The Plaistow Police Department recognizes that victims of crime often feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the criminal justice system and frequently feel as though they have no voice in their case or court process. We also understand that as victims of crime, most people are not aware of the many intricacies of the criminal justice system and may need support and explanation when traversing this system. It is our belief that as victims of crime, people are entitled to be treated with both compassion and respect and it is our goal to empower victims to become active participants in the court process and enable them to make the process work for them.
As a victim of crime, you have the right to be informed of the criminal justice system and your role within the process. To assist you in understanding your rights and provide support throughout this process, the Plaistow Police Department has employed a full-time Victim/Witness Advocate. The role of the Victim/Witness Advocate is to provide explanation, information, and support to victims of crime in the Plaistow Area. While a criminal case is pending, she will advise victims of the status of their case and notify them of upcoming court dates such as, arraignments, trials, bail hearings, and plea negotiations. She will solicit feedback from victims regarding safety concerns and barriers to participating in the process. Victims will also be provided with an opportunity to give thoughts and recommendations as to what they want as a final disposition to their case. Please be aware that, although victim feedback is solicited, the court will make the ultimate decision in regards to any sentences or case dispositions that may be ordered. Finally, the Victim/ Witness Advocate will also give referrals to other social services agencies when needed.
To reach our Victim/Witness Advocate, Amy Van Auken, please call (603) 382-1200 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.