Victims’ commissioner for England and Wales to quit post

The victims’ commissioner for England and Wales has said she is not seeking to renew her term after telling the justice secretary, Brandon Lewis, the “criminal justice system is in chaos”.

Dame Vera Baird to end term as Victims’ Commissioner at the end of September.

Dame Vera Baird has written to the Justice Secretary to inform him that she is not seeking a further extension of her term. Her contract will end on Friday 30 September 2022.

— Victims’ Commissioner for England & Wales (@VictimsComm) September 23, 2022

Dame Vera Baird will leave the post on 30 September at the end of her contract.

In a letter to Lewis, she criticised a lack of action on the backlog of cases in courts.

She said: “Little has been done to effectively tackle the enormous and catastrophic backlog of cases, particularly in the crown court where the most serious crimes are tried.

“This has exposed victims of these crimes to intolerable delay, anguish and uncertainty. It is no exaggeration to say that the criminal justice system is in chaos.”

Baird added: “This downgrading of victims’ interests in the government’s priorities, along with the side-lining of the victims’ commissioner’s office and the curious recruitment process make clear to me that there is nothing to be gained for victims by my staying in post beyond the current extension. As such, my term will end on 30 September.”


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