Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has launched the third year of her Victim Care Merseyside service by hosting a networking event aimed at improving the care for vulnerable people.
Jane Kennedy invited all the organisations which deliver her victim support services to share their work with representatives from the region’s Community Safety Partnerships with the aim of building relationships and increasing communication between the agencies.
The event, held at the Commissioner’s offices at Allerton Police Station, also saw the organisations which deliver support services as part of Victim Care Merseyside ‘speed network’ with representatives from each of the region’s local authorities to help all the agencies to establish and improve their relationships and share key information about their work, with the aim of encouraging greater collaboration in the future.
The Commissioner launched Victim Care Merseyside in June 2015 after the Ministry of Justice transferred the responsibility for commissioning support services for victims of crime to Police and Crime Commissioners.
The specialist support service provides enhanced care and support for the region’s most vulnerable victims, from the first moment they report a crime to Merseyside Police through to counselling and therapeutic services aimed at helping people to cope and recover.
Crucially, it includes six key support services to help the most vulnerable, including young people affected by Child Sexual Exploitation and domestic violence, victims of rape and sexual assault, and people affected by hate crime.
Jane said: “This was a really productive event which gave the organisations delivering the Victim Care Merseyside services the opportunity to share their vital work with our partners working within community safety and for new and stronger links to be forged between all the organisations.
“As the budgets of all our public services shrink, it is more important than ever that organisations work together and work more efficiently, sharing best practice and pooling resources where they can. By bring partners round the table to share what works and how we can best support those affected by crime, I hope we can continue to improve the services offered to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and work to prevent other people from becoming victims in the first place.
“I would like to thank everyone who gave their time to take part in the event and, in particular, the organisations delivering the Victim Care Merseyside services. They do a fantastic job helping people who have been affected by some of the most serious, damaging crimes to cope, recover and move forward with their lives. Their work is invaluable and the glowing feedback we receive from victims is testament to their hard work and dedication.”
Through Victim Care Merseyside, the PCC commissions:
- A combined support service for victims of Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Criminal Exploitation provided by Catch 22
- a serviced dedicated to supporting children and young people affected by Domestic Abuse provided by Listening Ear
- enhanced support for victims of Sexual Offences jointly provided by RASA/RASASC
- a Vulnerable Victims’ Champion service provided by Victim Support
- a hate crime advocacy service delivered by the Anthony Walker Foundation
- an intervention service for repeat victims of crime and antisocial behaviour delivered by Light for Life
These services are support by the provision of a third party reporting service for victims of hate crime provided by national charity Stop Hate UK, and a restorative justice service delivered by Victim Support, which gives victims the chance to explain to offenders the real impact of their crime and to get answers to their questions.
During 2015/16, Victim Care Merseyside provided support for more than 5,500 vulnerable people and that figure is expected to have increased significantly over 2016/17.
The providers of these key services are reviewed every year in order to ensure the best possible agency is delivering each of the PCC’s key services. A competitive tendering process was held between November 2016 and January this year, with assessment panels reviewing the bids in February. The organisations started work on April 1st.
If you need advice, help or support visit www.VictimCareMerseyside.org