Crime commissioner promises better deal for victims and witnesses

Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger during a visit to Hartlepool.
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger during a visit to Hartlepool.
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A crime chief has pledged to make 2015 the ‘year of the victim’ as he outlined his priorities for his next year in office.

Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger says ensuring a better deal for victims and witnesses is one of the key parts of his new Police and Crime Plan.

Victims are important to everything we do in Cleveland

Barry Coppinger

The document also includes priorities for protecting neighbourhood policing, preventing people from re-offending and for partner agencies to work more closely together in the face of Government cuts.

Mr Coppinger presented the final crime plan to a meeting of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership.

He told the partnership: “Hopefully, this year will be the year of the victim and we will be able to improve the services we provide.”

From April, Mr Coppinger has taken on the commissioning of victim referral services and specialist support.

In his crime plan he added: “Victims are important to everything we do in Cleveland.

“Crime and antisocial behaviour have a big impact on lives and communities.

“I an actively consulting regarding victim and witness needs to help improve local services.”

Mr Coppinger said reductions in crime and antisocial behaviour are likely to be achieved by different organisations through pooling of resources, joint working and shared buildings.

He added: “Austerity has reduced the government resources committed to all public bodies in Cleveland in total over recent years by hundreds of millions of pounds – impacting on the local economy, and inevitably, the scale and scope of some activities.

“We now all have to balance ever-increasing public demands with ever-declining public resources.”

The crime commissioner, elected in November 2012, also sets out a commitment to retaining and developing neighbourhood policing.

He also says he will continue to fund community safety initiatives as part of a drive to divert people away from crime and prevent re-offending.