Identifying Victims Needs, Promoting Positive Practice April 2009
MAMAA’S annual conference was held at The Congress Centre, Central London. Delegates ranged from victims of crime to home office representatives. Strategic agencies and third sector organisations came together to identify victims needs and how best to address them.
The topics discussed on the day involved the clarity of roles of those working with victims, how the police are working toward prevention of serious crime and what more can be done to assist secondary victims of violent crime within the strategic sector.
Positive practice was highlighted with an award ceremony, recognising individuals and organisations who had worked effectively with of violent crime.
Speakers on the day included:
- Kate Whaley – MAMAA Head of Development
- Tommy Bates – Father of Homicide Victim
- Wendy Crompton – Justice 4 William
- Trevor Deer – F.L.O Metropolitan Police
- Commander Simon Foy – Serious Crime Command Metropolitan Police
- Fiona Harrow – Head of Victim and Witness Unit – Office for Criminal Justice Reform
After the conference delegates were asked to complete a short evaluation, results are as follows.
- What attracted you to the conference?
16% Networking Opportunity
- What did you find interesting?
37% Personal Stories
1% FLO Issues
3% Different Points of View
1% Hearing about positive change
- ‘Different points of view’ Mother Of Homicide Victim
- ‘How we can make things better’ FLO Met Police
- ‘FLO’s, Met presentation, victim’s speeches’ Mother of Homicide Victim
- ‘Speeches – not being a victim I learned a lot’ Natalie Bartlett
Many of the victims and secondary victims commented at this point, that it had been interesting, and educational for them to hear about the role of strategic agency workers, in particular FLO’s in more generic, rather than personal terms.
- What elements of positive practice do you think you will take away from today?
This question generated the highest level of comments.
- ‘endeavour to make victims more central to the process’ Restorative Justice Worker“
- ‘to listen to what professionals go through’ Father Of Homicide Victim
- ‘the importance of FLO’s and the role of the victims and witness unit’ Home Office Official
- ‘that victims of violence/gang involvement need to be supported quickly and effectively particularly within a housing context’ Supported Housing Manager
- ‘the need for professionalism across the board with FLO’s’ Inspector, Strathclyde Police
- ‘The impact of personal stories and how it moves us away from process/procedures that we all follow’ Supt. Insp. Strathclyde Police
- ‘To make sure everyone who is a victim gets support and knows their rights and the law.’ Mother of violent crime victim
- ‘the need for tailored service, the need for networking opportunities for victim led organisations, the need to greatly improve access to trauma counselling’ Policy And Information Officer
- ‘networking between agencies, the need for pressure on government, etc to provide a national database’ Mother of Homicide Victim
- ‘The need for victim support (third sector organisations) to be engaged.’ Policy Advisor
- ‘to consider what the victims think are important in order to bring a change and direction’ Youth Support Officer
- ‘very informative and interesting programme all day, the positive work MAMAA are doing’ SAMM representative
- ‘greater understanding of the effect of crime on victims, I will consider this more when I see headlines and hear news stories and if this impacts on my work’ Home Office Representative
- ‘the need to be more sympathetic to victims families and to think about the victims needs’ Home Office Representative
- ‘listening and partnership working, the need to see all policy in the context of the individual victim’ Projects Policy Manager OCJR
Staff were graded from Good, Satisfactory and Poor
- Admin – 96% said Good
- Registration Desk – 98% said Good
- Floor Staff – 98% said Good
Outcomes and Issues
The outcomes of the conference, has been an improved knowledge and understanding on the matter of victims needs. MAMAA have been invited to speak at various conferences being organised by and for strategic agencies, talking on victims needs. This would suggest that those working at strategic level feel they can gain knowledge from the experience of those working directly with victims.
An understanding from victims of what is being done at government level and an improved understanding of why it is being done. A realisation from some families that they were expecting too much of certain strategic agencies, who had neither the equipment nor skills to deliver what the family had expected.
