The PPS has welcomed the publication of the Criminal Justice Inspection report on the care and treatment of victims and witnesses in the Northern Ireland criminal justice system.
PPS Victims’ Champion Marianne O’Kane said: “The PPS recognises that being the victim of a crime or witnessing a crime can be a traumatic experience. Engaging with the criminal justice system can sometimes add to the stresses created by this experience. We are fully committed to improving the experience of victims and witnesses within the criminal justice system and we support the recommendations made in this important report.
“We have made significant strides in recent years to improve our service to victims and witnesses. This includes the creation of a dedicated Victim and Witness Care Unit, a new Serious Crime Unit with a strong focus on victim engagement, a new website with clear, easy to understand guidance for victims and witnesses and a Stakeholder Forum to listen more closely to representatives of victims and witnesses from across society.
“The report highlights some of these positive changes the PPS and criminal justice partners have made and the PPS accepts the four strategic and operational recommendations contained within the report in which we are mentioned. An action plan to address the recommendations has been produced and we are consulting with criminal justice partners, including the Criminal Justice Board, on how best to implement these.
“I would like to thank the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice Ms Jacqui Durkin and the inspectors for this detailed report which will help shape further enhancements to improve the treatment of victims and witnesses. I would also like to recognise the work of our prosecutors and members of the Victim and Witness Care Unit. While their work in this field can often be challenging and distressing, I know that our staff understand the toll crime can take on victims and witnesses and aspire to deliver the highest quality of service to them.”
Notes to edtors
The CJI report can be read in full on the CJI webste.