A service set up to support those affected by crime in Norfolk is celebrating its first anniversaryVictims and witnesses of crime in the county have been benefitting from a free, confidential advice and support service for 12 months now.
The Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care Service, run by Victim Support, was launched by PCC Lorne Green and his Suffolk counterpart, Tim Passmore, in April 2018. In its first 12 months of operation, staff and volunteers have delivered practical advice and emotional support to more than 750 victims of crime.
Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are responsible for providing victim support services in their police force area, and receive dedicated funding from the Ministry of Justice for that purpose.
Norfolk PCC Lorne Green commissioned Victim Support’s Victim Care Team to help victims of crime across the county – irrespective of reporting to the police.
While support is available to all victims, the impact of crime on each individual is different and not all will want or feel they need help. Over the last year, the Victim Care Team has worked with people affected by many different types of crime – from arson, criminal damage and burglary, to sexual and violent offences. To meet demand for support for victims of domestic abuse, the team also has two dedicated case workers based in Norfolk’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
The Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care Service provides practical help and emotional support to victims and witnesses of crime. The team offers a safe place for people to confidentially talk through their thoughts and feelings, as well as help with practical issues such as putting in place individual safety plans, providing victims with personal alarms, assisting them with writing a Victim Personal Statement and advocating on their behalf with other agencies.
Staff and volunteers can support victims in reporting the crime to the police, should they wish, and will guide them through the criminal justice process, from first steps right through to the end of the trial.
The Victim Care Team is also helping to prevent crime in Norfolk specifically through its scams prevention service. Launched earlier this year, the service supports Norfolk residents who have been targeted by scammers to prevent them being victimised again.
PCC Lorne Green said: “In its first year, the Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care Service has truly demonstrated its value and benefit to those affected by crime. The staff and volunteers who make up the Victim Care Team have been working hard over the last 12 months to raise awareness of the support on offer, deal with referrals from police and other partners, and provide vital support to those reaching out for help.
“It’s important now that we continue to raise awareness of the service and make sure that people know – should they need it – that friendly, free and confidential help and support is there. Whatever has happened to you, whatever you may have witnessed and whenever it took place, the Victim Care team is on hand to work with you and make sure you receive the help you need to cope and recover.”
Richard Otterway, from Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care, said: “We’re very proud to be celebrating our first year of providing crucial support to victims and witnesses across Norfolk and Suffolk. During this time, our specially trained staff and volunteer team has responded to thousands of referrals, helping victims cope and recover from difficult experiences.
“It’s important to know that you do not have to report a crime to the police to access our service. If you’re struggling with anything as a result of a crime and need some support, you can call us.”
If you’ve been a victim of crime and would like more information on the help and support available from the Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care Service, please call 0300 303 3706 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find out more on the Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care website - https://www.nsvictimcare.org/