Justice Minister, Naomi Long today welcomed Ms Geraldine Hanna into her role as Commissioner Designate for Victims of Crime for Northern Ireland.
Ms Hanna takes up office today for a term of three years, with the potential for an extension of up to one year.
Naomi Long said ‘I am delighted that Geraldine has taken up this new and important role today. My decision to establish a Commissioner Designate for Victims of Crime recognised that all victims of crime need to be heard.
“From today onwards, Geraldine will be the voice for victims of crime. She will use her extensive experience and skills in working with victims of crime to raise victims’ issues with Government and criminal justice organisations, and seek to drive forward systemic improvements for victims of crime, thus contributing to a more cohesive, coordinated and victim centred criminal justice system.
“It is important that victims of crime receive the treatment and entitlements they deserve which are outlined in the Victim Charter. It will be part of Geraldine’s role to promote the Charter, identifying good practice and also highlighting were adherence to the Charter needs to improve.
“I believe that today is a positive step forward for victims of crime and I wish Geraldine every success in her new role.”
Notes to editors:
1. The Commissioner Designate for Victims of Crime is a new post established to:
- provide a voice for all victims of crime
- identify, promote, encourage and issue guidance on good practice
- review the adequacy and effectiveness of law and practice
- review the operation and delivery of Charter entitlements and promotion of the Victim Charter
- direct complaints and monitor outcomes
- advise and make recommendations and
- undertake or commission research
2. The public appointment process was carried out in the spirit of the principles of the Commissioner for Public Appointments Northern Ireland (CPANI) Code of Practice.
3. Pen Picture
Geraldine Hanna brings a wealth of experience of working with victims of crime to the post.
Geraldine has been the Chief Executive of Victim Support NI since 2015. Victim Support NI is the lead charity providing support to victims and witnesses of all types of crime across Northern Ireland. She has over 21 years’ experience in the victims’ sector and has been the driving force in establishing Victim Support NI’s Witness Service in all criminal courts across Northern Ireland and introducing the role of Independent Sexual Violence Advocates for adults and children to the region. She has been integral in the development of key initiatives to improve services for victims and witnesses of crime including the Victim and Witness Charters, Achievement of Best Practice Guidance and the introduction of Registered Intermediaries and Sexual Offence Legal Advisers. She is passionate about the rights of victims and witnesses and believes that Northern Ireland has the opportunity to be the leading light for best practice in this field. Geraldine has presented widely on the impact of crime and the criminal justice system on victims and has been a member of advisory panels to numerous reviews of the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland including the Gillen review of sexual violence and the Hate Crime Review led by HHJ Marrinan.
Geraldine has also worked for several years at a European level and was appointed to the role of Presider of Victim Support Europe in May 2021. She holds a BSc in Sociology and Masters in Business Administration.
4. Geraldine Hanna does not hold any other public appointments.
5. For media enquiries contact the Department of Justice Press Office via email
6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted out of hours on 028 9037 8110.
7. Media enquiries for the Commissioner Designate for Victims of Crime should be directed via email