This pertains to the implementation of a Quality Assurance Support to Victims (QASV) as an integral part of the PNP Quality Service Lanes in the different Police Offices tasked to provide initial point of contact for all citizens who have various concerns and issues requiring police services.
The QASV was designed to reinforce the PNP QSL by providing support, information and guidance to victims of crimes and non-criminal incidents from the time they lodge complaints or report any commission of crimes in any of our PNP Offices until such time that the case will be resolved.
As a backgrounder, the tendency to blame the victim or to distance oneself from the victim is a common human instinct found not only among our Police Investigators but also among the victim’s family and friends-in fact, many victims blame themselves. Such tendency of unfairly blaming the victims and maintaining distance from them can be overcome, but never more successfully than when PNP investigators/desk officers lead the way in giving support, not future problems, to people in distress. Whenever victims find no support from an investigator/desk officer, they conclude that cooperation is simply not worth the effort, and so they passed such negative word along to others in the community to the detriment of the PNP. Many persons who are victims of crimes/non-criminal incidents opt not to lodge their complaints or report crime incidents because they feel that they cannot get support from our investigators/desk officers.
In view of the above and to fully complement the PNP QSL, the following procedures must be implemented:
a. On Safety and Security
1) Officers are responsible for securing the safety of victims while inside the office and its premises;
2) Officers shall render emergency aid to individuals who are injured and summon necessary medical assistance;
3) Where injuries are not apparent, victims shall be asked if they are alright or if they need medical attention;
4) Victims shall be informed as soon as appropriate that they are no longer in immediate danger;
5) Officers shall assist them in making decisions and keep them informed of police actions and requirements;
6) Whenever possible, victims shall not be left alone.
b. On Providing Emotional Support
1) Allow the victim a reasonable period of time in which to express feelings and emotions while relating what happened;
2) Express empathy for the victim and recognition and understanding for emotional reactions;
3) Provide reassurance that the victim’s feeling are normal and understandable;
4) Help redirect any self blame and responsibility for the criminal act from the victim to the perpetrator;
5) Emphasize your commitment and that of the department to assist and work with the victim;
6) Do not be overtly judgmental of the victim’s feeling and emotions or the apparent lack thereof, or of victim’s judgments or actions related to the incident.
c. On Information and Referral
1) Provide a brief overview of what actions will be taken shortly thereafter;
2) Provide information on victim service agencies available in the Community;
3) Leave names and telephone numbers where the victim can reach the officer or the investigator at the department, and encourage the victim to use the number to report additional information about the incident or to request assistance.
d. On Follow-up
Offices on case shall make routine victim callbacks in order to determine whether the victim has new information concerning the case, to ascertain if the victim is in need of assistance and to relay information relating to the case.
PCRs shall supervise the implementation of this directive and shall submit reports of compliance and updates to this office (Attn: RPCRD-PPD) every 3rd day of each succeeding month for consolidation prior submission to TDPCR.