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Probation

Circular

VICTIM CONTACT – NATIONAL REFERENCE NO:


VICTIMS MONITORING FORM 71/2005

PURPOSE ISSUE DATE:


To advise victim contact staff, and staff responsible for collecting 26 August 2005
performance data of changes to the National Victims Monitoring Form.
IMPLEMENTATION DATE:
ACTION Immediate
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 EXPIRY DATE:
victim contact scheme. The required data on victims should be collected for August 2010
the return relating to the period July-September 2005 onwards.
TO:
SUMMARY Chairs of Probation Boards
The National Victims Monitoring Form has been amended following the
Chief Officers of Probation
extension of the victim contact scheme to victims of mentally disordered
Secretaries of Probation Boards
offenders. In addition the HMI Probation Thematic Inspection recommended
that NPS should ensure that all victims have equal access to the contact
CC:
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 Board Treasurers
the ethnicity and gender of victims. Information is provided on how to use the Regional Managers
form, and the background to the changes.
AUTHORISED BY:
RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS John Scott, Head of Public
PC61/2001: Victim Contact Work – National Monitoring Arrangements Protection and Licensed Release
Unit
PC62/2001: Further Guidance on the National Probation Service’s Work with
Victims of Serious Crimes Victim Contact Work – National Monitoring
Arrangements ATTACHED:
PC42/2005: Extension of Victim Contact Scheme to Victims of Mentally Annex A – National Victims
Disordered Offenders – The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 Monitoring Form

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%.

8. 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.

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 W2 W9 M1 M2 M3 M9 A1 A2 A3 A9 B1 B2 B9 O1 O9 NS NK


White: White: White: Mixed: Mixed: Mixed: Mixed: Asian Asian or Asian or Asian Black or Black Black Chinese Other Refusal Not Total Mentally
British Irish Other White and White White Other or Asian Asian British: or Black or or Ethnic known disordered
Black and and Asian British: Bangladeshi Asian British: Black Black Group offenders
Caribbean Black Asian British: Pakistani British: Caribbean British: British: (5)

African Indian Other African Other


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.

Victims of offenders sentenced to 12 months or more W1 W2 W9 M1 M2 M3 M9 A1 A2 A3 A9 B1 B2 B9 O1 O9 NS NK TL MD


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-to-


face 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.

(1)
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.
(2)
Includes victims being contacted on your behalf by other probation areas (Out of area contact work).
(3)
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.
(4)
National Standard GS11 - SS11.1
(5)
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