Suffolk crime victims get new confidential reporting service
- Credit: Archant
Police and Crime Commissioners in East Anglia have a new service for the victims of crime in the region.
Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care is a joint venture from PCCs Tim Passmore and Lorne Green, who have commissioned provider Victim Support to make sure those affected by criminal activity are able to access support that is free, confidential, non-judgemental and independent from statutory services like the police.
Suffolk PCC Tim Passmore said: “The new contract for Victim Care is a very important part of placing victims’ needs at the centre of criminal justice in Suffolk and we are delighted to be running this jointly with our colleagues in Norfolk.
“We all need to remember that being the victim or witness of any crime can be an extremely traumatic experience and helping people to cope and recover from this experience is crucial in any tolerant, civilised society.”
Since April 2015 the PCC had a responsibility to ensure a victim assessment and referral service was available, which was originally organised for the whole of the East Anglian region and delivered by smaller, local teams.
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When the contract expired in March 2018, Norfolk and Suffolk PCCs joined forces to provide a dedicated service for the two counties.
Volunteers and case managers work to support victims over the phone or face to face in the local community.
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The aim of the new support group is to present a clear path to the help victims need from the police or partner agencies, in particular for those members of the public that typically do not report crime to the police.
Those reporting crimes to the police are automatically referred to the new service, but as victims and witnesses of crime can make confidential reports, they can self-refer to the service if they have had no previous police contact.
A spokesman from the Suffolk PCC office said that the budget for delivering care to the public remained the same, despite the overhaul from a regional service to a local one.
The administrative centre of the new body is in Norwich, but with staff working across both counties so that those in need in Suffolk do not have to travel to the city centre to receive help.
Want to find out more? Visit www.nsvictimcare.org or call 0300 303 3706.