Victims Research Programme 14/15

Victim Research Reports 2014/15

On April 1st, 2015, Police and Crime Commissioners became responsible for commissioning some local victims’ support services.

Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner was awarded grant funding of £1.546m by the Ministry of Justice for 2015/16. The grant was issued to commission and/or provide and develop victims’ support services, including Restorative Justice, for Merseyside.

In order to prepare for the commissioning of victims’ support services the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) conducted a programme of research between April and October 2014. The research consisted of two phases.

The first phase entailed mapping of local services, literature reviews of 'what works' for victims of specific crime types and victim profiling. The second phase involved focus groups with service users, an online survey and service provider workshops. The research ultimately produced a Victim Needs Assessment which identified gaps in provision and opportunities for commissioning, which informed the development of service specifications. Consultation with providers, partners and stakeholders took place between October and December 2014.


April- June 2014 - ‘Understand’ stage of Commissioning Cycle

  • Mapping of Victims Services;
  • Profiling of Victims;
  • Victims Research;
  • Victims Needs Assessment;
  • Outcome measures defined;
  • Publish high level Commissioning Intentions

July- September 2014 - ‘Plan’ stage of Commissioning Cycle

  • Development of Commissioning Framework and Proposals;
  • Development of Victims Strategy;
  • Referral mechanism confirmed;
  • Consultation

October- March 2014/15 - ‘Do’ stage of Commissioning Cycle

  • Tendering process;
  • Service providers appointed

April 2015 onwards- ‘Review’ stage of Commissioning Cycle

  • PCC Commissioned services commence;
  • On-going review and evaluation of services.

What's on this page?

The 2014 programme of research was split into 6 main elements. Scroll down the page to access each elements report and other materials produced for the 2014/15 Victims Research Programme.

2014 Victim Needs Assessment

Presenting summary findings and interpretation

Based on the six main elements of the victims research programme, a holistic needs assessment was presented in Autumn 2014 to a range of stakeholders and partners. This brought together findings from the most recent engagement activities with the more quantitative results from Spring/Summer 2014.





The PowerPoint slides summarising these findings can be accessed HERE.


Findings from 'Phase 1' of the research programme

(April'14 to June'14)

Reports on victim profiling, service mapping and evidence reviews.

'Phase 1' of the research programme was conducted between April'14 and June'14. The three elements included are:

  • victim profiling, to understand the types of victimisation being recorded;
  • mapping services, that victims could access across Merseyside;
  • evidence reviews, using literature reviews to identify 'what works'.


The first element of ‘Phase 1’ of the research programme was to produce pan-Merseyside Victim Profiles. The five priority ‘victim groups’ profiled were domestic abuse/violence, sexual offences, hate crime, anti-social behaviour and violence with injury.

The profiles were produced in collaboration with Merseyside Police. To produce the profiles, two police systems were used. These included incident data and recorded crime data. The victim profiles identified patterns and trends in relation to victimisation.

The results from this exercise were used to inform the Commissioner and Deputy where resources are most needed and understand where crime is most prevalent. The profiles also show numbers of repeat victimisation.

It was noted however, that many offences remain under-reported and therefore the profiles (based only on recorded incidents and crime) will only show part of the picture.

The pan-Merseyside 'Victim Profiling' summary paper can be accessed HERE.


The second element of ‘Phase 1’ of the research programme consisted of service mapping. This involved looking at victims' services that currently operate across Merseyside under each of the main PCC priority crime types and collating them into a database. Maps were produced for each Community Safety Partnership (CSP) area, and each theme, to help visualise the database of services.

The service mapping allowed the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) to understand the types of service provided and the referral pathways currently in place.

The outcome of mapping victims’ services across Merseyside enabled the Commissioner to see exactly what services are available and identify any gaps in service provision. This helped to shape future Commissioning.

For April 2015, the service mapping will also be used to inform a ‘Victim Portal’ – a website which will give victims a full list of service providers across Merseyside, an overview of their services and how they can be contacted.


For the final part of the ‘Phase 1’ research, ‘what works’ literature was produced – called ‘Rapid Evidence Reviews’. Rapid Evidence Reviews provide a summary of the effective interventions to support victims of different offence types in terms of prevention, coping and recovery. The reviews provide an evidence base to inform commissioning decisions.

