Posts by David Kenyon

Voice Northamptonshire: QM Award

Victims of crime and those impacted by road traffic incidents  can be confident that  excellent support is available to them  as Voice Northamptonshire is awarded a national quality mark.

The Victims Choice Quality Mark has been awarded to Voice Northamptonshire by Supporting Justice CIC in recognition of the “high standards of care and support offered ” and the way in which staff made people feel “valued and listened to”.

Voice Northants is a service delivered on behalf of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner of Northamptonshire and provides independent support and information to anybody in Northamptonshire that has been a victim of crime – regardless of whether they have chosen to make a report to the police or not – and anyone affected by a serious road traffic incident.

David Kenyon the lead assessor said: “Voice Northants  provides an excellent service and a high standard of victim care. There is a strong and supportive culture among management and staff and clients are at the heart of all the organisation delivers. We found a high level of collaboration and a willingness to deliver a comprehensive and inclusive support service to those who needed it. Partner organisations work well with Voice and hold the organisation in high regard.

“Our assessment shows a service dedicated to continuous improvement and a determination to support victims of crime to cope and recover.”

The Victims Choice Quality Mark is an independent assessment of the quality of the service provided to victims and witnesses. It is designed to provide confidence to those who may need to access the service in the future and to help commissioners determine if their resources are being targeted and spent effectively.

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Introducing Amy Sage to the Supporting Justice team

Supporting Justice are delighted to welcome Amy Sage to the team as a new research associate. Amy is an early career researcher and criminal justice practitioner.

“We’re really excited to have Amy join us as an early career researcher, bringing a fresh, contemporary perspective to the team. Amy has already worked on a Quality Mark assessment for us and we’re looking forward to utilizing her research and analysis expertise in future work.” Becky White, Director

Read more about Amy’s research experience here.

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Introducing Lisa Waddell to the Supporting Justice team

Supporting Justice are delighted to welcome Lisa Waddell to the team as a new research associate. Lisa is an early career quantitative researcher with experience working with large data sets.

Read more about Lisa on her profile here.

“We’re really excited to have Lisa join the team and to make use of her quantitative data expertise across our consultancy and research work. This is a great opportunity for us to support early career researchers to gain experience outside academia as part of our commitment to building capacity within the victim and witness sector” Becky White, Director


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Introducing Sharon Haywood to the Supporting Justice team

We’re thrilled to announce a new addition to the SuJu team! International researcher and campaigner Sharon Haywood brings valuable skills and experience in violence against women, body image and gender to the SuJu team. Read more about Sharon’s impressive career, driving forward positive change for women and children here.

“We’re really excited to have Sharon join us and increase our capacity on issues around women and gender. Sharon is an experienced and passionate campaigner for women’s rights. She has successfully influenced legislative change in Argentina which will benefit millions of women. We’re looking forward to both working with her and learning from her.”

Becky White, Director, Supporting Justice CIC
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2022 at Supporting Justice: A Year in Review

This has been an exciting year for us as we emerged from reduced operations during the years of the pandemic protective measures and increased our activities into new areas and partnerships. We wanted to share with you some of the highlights of the past twelve months before we move forward into 2023, our 10th anniversary year.

Review of the Historical Institutional Abuse Scheme (Northern Ireland) Redress Scheme

Following a motion in the Northern Ireland Assembly in response to victim and survivor concerns over the redress process, we were commissioned by the Northern Ireland Executive to undertake a review of the redress process and make recommendations to improve the experience for victims and survivors.

We heard from victim and survivor groups about the difficulties navigating the process and the impact of engaging in a legalistic procedure in relation to their experience of abuse. We also consulted with a range of stakeholders, including the Historical Institutional Abuse Redress Board, the Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse, the Law Society and the Victim and Survivor Service.

Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic and the absence of a government in Stormont, the redress scheme had processed an impressive number of applications. The desire by all parties to improve the experience of engaging with and applying to the Scheme was especially encouraging. We are grateful to all for their assistance.

