Cash Boost For Dorset Victims Of Crime

3 July 2014, 09:29

The Dorset Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has been successful in its bids for £300,000 to further improve victim services in Dorset.

Successful projects put forward for funding include pilot services for mental health victims, support for child victims of serious sexual offences and extra services for victims of Domestic Abuse. Projects will also be set up for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) victims and male domestic abuse victims.
This Ministry of Justice grant award is part of a £12 million pot raised through offenders paying a 'victims surcharge' that PCCs have been able to bid against with the emphasis on innovative technologies and specialist services, to support victims of crime across the country.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: "I am delighted. This is fantastic news for Dorset. These grants strengthen and widen our work with victims. This will see a real improvement in victim care and help us to fill in the gaps where provision is lacking. For example, we will now be able to offer courses to male victims of domestic abuse and specialist counselling to child victims of domestic abuse. That is really exciting and will make a positive difference to many people's lives."

Victims' Minister Damian Green said: "Victims of crime need and deserve the best possible support to cope with what they have been through. That's why Government is raising more money than ever before from offenders to fund vital services to help victims move on with their lives.

"The excellent and innovative ideas put forward for this fund show exactly why PCCs are best placed to understand the needs of their local communities and commission the majority of victims' services. I've no doubt they will make a difference to victims up and down the country."

Dorset Police Chief Constable Debbie Simpson said: "I am extremely pleased Dorset has been successful in its bid. Supporting victims is at the heart of what we do and the projects funded by this grant will make even more of a difference."

Some examples of the projects the PCC will now commission in Dorset within the next financial year 2014/15 are:  

"    £100,000 for 2 Mental Health Outreach Workers and a Mental Health Coordinator
"    £85,000 for a programme to support child victims of serious sexual offences
"    £30,000 for Freedom Courses to support victims of domestic abuse - this will include a pilot scheme offering freedom courses or pattern changing courses to male Domestic Abuse victims.
"    £30,000 for special counselling for child witnesses of Domestic Abuse - this will include 1-1 creative therapeutic sessions for children.
"    £66,000 for specialist LGBT hate crime case workers in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire. (the Dorset contribution will be £19,000 in financial year 2014/15)

The £12.5 million comes from additional receipts from offenders, raised through the Victim Surcharge and increased financial penalties such as Penalty Notices for Disorder. It is in addition to the 2014/15 budgets of £31.55 million which have already been confirmed to PCCs. The Ministry of Justice launched a competition to allow PCCs to bid for money to support victims of the most serious crimes, persistently targeted victims and intimidated or vulnerable victims.

This funding is in addition to a range of measures brought in by the Government to provide unprecedented support for victims, including the new and improved Victims' Code and pre-trial cross-examination for young and vulnerable witnesses.