Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has said that “more needs to be done” to support victims of crime as she was appointed to support them last week.

Donna Jones was appointed as the national lead for victims by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ (APCC), for which she will work alongside the Home Office and Ministry of Justice.

She said: “Victims need to have confidence and trust in the criminal justice system. The Government’s recent rape review showed too many cases where victims are being let down, and that more needs to be done, especially for those who have been victim to the most horrific crimes.

“Alongside helping victims get the justice they deserve, it is vitally important that the right support is available for victims from their first point of contact with the police, through the investigation, in the lead up to a court hearing and during that court process. With Covid-19 we are seeing delays in cases coming to court, which is adding to the trauma of victims.

“We need to ensure that everything possible is being done to support victims during this difficult time. I am pleased to be able to take up the role as the victims lead to be an advocate for victims at a national level as well as locally.”

Her role will involve assisting PCCs in commissioning services to support victims, such as Hampshire, which is run by Ian Stiff, the area manager.

He said: “The Victim Care Service very much reflects the individual needs of the victim. We know that everyone’s needs are different. For example some people do not want to report to the police, so we help them to find a way to come to terms with what has happened without police involvement.

“Others want to see the offender brought to justice and we support them through the criminal justice system. Crime has a ripple effect and can impact on many people, the Victim Care Service is there for anyone who has been affected by crime be they the direct victim, witness, family member of a victim, or someone who lives in a street where a crime has been committed.”

Donna Jones will also be taking the lead in tackling some of the criminal organisations that are responsible for these victims as she was also appointed the national lead for serious organised crime, for which she said more joined up thinking was needed.

She said: “Police forces need to work together to target crime gangs locally, regionally, and nationally, and to develop our specialist capabilities, such as forensics, so we have the right tools for the job.”