Commissioner of Victims for England and Wales to step down

The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales has said she is not seeking to renew her term after telling Justice Secretary Brandon Lewis “the criminal justice system is in chaos”.

Dame Vera Baird to end her term as victims’ commissioner at the end of September.

Dame Vera Baird has written to the Secretary of Justice informing her that she is not seeking an extension of her term. His contract expires on Friday 30 September 2022.

— Commissioner of Victims for England and Wales (@VictimsComm) 23 September 2022

Dame Vera Baird will step down on 30 September at the end of her contract.

In a letter to Lewis, he criticized the lack of action on pending cases in the courts. She said: “Little has been done to effectively deal with the vast and appalling backlog of cases, particularly in the Crown Court where the most serious offenses are tried.

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

Baird said: “The sidelining of the Office of the Victims Commissioner’s office and the curious recruitment process make it clear to me that my stay in office will achieve nothing for the victims. Beyond the current extension. As such, my term will end on September 30.”

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