GIVING victims of crime a voice is a top priority for Merseyside’s first police and crime commissioner.

Exactly a year to the day she was elected, Jane Kennedy has pledged her support for people suffering from domestic violence, abuse, assaults, thefts and burglaries.

Speaking live on BBC TV in London at the Police & Crime Commissioners Conference, she said: “We must give victims a louder voice and ensure we give them the service they want and need.

“We must give them the support they deserve, a louder voice and means of redress.”

She told PCCs from across the country about the success she had achieved chairing Merseyside Criminal Justice Board.

Working in partnership with the court and prosecution service, probation, prisons, local authorities and youth offending teams has enabled her to support victims of crime and reduce re-offending.

She hailed the success of another pioneering initiative, the ‘ugly mugs scheme’ which had encouraged female sex workers to talk about being victims of violent crime.

Ms Kennedy said: “Traditionally, these women have been reluctant to engage with the police. Through this scheme, more than 95 per cent of victims have shared details of incidents they have suffered.

“This has ensured the police are better informed and resources can be targeted to protect this vulnerable group.”

She believes a multi-agency approach is the key to cut crime and improve community safety.

She added: “We need to make sure no victim falls between the gaps. We must ensure that victims of crime don’t suffer more than they already have.

“We must listen closely to victims and treat them more humanely.”