Policy officers in both government and non-government agencies play a role in addressing the needs and promoting the interests of victims, and improving justice and law enforcement responses. Policy makers can initiate, develop and implement policies and services that empower and support victims of crime.
This can be done through simple measures such as recognising the impact policy will have on victims of crime, consulting with victims of crime services about changes in policy and keeping up to date with best practice policy and procedures in relation to victims of crime.
The UN Handbook on Justice for Victims states that the following arguments are the strongest drivers for policy that support the rights of victims in the criminal justice system:
- victims deserve respect for their dignity, privacy and personal safety;
- assistance to victims prevents alienation from the criminal justice system and the community;
- the cost of crime can be reduced by helping victims to recover; and
- victims are the main source of information about crime for justice agencies