More than half of victims 'don't report crime to police'

Knowledge of victim support services is limited across West Yorkshire, a new report has said.
Knowledge of victim support services is limited across West Yorkshire, a new report has said.

A crime survey shows that 57 per cent of victims of violent crime do not report it to the police.

A total of 200,000 people across West Yorkshire reported a crime in the 12 months to June 2018, but a new report says that the real number of victims will be much higher.

West Yorkshire PCC Mark Burns-Williamson

West Yorkshire PCC Mark Burns-Williamson

Mark Burns-Williamson, Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) for region, said: "Too many victims fear that engagement with the Criminal Justice System (CJS) will cause them more harm than good."

The problems faced by the CJS have been outlined in a new strategy to support victims and witnesses.

They aim to provide clear information about options available, tailor support to the individual needs of the victims, increase confidence in the CJS and fill gaps in services to achieve greater consistency.

Mr Burns-Williamson said that knowledge of victim support services was "low".

He added: "It is vital to get greater understanding that you can access support without reporting directly to the police.

"The police and CJS, councils, the NHS and the third sector have a vital role to play to ensure their staff are equipped to respond to a report made to them.

"The response should be based on the impact of the crime on the victim - not the crime type.

"Victims will have both immediate and longer term needs."

The report will go before a PCC Panel meeting this Friday.