VICTIMS of crime in Avon and Somerset are being asked to share their views on the parole process following the controversial decision to release John Worboys – the taxi driver serving a sentence for a number of sexual assaults.

A national review has been commissioned by the Ministry of Justice and is being supported by Victims’ Commissioner Baroness Newlove and Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens who is asking local people who have been victims of crime to make their voices heard.

The review will look into how effectively the parole process involves victims, how transparent the process should be and whether the Victims Contact Scheme is supporting them in the way that it should.

Black cab driver Worboys, 60, who was handed an intermediate sentence in 2009 for a string of sex attacks in London, was recommended for release by the Parole Board last month which sparked a backlash.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “It is vital that local people, who have been victims of crime, have the opportunity to have their voices heard in this national review, particularly those who have experienced the parole process or the Victims Contact Scheme.

"As commissioner I continue to work tirelessly to ensure victims receive the support they need to recover from their ordeal. This ranges from funding essential support services such as Lighthouse the specialist victim and witness care service, which provides a single point-of-contact for victims of crimes. Through to working in partnership on the criminal justice board to deliver better outcomes for victims of crime.

“I support this review and the work of Baroness Newlove in ensuring victims have the opportunity to shape the services which affect them and their recovery.”

The Baroness has written to PCCs across the country to encourage victims in their areas to take part in an online survey, which will be used to inform the review.

Baroness Newlove said: “I’m keen to give victims a voice on the parole process to help improve the experience for others.

“My national victim engagement survey gives victims the chance to express how best to open up parole, increase transparency, involve victims more closely, and whether there should be a right to review decisions.”

Victims of crime can have their say by completing the Victim Contact Scheme survey by Wednesday 14 March. The review is set to be published in April.