In November 2017, the Commissioner announced her plans to further improve the care for vulnerable victims of crime across Merseyside from 2018 onwards.
As the Victim Care Merseyside service approaches its fourth year, Jane Kennedy confirmed her intentions to further improve and expand upon the existing package of care and support over the next three years.
The decision comes after a comprehensive research programme, a Victims' Needs Assessment, which reviewed the existing service and assessed how the needs of victims may have changed and developed since the service was first established in 2014. At the centre of this process were the views of victims and survivors, with surveys and focus groups being held to gather their opinions. The views of service providers were also gathered through a series of workshops, including a session on ‘hidden crimes’ to explore what crimes may still be taking place undetected and out of sight. This assessment has informed the services which will make up Victim Care Merseyside over the next three years.
The Commissioner then invited charities, third sector and voluntary organisations to apply to deliver the vital support services delivered under the Victim Care Merseyside umbrella.
Victim Care Merseyside re-launch 2018
On June 20th, 2018, Commissioner held a special event marking the third anniversary of Victim Care Merseyside at which she recognised the service’s achievements and explained how £3m of support for victims of crime would be delivered over the next three years.
This event highlighted that more than 19,000 vulnerable victims of crime had been given specialist, tailored support and advice from the services commissioned through Victim Care Merseyside since it was launched by Jane Kennedy in June 2015.
Additionally, more than 15,000 young people have taken part in group sessions to increase their awareness of exploitation and how to protect themselves, while 4,300 professionals have been trained to increase their understanding of crimes involving in children and what action to take if they fear a child is at risk.
These achievements were recognised and celebrated at an event at the Holiday Inn on Lime Street at which the PCC also formally re-launched Victim Care Merseyside and unveiled the services which will be running for the next three years.
Victim Care Merseyside services 2018-2021
From 2018-2021, Victim Care Merseyside services will include a brand new support service for victims and survivors of harmful practices, including FGM, so-called ‘honour-based’ violence and forced marriage delivered by Savera UK. There will also be new support for families who have lost a loved one through homicide or crime-related road traffic collisions at ‘The Hub’ provided by Families Fighting for Justice.
Over the next three years, Victim Care Merseyside will also provide more tailored support for victims of hate crime, with care broken down by ‘strand’, to ensure victims of racial hate crime, sexuality and gender identity-based hate crime and people subjected to hate because of a disability all receive specialist support according to their need.
Victim Care Merseyside will also continue to provide a host of pan-Merseyside specialist services designed to support the most vulnerable victims of crime, including child victims of exploitation – both sexual and criminal, victims of rape and sexual assault, and domestic abuse.
Please find a full list of the services and providers below:
- A new service to support victims of harmful practices (including FGM, forced marriage and so-called ‘honour-based’ violence) – Savera UK;
- ‘The Hub’ advice centre to provide support for families who have lost a loved one to homicide, including crime-related road traffic collisions – Families Fighting for Justice;
- Tailored hate crime support service – jointly awarded to Anthony Walker Foundation, Citizens’ Advice Liverpool, and Daisy Inclusive UK to provide specialist support according to strand. It also includes a third party hate crime reporting service provided by Stop Hate UK;
- Vulnerable Victims’ Champion service for vulnerable victims of crime and anti-social behaviour – Victim Support;
- Specialist support service for victims of Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Criminal Exploitation – Catch 22;
- Dedicated aftercare support service for survivors of rape and sexual assault– jointly awarded to RASA Merseyside and Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC);
- Domestic abuse support service, including support for young people and families – funding distributed to the region’s five Local Authorities to enhance their existing services;
Take a look at this short video to find out more about the Victim Care Merseyside service: