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15th May 2023

Better use of data is needed to improve victim experience

Changes to the Victims & Prisoners Bill to improve the collection, sharing and management of data and information across the criminal justice system are required to enhance the voice and experience of victims, according to Justice Lab.

A briefing paper setting out the areas of the legislation relating to data that require change has been sent to MPs in advance of today’s Second Reading of the Bill this afternoon (Monday 15th May).

Justice Lab’s work draws on its engagement with victims groups at a workshop in January and a summary of this meeting is published here.

Justice Lab Director Dr Natalie Byrom said:

“The experience of many victims navigating their way through the process continues to be, at best, bewildering and, at worst, traumatic. Indeed, the problems appear to be getting worse not least as a result of the chronic delays in cases coming to court adding to the frustration and agony of many seeking justice and closure.

“The criminal justice system’s fragmented and ad hoc approach to collecting and sharing data is not simply creating administrative inefficiency but undermining its ability to keep people, often very vulnerable people, safe.

“Importantly, the new Victims and Prisoners Bill includes a new duty on criminal justice agencies to collect and share victim-related data. But we’re concerned that unless these provisions are designed and implemented more effectively we risk creating another wasted opportunity that leaves victims of crime out of the picture and their experiences overlooked.

“Justice Lab will continue to work closely with victims’ groups and others to ensure that good data and processes can help amplify the voice of victims and improve the support they receive.”