Ex-victims’ commissioner reappointed to role for one-year term

Baroness Helen Newlove, whose husband was killed in 2007, previously held the post between 2013 and 2019.

A former victims’ commissioner has been reappointed for a one-year term to the role, which has been vacant for more than 12 months.

Baroness Helen Newlove previously served in the post between 2013 and 2019.

She was succeeded by Dame Vera Baird, who then stood down in September 2022, accusing ministers of “downgrading” victims’ interests in the Government’s priorities and of “sidelining” her office.

On Monday, Lord Chancellor Alex Chalk announced the appointment of Lady Newlove as the interim commissioner for England and Wales.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said the decision to appoint a temporary commissioner will enable a new recruitment campaign to be launched which better reflects the new responsibilities the role will have once the Victims and Prisoners Bill is passed.

Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Mr Chalk said: “As a tireless advocate and campaigner for victims’ rights, there is no safer pair of hands than Baroness Newlove to hold this position as we recruit a permanent Victims’ Commissioner.

“This role is vital in holding the Government and criminal justice agencies to account and being the voice for those affected by crime, and I very much look forward to working with her.”

Lady Newlove is a community reform campaigner and activist who came to prominence after her husband Garry was killed in 2007 outside his home after confronting vandals.

She said she was “honoured” to have the “privilege” of being reappointed to the commissioner role for the coming year.

Lady Newlove added: “I know first-hand the emotions and the pain victims experience on their journey through the criminal justice system.

“I am also aware of the many challenges they have faced in recent years.

“That’s why I am so passionate about championing their cause. I want to see their needs and rights at the forefront of our criminal justice system.

“My priority this year is to ensure the Victims and Prisoners Bill, currently making its way through Parliament, truly delivers for all victims.

“I want to see this Bill transform the victim experience so that victims feel heard, respected, and supported throughout the criminal justice process.

“This has long been my aspiration and this Bill is an opportunity to make it a reality.”

The MoJ said a recruitment campaign has been launched to reappoint the role of Independent Adviser to the Rape Review who will work alongside the Victims’ Commissioner.

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