with dignity and respect.

Everyone who was involved in the research, including service providers, voluntary agencies, criminal justice partners and victims themselves, was invited to the Victims’ View confsultation event to discuss the findings and draft commissioning intentions.

The event was also attended by a group of young people from Blackburn Youth Zone, who shared their experiences of being a victim – and offered to help develop victims’ services from a youth perspective in the future.

I have pledged to Listen to victims, Learn from their stories and Act on what they have told me they want – and that is a commitment that will remain throughout the commissioning process.

Together, we can make a real difference for victims in Lancashire.