Victims of crimes that take place behind closed doors are being given a voice at a special workshop event hosted by Merseyside’s Police Commissioner today.
Jane Kennedy is holding a ‘hidden crimes’ workshop with the aim of improving understanding of less recognised crimes. All the organisations who provide victim support services will join the Commissioner round the table to talk about the crimes that may still be going on undetected and out of sight.
The event, which is taking place at the Quaker Meeting House on School Lane in Liverpool city centre, is being held to help all the partners build a greater collective understanding of those crimes which often remain hidden from view and increase knowledge and awareness of victims’ experiences in order to provide better support and protection for the most vulnerable.
The workshop will bring together representatives from nearly 40 organisations, with attendees from the Community Safety Partnerships within each of the region’s five local authorities, all the providers of the Commissioner’s Victim Care Merseyside services, the police, fire service and a host of voluntary organisations.
It will include presentations from Merseyside Police’s Detective Chief Inspector John Middleton on the Force’s response to hidden crimes, researcher Mike Lloyd on funding perspectives and the PCC’s victim services lead Inspector Elaine Collins on plans for commissioning victims’ services in 2018 and beyond.
Group sessions will also take place to prompt discussion about which crimes attendees believe are still not being effectively recognised or addressed, what more needs to be done and what approaches different agencies have found to be most effective in helping vulnerable victims.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “In recent years we have seen an increase in reporting from victims of crimes including domestic and sexual abuse, as well as Child Sexual Exploitation. It illustrates a growing trust and confidence in the police’s ability to respond and our voluntary services.
“What we need now is a better understanding of emerging crime.
“There are still people out there who are suffering behind closed doors. This event is being held to help give those people a voice. By inviting all the agencies who work to provide support for vulnerable people and keep our communities safe to come together, we hope to have a real honest and frank discussion about what crimes are taking place in our communities and how we can work together to better support those hard-to-reach victims.
“By hosting this event, I want to ensure the right support is being offered at the right time to help victims escape damaging and harmful situations.
“This event isn’t just about talking for the sake of it. The information generated from this event will be used to help inform and influence a victim needs assessment which I will be carrying out over the next 12 months.
"This important document will in turn shape the services that I commission to support victims of crime between 2018 and 2021. It will also help to increase the links between all these organisations so they can work closer together to provide support.”
The victim needs assessment is used to identify existing gaps in the provision of victim support services and highlight what services the Commissioner may choose to commission in the future. A similar assessment was previously carried out in 2014 to inform the services commissioned by the PCC as part of Victim Care Merseyside, a wide-ranging package of support for victims.
For more information or to access support and care, please visit www.victimcaremerseyside.org
You can find all the materials from this event here