Our recommendations focused on presenting a clearer and more cohesive process for applicants through improving collaboration between all parties. We were mindful of the time limited nature of the Scheme and the advanced age of some applicants. The Redress Scheme legislation limits the operation of the Scheme to a maximum of five years, with our review taking place roughly halfway through. A priority for us was to avoid any delay which would risk denying victims and survivors the opportunity for redress before the Scheme ends.

All parties are working to take forward those operational recommendations that can be progressed in the absence of Ministers.

Road Harm Victim Needs Assessment

Our first piece of research from our partnership with Staffordshire University explored the needs of those affected by road traffic collisions. The Needs Assessment was commissioned by the Office of the Warwickshire Police Crime Commissioner to inform the move from grant funded to commissioned service for their Independent Road Victim Advocate service.

Working with Staffordshire colleagues Dr Leanne Savigar-Shaw and Dr Jo Turner, the research included analysis of Warwickshire Police road collision data from 2017-2021 and police force FOI requests on road victim provision from 40 police forces. We held focus groups with 34 stakeholders and received completed questionnaires from a further eight. Supporting Justice led on victim engagement, undertaking ten in-depth interviews with victims, bereaved families and those otherwise affected by road traffic collisions (RTC).  

We discovered very little research in relation to the impact of RTCs and the needs of those affected, especially considering the extent of the issue, with five people killed or seriously injured by RTCs every day in England and Wales. We also discovered an incredibly engaged road safety and victim care sector, working hard to put the issue on to the agenda for government and other policy makers.

The research found a postcode lottery of provision, exacerbated by the gaps between crime and civil provision. We recommended the introduction of national service standards for locally commissioned services, ensuring consistent provision whilst enabling innovation. The full report and executive summary can be found here.

New Associates

A major highlight of 2022 for us has been the opportunity to welcome new associates, and we look forward to announcing more in the coming weeks.

We were lucky to have Stephen Chapman, the former Welsh Government Modern Slavery Coordinator join our team at the end of 2022. Steve has an incredible track record within criminal justice and disaster response, and we’re looking forward to utilising his extensive skills in multi-agency and cross-government working.

As part of our Community Interest Company status, Supporting Justice have committed to working with early career researchers in order to support and add capacity to the victim and witness sector more generally. Amy Sage joined us in October 2022 to shadow a Quality Mark assessment and site visit, in preparation for a renewed focus on the Mark in 2023. Amy is currently undertaking PhD research at the University of Bristol, looking at the exclusions to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme for victims with criminal convictions.

2023 – SuJu turns 10!

2023 is our 10th anniversary and we are looking forward to continuing our expansion, building on our track record of supporting justice and improving outcomes for victims and witnesses. We will share more details on how we are going to mark this milestone throughout the year

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Road Harms: Death and Serious Injury Webinar slides and recordings now available to watch

Thank you to all who attended the webinar to share our research into road death and serious injury. The interest and enthusiasm within the sector was fantastic to see, as always.

For those who could not attend we’ve made the recording and slides available.

Please click here to download the slides.

Please click here to watch the recording.

Please also feedback on how you might use this research by completing a short survey:

There is a great deal of work to be done to ensure that those affected by road death and serious injury are provided with appropriate support to cope and recover from the impact of road traffic collisions.

The commitment to driving forward change gives hope for real change.

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Introducing Stephen Chapman to the Supporting Justice team

We’re thrilled to announce a new addition to the SuJu team.

Supporting Justice are proud to welcome Stephen Chapman to the organization as a senior associate. Stephen brings a wealth of knowledge and experience across areas including modern slavery, policing and responses to terrorism.

“Having worked with Stephen in his role as the Welsh Government’s Modern Slavery Coordinator, I’m incredibly excited to have him onboard with us at SuJu. He brings extensive subject matter expertise which will benefit our research and consultancy provision. His collaborative approach and extensive knowledge make working with him both a pleasure and a learning experience for all involved. Stephen’s input will also support the development of our early career researchers as we continue to expand.”

