Victims of crime in Warwickshire will have access to improved help and support thanks to an enhanced service commissioned and funded by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe.
From April 1, a new contract with Victim Support goes live across Warwickshire, with staff from the independent charity being co-located with Warwickshire Police’s Integrated Victim Management Units at Leamington Justice Centre and Bedworth Police Station, working alongside police officers and police staff to provide free victim care, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The development of the new support services for victims follows an extensive consultation with more than 500 local residents affected by crime and key partner agencies. The research highlighted that local victims want services to be joined up with the police but to retain independence.
Under the new contract, Victim Support will deliver:
- Victim-focused services to include assessment of practical support needs of victims;
- Single points of contact for victims to access updates on progress into their reported crime;
- Advice on security and other crime prevention advice to help avoid re-victimisation;
- Referral and signposting to other appropriate agencies and services;
- Emotional support services to help victims to cope and recover from the effects of crime;
- Restorative justice services, which bring victims and those responsible for the crime into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “It’s vitally important that victims and survivors have access to a free and high-quality service which can help them to cope and recover from the effects of crime. That includes those who wish to report their crime to the police as well as those who do not, with a seamless service to make things as easy as possible.
“I have made this a key part of my Victims and Witnesses Charter and one of the central promises of my Police and Crime Plan for Warwickshire, so I am delighted to award this new contract to Victim Support. It will deliver key improvements based directly on the feedback victims have given us, building on the strengths of what we do now while providing continuity and familiarity with the expertise Victim Support offers.
“The transition to our new Integrated Victim Management Unit will be seamless as far as victims are concerned but will offer a more joined-up service that will provide support to greater numbers of people, especially to vulnerable victims and for the most impactive and disruptive crimes, such as burglary.”
Melina Hancox, from Victim Support, said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract and thank the Police and Crime Commissioner, and the people of Warwickshire, for entrusting us with this very important work.
“We are excited to be part of the new Integrated Victim Management Unit and are confident that this will provide a better service for victims. Ease of access to services after a crime is essential and we are confident that working with partners we will be able to reduce the impact of crime and the likelihood of becoming a victim again in Warwickshire.”
Assistant Chief Constable Alex Franklin-Smith from Warwickshire Police said: “Putting victims and survivors first is at the heart of our vision, our values and our force priorities and we are committed to providing the best possible service for them.
“We believe having staff from Victim Support co-located with our Integrated Victim Management Unit will not only improve the service we currently provide, but also allow us to work more efficiently with our partners.”
If you’ve been affected by crime, you can contact Victim Support in Warwickshire on 02476 351003. Lines are open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.
If you need support outside of our open hours, call Victim Support for free on 08 08 16 89 111 or request support via www.victimsupport.org.uk. You do not have to have reported a crime to police to access support services.
Alternatively, you can use the online live chat facility on the Victim Support website at any time (available 24/7).