An independent research company, Michael Lloyd Research, worked with the OPCC to produce the reviews.  The reviews were produced based on a search of a wide range of sources including the College of Policing, Home Office publications and national and local research reports.

Access the 'Service Mapping and Research Synthesis' summary paper HERE.

Full Evidence Overviews:

Rapid Evidence Overviews:


Findings from 'Phase 2' of the research programme

(July'14 to December'14)

Reports from engagement with victims, service providers and service commissioners

'Phase 2' of the research programme sought the views of:

  • service users, who access support services across Merseyside;
  • victims 'not on the radar', who don't necessarily report crimes or use services;
  • service providers, who work closely with victims;
  • commissioners and other partners.


The fourth element of the research moved into ‘Phase 2’ which involved engaging with victims in order to understand their experiences. Understanding the ‘victim perspective’ involved consulting service users, who accessed support services across Merseyside as well as those victims who didn’t report crimes to the Police and/or support agencies.

The views of victims were sought via two platforms. Firstly during late summer 2014, the OPCC conducted a series of Focus Groups with victims of domestic abuse, hate crime, sexual offences and anti-social behaviour. The Focus Groups took place across each of the boroughs in Merseyside and were attended by over 100 victims/ survivors (hate crime 40, domestic abuse 46, sexual offences 9, anti-social behaviour 26).

An online survey was conducted between August and October 2014. The online survey was designed to be accessible to all and get the perspective of victims who may not have accessed services or even reported the crime against them. In total, 140 respondents chose to complete the survey, with a further two requesting paper questionnaires to complete.

Both the Focus Groups and the online survey asked victims about their experiences at a number of stages including initial reporting, engagement with service providers and the police and how well their needs were met in terms of coping and recovery.

The findings from the online victim survey can be accessed HERE.

The findings from the victim Focus Groups can be accessed HERE.

The OPCC commissioned The Connectives (a local Social Enterprise) to carry out a series of facilitated events to engage the Voluntary and Community Sector, many of whom are currently providing services, or who might be interested in providing services in the future.

The sessions were intended to raise service provider awareness of the Commissioner’s current and future role, and her commissioning intentions. The sessions were used to consult with providers regarding the content and scope of future commissioning rounds. This allowed providers to help shape future service specifications.

Access the Connectives report HERE.

The Deputy ensured that she consulted widely regarding her commissioning intentions and gave partners an opportunity to influence and shape proposals.

The OPCC Chief of Staff set up a meeting called the ‘Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Commissioning Advisory Board’ in December 2013. This meeting, chaired by the Director of Commissioning, has taken place monthly throughout 2014 to allow the OPCC to work with each of the five CSP Leads (for each of the boroughs of Merseyside) to inform commissioning decisions.

The Director of Commissioning and staff from the OPCC sought the views of partners at a range of meetings and workshops including the following:

Meeting/Workshop Date of Meeting Attendees
Stakeholder events with Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Leads and their colleagues 28th October 2014

Knowsley MBC and CSP, Liverpool City Council and CSP, Sefton MBC, St. Helens MBC and CSP, Wirral MBC and CSP

Lead Councillors and Partners of the Merseyside Community Safety Partnership (MCSP)

18th November 2014

HMP Liverpool, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Sefton CSP

MCSP Commissioning Update 5th December 2014

Community Safety Partnership representatives from each Local Authority, Lead Councillors for Community Safety, Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Merseyside Police, Steve Biko Housing, Travelsafe

Strategic Child Sexual Exploitation Gold Group 11th December 2014

Halton Clinical Commissioning Group, Knowsley Children’s Services, Knowsley Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB), Liverpool City Council Children’s Services, Liverpool LSCB, Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company, Merseyside Police, Sefton Children’s Services, Sefton LSCB, St. Helens Council Children’s Services, St. Helens LSCB, Wirral LSCB, Wirral Children’s Services

Strategic Domestic Violence Group – a subgroup of the Merseyside Criminal Justice Board. 12th December 2014

Chair of Health Subgroup, Chair of Victim Group, CJS Subgroup Chair, Crown Prosecution Service, HM Courts & Tribunals Service, HMP Liverpool, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Probation Trust, National Probation Service, Safeguarding Subgroup Chair, Sefton MBC, Subgroup Chair CSP, Subgroup Chair (Perpetrators), Subgroup Deputy Chair (Victims), Youth Offending Service

Research partners who co-designed and delivered the research are presented below.