Becky White, Director, Supporting Justice

Stephen Chapman

MBA, MA, DMS, PGCL (Merit), PGCE, BSc (Hons)

Stephen is the Program Manager and Lecturer for Emergency Preparedness and Civil Protection at the University Wales Trinity Saint David, Blue Light Academy. He regularly lectures and works with several academic institutions and in other subjects including Policing Terrorism and Strategic Leadership.

Previous career roles include the Welsh Government’s Anti-Slavery Coordinator.

Prior to this appointment he worked for the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012,

Steven has held numerous senior roles in national and local government and isan experienced Consultant across the UK and overseas.

As Anti-Slavery Coordinator, Stephen led and coordinated the multi-agency response aimed to make Wales hostile to slavery and to provide the best possible support for survivors.

Stephen has:

  • Established the Wales Anti-Slavery Leadership Group,
  • Is a member of the Home Office Modern Slavery Strategic Implementation Group
  • UK Government Officials Modern Slavery Jurisdictional Group
  • All Wales Portal Group and Wales Reference Group for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Welsh Government responsibilities included leading on Serious Organised Crime issues, being part of the cadre for the Emergency Co-ordination Centre for Wales (ECCW).

For the Wales NATO Summit 2014 and UEFA Champions League Cup Final Cardiff 2017, Stephen was the Government Silver Command Liaison Officer.

For the 2020/21 Welsh Government response to COVID-19, D20 (EU Transition) and other concurrent events he was the ECCW Operations Director and Welsh Government Liaison Officer for the Strategic Co-ordination and Recovery Groups; and the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat. This important work was recognized by the First Minister of Wales and Welsh Government Permanent Secretary.

Stephen’s academic qualifications include:

  • Master’s degree in Business Administration,
  • Master’s Degree in Management,
  • Post Graduate Degree in Management Studies,
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership with Merit,
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Science with Honors in Policing and Police Studies
  • ‘PRINCE2’ qualified Project Manager

He regularly lectures and works with several academic institutions including Cardiff Metropolitan University (Forensic Psychology), Cardiff Business School, University of South Wales, and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. He is a qualified Mentor and Coach.

In 2016, Stephen received the Welsh Government Award for Leadership. Whilst serving in the Police Service, he received several commendations including for leadership and bravery.

Stephen is proud to be an Ambassador for the White Ribbon Campaign, which promotes men taking a stand to end violence against women and girls. He is also an Ambassador for the UK Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline, and the National Museum Wales.

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Road Harms: Death and Serious Injury Victim Needs Assessment

Date: 7th December Time: 11am-12.30pm   Venue: Online

We would like to invite you to attend a webinar to discuss the research findings and recommendations from the “Warwickshire Road Victims Needs Assessment Report” produced by Staffordshire University and Supporting Justice CIC, working in partnership on behalf of the Police Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire.

Please see the Executive Summary here or read the full report here for more information.

Please register your attendance here

This webinar is intended to provide a multi-disciplinary forum in which to discuss the findings of the report, explore ways to overcome the barriers identified and how best to generate impact in this area. 

If you would like to see the agenda for the webinar that can be found here.

Please share this with your colleagues and relevant networks who may have an interest in this work.

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Victims of Fraud

The Victims’ Commissioner has recently published the first stage of her research into victims of fraud – Fraud victims. It is a useful analysis of the potential profile of fraud victims and the impact the crime might have on them and is a welcome addition to the debate on the need for fraud victims to be recognised, heard and supported. The second stage of the research will look at the support offered to fraud victims and we await its publication.

Recently the BBC highlighted the potential costs of scamming – Costs of scamming, estimated by Which? to be in the region of £9bn a year. That is the equivalent of £2,509 a year for each victim, but the impact can be higher for someone hit by online fraud.

People targeted by fraudsters have spoken of suffering from anxiety and ill-health after being scammed. Which? says the cost to well-being is higher than the typical financial hit of £600.” And the banking trade body, UK Finance, has described the level of fraud as a national security threat.

