Probation Circular

VICTIM CONTACT – NATIONAL VICTIMS MONITORING FORM
PURPOSE
To advise victim contact staff, and staff responsible for collecting performance data of changes to the National Victims Monitoring Form. REFERENCE NO: 71/2005 ISSUE DATE: 26 August 2005 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate EXPIRY DATE: August 2010 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers AUTHORISED BY: John Scott, Head of Public Protection and Licensed Release Unit ATTACHED: Annex A – National Victims Monitoring Form

ACTION
Chief Officers should bring this Circular to the attention of all victim contact staff, information officers and all staff responsible for collecting data on the victim contact scheme. The required data on victims should be collected for the return relating to the period July-September 2005 onwards.

SUMMARY
The National Victims Monitoring Form has been amended following the extension of the victim contact scheme to victims of mentally disordered offenders. In addition the HMI Probation Thematic Inspection recommended that NPS should ensure that all victims have equal access to the contact scheme. To enable us to understand more about which victims accept the offer of contact, the form has been further amended to capture data about the ethnicity and gender of victims. Information is provided on how to use the form, and the background to the changes.

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS
PC61/2001: Victim Contact Work – National Monitoring Arrangements PC62/2001: Further Guidance on the National Probation Service’s Work with Victims of Serious Crimes Victim Contact Work – National Monitoring Arrangements PC42/2005: Extension of Victim Contact Scheme to Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders – The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES
Victim Contact Scheme Policy Laura McCaughan 020 7217 0639 laura.mccaughan@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Eleanor Marshall 020 7217 0670 eleanor.marshall@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Regions and Performance Issues Keith Ward 020 7217 8801 keith.ward2@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

National Probation Directorate
Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW

Introduction 1. The revised National Victims Monitoring Form is attached at Annex A and should be used to record data on victim contact from 1 July 2005. 2. Following recommendations in the 2003 Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP) Thematic Inspection Report, “Valuing the Victim: An Inspection into national victim contact arrangements”, the form has been changed to capture information about victims’ race and ethnic identity as well as the take up rate for the victim contact service. It may not be possible to collect race and ethnic identity information on victims who do not permit the police to pass on their personal information to NPS. However, where possible, this information should be routinely recorded. 3. The form also requires Areas to record information about victims of mentally disordered offenders, following implementation of the provisions contained in the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004. Using the form 4. The form should be used for quarterly returns for the period July to September 2005 onwards. It has been changed in the following ways: • • • • • Footnote 1 – schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 provides a list of all violent and sexual offences New section D will capture the take-up rate. This replaces Sections D and F on the previous version. Split by gender and ethnicity [where data available]. If no data is available please record this in the ‘Not Known’ column. Removal of the split between cases with sentences from 12 months to under 4 years, and 4 years and above Monitoring of victims of mentally disordered offenders. This new requirement, explained in PC 42/05, came into effect on 1 July 2005. It will not be counted towards the victim contact target (Performance Target 2) until the National Standard is amended to reflect the new responsibility. This column is not broken down by gender or ethnicity

Background Information 5. National Standards 2005 and performance monitoring GS 11 states: “Victims, or their families, in cases involving a serious sexual or violent offence, which leads to a custodial sentence of 12 months of more, will be offered contact with the National Probation Service.” To achieve this, SS11.1 states: “A written offer of face-to-face contact between the victim (or victim’s family) and local probation area/victim contact unit, or its agent, will be made within 40 working days of sentence.” 6. Performance Target 2 requires: 85% of victims to be contacted within eight weeks of an offender receiving 12 or more months’ imprisonment for a serious sexual or violent offence.

PC71/2005 – Victim Contact – National Victims Monitoring Form

7.

Performance in contacting victims has improved each year since the implementation of the statutory duty to contact victims in 2001. Across the NPS 93% of victims were contacted within 8 weeks during 2004/05. This is an improvement on the 91% achieved in 2003/04. In the past year 13 Areas contacted 98% or more victims within eight weeks, four of which contacted 100% on time. Only two Areas fell below the required 85%. Clarification of Out of Area cases Arrangements for contacting victims who reside outside the Area covered by the sentencing board remains the same as set out in PC 62/2001. It is the responsibility of the sentencing board to refer the case to the victim contact unit covering the victim’s address, and for monitoring whether that victim contact unit make an offer of face-to-face contact within 40 working days. It is not sufficient for the victim contact unit in the sentencing board area to write to the victim direct, and then record this as an offer of contact. For the purposes of National Standards and performance monitoring, an actual offer of face-to-face contact must be made by the victim contact unit delivering the service to the victim.

