South West: New Support For Crime Victims
A new service will introduce a significant change in victim care in Devon and Cornwall, with the establishment of a police-based victim care unit (VCU) and a network of support service providers.
At the heart of the change is the Government's decision to give PCCs responsibility for commissioning victim services.
In Devon and Cornwall (IoS), PCC Tony Hogg has worked closely with Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer to oversee an innovative approach which moves away from the previous single service provider model.
The result gives victims a more personalised service to meet their specific needs.
The police victim care unit goes live on Wednesday 1st April. It brings together an experienced team including three victim care advocates with key specialisms such as mental health.
The unit will provide victims with immediate support, and referral to a wide range of support organisations and victim focussed agencies.
The network of victim care providers will be supported by, and accessed through, a dedicated website - www.victimcaredevonandcornwall.org.uk/
This gives victims a comprehensive guide to 60 accredited support organisations, links to more than 100 national agencies and significant extra information.
Users will be able to navigate the site by need, crime type or geography.
Victims who don't wish to report crimes to police can also access the website and use a separate helpline - 0300 303 0554
Sexual abuse survivor Rosie said: 'This is about giving the victims more of a choice, and letting them choose what their priority is.'