The economic costs of scams and frauds is, no surprise, matched by the emotional, psychological and societal impact of these crimes and, for too long, victims have not been properly supported or even acknowledged.

It does seem that the banks are now starting to recognise some of their responsibilities in relation to fraud victims, though some are much better than others at making sure victims are reimbursed when they are subjected to what is a most pernicious and intrusive crime. But this is not before time;  is long overdue that fraud victims are being heard and their concerns and needs addressed. 

We are used to telling victims of assault, domestic abuse, sexual assault, robbery etc that the only person to blame for the crime is the perpetrator: just because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time; just because I didn’t do exactly as he or she wanted; just because I had a couple of drinks and chose to dress in the way I did does not mean that I am responsible for what happened to me, that I brought it on myself. It is well overdue that fraud victims should be told the same: no one is to blame but the fraudsters or scammers. So these two reports will certainly assist, we hope, in developing the much needed approach where fraud victims can have confidence to report the crime knowing that they will be heard, their concerns addressed and appropriate support offered. The government is in the process of introducing a new national fraud and cybercrime  reporting system to replace Action Fraud and this too is a welcome development.

It is also important that support organisations look at how they can improve their approach to fraud victims: better access, better communications (especially given that much fraud is online and victims may have diminished, if any, confidence of accessing services online). It is simply unaffordable, as well as unacceptable, that fraud victims and the impact of the crime on them, and on us, their fellow citizens, has for too long been under the radar. The demand for change is clear and we hope that these important reports help bring about a more robust, comprehensive and supportive approach to fraud victims, giving us all the confidence to know that if we too fall victim to this potentially devastating crime we will be helped through the experience.

For advice on how to avoid scams,  the website, Take Five, offers some useful information:

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Citizens Advice Witness Service Quality Mark Award

Citizens Advice Witness Service Quality Mark Award

We are delighted to be able to announce that Citizens Advice Witness 

Service has successfully gained a Supporting Justice Quality Mark Award.

The Witness Service was assessed against our five key standards and how they actually help deliver effective outcomes for witnesses (and victims): access; needs; value; support and safety. The assessment team visited criminal courts, magistrates and crown, across England and Wales and met with witnesses, key stakeholders, volunteers and staff following a review of a raft of pre assessment materials. The head of operations for the service said: “it was a really valuable opportunity for us to understand what we’re doing well and where we might be able to enhance our services further”.

It was an inspiring experience to meet so many who deliver a truly valuable and valued, indeed, vital service to those who go through the ordeal of going to court as a witness. Whether they be witnesses for the prosecution or the defence it was good  to hear how other criminal justice agencies, as well as support services beyond the criminal justice system, have come to see the Witness Service as crucial to the effective delivery of support and justice and much needed support.

We found that the service provides easy, effective and inclusive access for those who need support at court and those who are assessed as likely to benefit from pre court support, including children and young witnesses. The service has also made great efforts to engage with defence witnesses who are no less in need of support as they attend court. Needs assessments are good and more and more witnesses are having additional needs identified and then referred to other specialist support agencies.

The witnesses we spoke with expressed their gratitude for the support they had been given and that they felt engaged, well informed and, especially, valued and treated with empathy and respect throughout their engagement with the Witness Service. The all too often labyrinthine criminal justice process was well explained and this helped witnesses to give their best evidence.

Any service is only as good as the team which delivers it and we recognise that the Witness Service team demonstrates a strong culture of collaboration and mutual support. As we have highlighted before, it is so often culture and values that help determine the quality of service rather than a simple reliance on policy and procedures.

The Witness Service is the largest service we have so far assessed. However, the approach, the standards and the values that underpin our assessment process apply equally to large and small service delivery organisations. It is the delivery of effective outcomes that matter. The Quality Mark provides a benchmark for victim and witness services to aspire to: of delivering a service that can be considered excellent.

If you would like to learn more about our Quality Mark and how it might help your organisation please get in touch – we will be happy to hear from you.

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