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CPS Response to HMCPSI follow up Inspection of the Victim Communication Liaison Scheme: Letters to Victims


HMCPSI has today [22 October 2020] published a follow up report into the standard of our letters to victims under the Victim Communication Liaison Scheme.

We are naturally disappointed that Inspectors found that the significant work we have completed since the last inspection in 2018 has failed to deliver the improvements we had striven for.

This is a vitally important aspect of our work, and we remain committed to ensuring that our letters reach the standard we expect. We also fully accept that victims and/or their families who receive Victim Communication Liaison letters should be able to easily understand our decisions, that letters should be sensitively written, and that they should be handled in a timely way. Also, although Inspectors have said that some of our letters show more empathy than in previous inspections, it is clear that we are not yet getting this right often enough.

We accept that it is therefore time for us to think radically about our approach to communications with victims. Work is already underway on a fundamental review of the way we deliver our responsibilities under the Victims’ Code, with the aim of ensuring that all our communications with victims are well-crafted, clear, informative and timely. This is going to take some time if we are to get it right, but we know that we must do better if we are to deliver the best service we can for victims, at a time when they may be at their most vulnerable.

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