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29 April 2013, 16:43
Northamptonshire Police have appointed Angela Sarkis CBE as the UK's first ever Victims Commissioner.
The job has been created by Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds as part of a national initiative to support victims of crime.
Mr. Simmonds says:
"I have said from day one that I intend to put the victim of crime first, offering the help and support they require."
Angela Sarkis has a history of working in the crime and justice field- she's done a lot of charity work and was awarded a CBE in 2000 for services to alleviating poverty.
Her new role as the Victims Voice is a part-time position where she'll meet victims of crime and help them to understand the legal process as well as getting them the help and support they need in coping with their ordeal.
Speaking to Heart she claims there's a definite need for her role:
"Sadly the criminal justice system has never been very good at dealing with victims, we tend to put offenders first, we tend to put other interests first and the victims are at the bottom"
Heart spoke to Chief Constable Adrian Lee about the Victims Voice
He thinks the work of Ms. Sarkis could lead to a reduction in crime:
"We know that victims of crime have got an insight into crime that the police service hasn't got and we ought to listen to them and take on their views"
Angela Sarkis says she will be going out in the community to speak to victims of crime but says if anyone wants to get in contact with her they can do so by going on the website www.victimsvoice.org.uk.