8.

PC71/2005 – Victim Contact – National Victims Monitoring Form

Annex A

National Victims Monitoring Form
Probation Area: Quarter ended:
Name of contact (for enquiries):

Services should not collate data on cases falling outside the definition in note (1), such as discretionary cases and cases taken into consideration for sentencing purposes. Cases involving contact with victims of young offenders should be included.

Total

Mentally disordered offenders
(5)

A. Number of sexual or violent cases against ALL victims where the offender sentenced in the quarter. (1) PLEASE RECORD COMBINED TOTAL
ONLY AT COLUMN TL OR, IF APPROPRIATE, AT COLUMN MD.

Victims of offenders sentenced to 12 months or more

W1 White: British

W2 White: Irish

W9 White: Other

M1 Mixed: White and Black Caribbean

M2 Mixed: White and Black African

M3 M9 Mixed: Mixed: White Other and Asian

A1 Asian or Asian British: Indian

A2 Asian or Asian British: Pakistani

A3 A9 Asian or Asian Asian British: or Bangladeshi Asian British: Other

B1 Black or Black British: Caribbean

B2 Black or Black British: African

B9 O1 Black Chinese or Black British: Other

O9 NS NK Other Refusal Not Ethnic known Group

Total

Mentally disordered offenders
(5)

B. Number of male victims, of offences at A, named in the indictment and where offender has been convicted and given a relevant sentence. (2) C. Number of male victims (3) in B who were written to within 8 weeks of sentence with an offer of face-to-face contact. (4) Please state reasons for not contacting victims within 8 weeks, in the boxes (E) below giving numbers of victims falling within each category. D. Number of male victims in C who took up the offer of face-to-face contact
E. Reasons for not contacing male victims within 8 weeks: Male Victim did not consent to police disclosure of their personal details to NPS. Police failed to supply male victim information within 8 week period. Out of area case & another NPS area failed to contact the male victim within target time. Other reasons - please state.

W1 Victims of offenders sentenced to 12 months or more F. Number of female victims, of offences at A, named in the indictment and where offender has been convicted and given a relevant sentence. (2) G. Number of female victims (3) in F who were written to within 8 weeks of sentence with an offer of face-to-face contact. (4) Please state reasons for not contacting victims within 8 weeks, in the boxes (I) below giving numbers of victims falling within each category. H. Number of female victims in G who took up the offer of face-toface contact
I. Reasons for not contacing female victims within 8 weeks: Female Victim did not consent to police disclosure of their personal details to NPS. Police failed to supply female victim information within 8 week period. Out of area case & another NPS area failed to contact the female victim within target time. Other reasons - please state.

W2

W9

M1

M2

M3

M9

A1

A2

A3

A9

B1

B2

B9

O1

O9

NS

NK

TL

MD

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

Offender given a custodial sentence of 12 months or more for a sexual or other violent offence, in courts in this probation area. The definition of a sexual or violent offence, as defined by schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, should be applied for the purpose of this exercise. Includes victims being contacted on your behalf by other probation areas (Out of area contact work). Where a victim at B is dead, incapacitated or is a child, count an offer of face-to-face contact (within 8 weeks) to one other appropriate person in place of the victim, if this has been done. Do not count more than one such letter per victim at B. National Standard GS11 - SS11.1 Mentally disordered offender subject to relevant disposals listed in the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 - i.e. hospital order with restriction order or hospital direction and limitation direction, where the offence was sexual or violent. Prisoners transferred to hospital during their sentence will be captured at A.

This form should be completed and returned to NPD.DATA@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk by the end of the third month following the end of each quarter (i.e. by 30th September, 31st December, 31st March and 30th June) of each year. Contact for enquiries: Keith Ward, NPD, Room 362, Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW Tel: 020 7217 8801 Fax: 020 7217 8986