The main issues highlighted on the day were the need for a dedicated worker to support the family in the aftermath of violent crime. It was widely agreed that this would not benefit only the families involved, but the strategic agencies already in place, who would be involved with the family after the impact of violent crimes. Another issue raised was the need for recognition of the effects of different types of crime on the individual, and a need for tailored, individual support system.
Awards and recipients included:
Presented to Carole Eniffer - Home Office
Carole was nominated and recognised for her tireless work within Government to ensure victim’s families’ needs are heard within the Home Office.
Left to Right – Carole Eniffer, Lyn Costello
Presented to DCI Mark Kandiah, DI Damon Hall and DI Steve McCabe from Barking Homicide Unit. The team secured a conviction, even though the bodies of Bonnie Barrett and Xaio Mei have never been recovered
Left to Right – DI Steve McCabe, Jackie Summerford, DI Damon Hall, Kellie Barrett and DCI Mark Kandiah
Family Liaison officer
Presented to DCI Ally Wright after his dedicated work with Bill and Julie Hawker following the murder of their daughter Lindsay Hawker in Japan
‘Constant caring, professional source of help’ Julie Hawker
Left to right – Bill Hawker, Ally Wright, Julie Hawker
Family Liaison Team – Presented to DC Stephanie Watts, DS Danny Yeoman for their work with the family of Peter Woodhams.
‘Absolutely amazing they helped us through the most horrific and scariest time in our lives’ Jane Bowden
Left to Right – Peter Woodhams, DS Stephanie Watts, Jane Bowden, Danny Yeoman
Support for Victims Worker – Presented to Volunteers Denise Sorhiano and Jenny Keohane on behalf of The Witness Service, Criminal Central Court.
‘There is no doubt in my mind that Witness Service at the Central Criminal Court often go above and beyond the call of duty to try and make sure things are made easier for victims of crime regardless of nature of the crime.’ PC Loretta Kilgannon
Left to Right – DCI Allain, Jenny Keohane Denise Sorhiando
||‘Making A Difference’ – Presented to Cathy Franklin.
‘Thanks to Cathy and the launch of Ryan’s Law, grieving families are spared the agony of a delay in laying their loved ones to rest.’ Jennie Saunders
Left to right – Tracey Franklin, Cathy Franklin, Antonia Price, Natalie Bartlett
Outstanding Contribution To The Prevention Of Violent Crime – Presented to Strathclyde Police
‘A succinct willingness to work with all sectors involved in the arena of violent crime marks the team from Strathclyde apart from many other police authorities’ MAMAA spokesperson.
‘Left to Right – Insp. Douglas Stevenson, Supt. Bob Hamilton
Some comments regarding the awards included:
- “Very moving and was well organised, real people talking about victims” Mother of Homicide Victim
- “excellent – brings victims and agencies together” ACPO Staff Officer
- “excellent, we feel honoured and privileged to have been given an award and to be invited to the conference” Award Recipient
- “An excellent idea to thank people who have made a different” Mother of Violent Crime Victim.
- “really great to recognise the good work that is being done” OCJR Representative
- “All the awards were greatly deserved they all do a much needed job and excellent work”. SAMM representative
- “we found the award presentation very moving and an excellent end to an excellent conference” Brother of Homicide Victim
- “I didn’t want to stay for this, but so glad I did! It emphasized for me the input of different organisations and the commitment of individuals.” Child Bereavement Charity Representative
- “very well chosen, in respect of the individuals/organisations awarded’ UK Guardian Angel
- “The conference was perfectly balanced between policy and space for personal testimony” Policy And Information Officer CSAS
- “Very polished, excellent at being professional and having genuine feeling” Capacity Building Officer CSAS
- “highlight of the conference” Met Police Officer
- “good to see individuals and organisations recognised for their continual efforts to reduce crime and support victims” Home Office Representative
All images taken by: Connie Gurie