Information for Victims
Victim Contact Service
Humberside Probation Trust has a small discrete Victim Contact Unit which works with victims of serious violent and sexual crime.
Victim work makes a vital contribution to risk assessment and public protection by:
- Providing a point of contact for the victim/their family and wider community through Victim Liaison Officers.
- Communicating the victim’s views on the risk presented by the offender and vice versa.
- Assessing the victim’s vulnerability.
- Assessing local community response to offender.
- Helping to manage victim’s expectations.
- Referring cases in order to access services for victims.
- Sharing victim information with local police appropriate to need.
- Contributing to information sharing at Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC)
Victims are provided with information and support services which enable them to make informed decisions and re-build their lives in the community. The statutory Victim Contact Service is offered to:
- Victims of serious violent and sexual crime where the offender is sentenced to 12 months or more in custody.
- Victims of mentally disordered offenders receiving hospital orders with or without restrictions.
In addition to statutory contact, discretionary victim contact is also offered in cases where there risk / public protection issues. These cases are often referred through the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) process. In discretionary cases, contact is likely to be for a short period of time, and will often facilitate a victim’s contact with other victim services in the local area whilst closely working with the Police.
What to expect from the Victim Contact Service
- Provided with regular information about the Criminal Justice process and the offender’s progress through his/her sentence.
- Advised of Parole reviews in respect of the offender’s early release from custody
- Given the opportunity to provide a victim personal statement when the Parole Board is considering an offender’s case for early release or a change of prison categorisation which would allow a prisoner access to the community.
- Given the opportunity to give their views on proposed conditions surrounding the offender’s release.
- Informed of any conditions of release which relate to the victim.
- Informed and agree to any special victim protection arrangements which are proposed.
- Given a route to direct any information from victims and their families about breaches of the offender’s release conditions.
Confidentiality issues are taken very seriously in terms of the Victim Contact Service. Offenders are informed that a victim has a right to information about the offender and their sentence. There is also a presumption that information provided by a victim is not disclosable to an offender.
It is essential however that probation staff have an awareness of the victim perspective in their own work with the offender. Vitim reports will be shared with offender managers for this purpose.
Women Safety Work
Women’s Safety Workers work with the victims of domestic violence in order to:
- Provide realistic information to women about the men’s domestic violence programme and possible outcomes.
- Promote women’s (both women and children) safety by supporting women to construct a realistic safety plan.
- Provide women with information about men’s attendance on the programme.
- Facilitate the referral of women to local women’s services for support, advice and assistance.
Whilst the needs of women and children are often similar, this is not always the case and the safety of children is always paramount.
The Women’s Safety Worker will contribute to risk management by:
- Ensuring that women are informed about any current or emerging risks posed by men attending the domestic violence programme.
- On each contact with the woman, assessing if any changes have taken place that have implications for her or her children’s safety.
- Ensuring that any relevant information provided by the women is shared promptly with the offender manager and the programme team.
It is a requirement of the accredited domestic violence programme that contact is initiated and that efforts are made to maintain contact with known victims of offenders placed on the programme.