Some of the work of Merseyside’s Police Commissioner is featured in a new publication showing how PCCs are helping to support vulnerable people during the Covid-19 epidemic.
The 22-page digital publication ‘Protecting the vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis’ has been produced by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC).
It aims to provide a snapshot of the work going on to support domestic abuse victims, as well as initiatives to protect the elderly from fraud and scams and promoting safer internet use for children stuck indoors.
The document, which includes a foreword from Home Secretary Rt. Hon Priti Patel MP, demonstrates how PCCs across England and Wales responded quickly to the anticipated impact of Covid-19, recognised the significant impact on domestic abuse victims who may be trapped indoors with perpetrators, and ensured that funding and support, including online resources and live chat facilities, were made available to the most vulnerable victims of crime across our communities.
Among the 34 case studies showcased in the new publication is one from Merseyside’s Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy. It highlights how she moved quickly to provide stability for victims of crime by extending the contracts of 10 charities who are commissioned through the Victim Care Merseyside service to provide specialist support for the most vulnerable.
This includes support for victims of rape and sexual assault, young people who have been sexually or criminally exploited and those who have been affected by hate crime.
The contracts for all these services were due to come to an end in March 2021, but in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic and in light of local elections being postponed to May 2021, all the services will now be commissioned to run until March 2022.
Jane said: “I am pleased to contribute to this new national publication describing the work PCCs are doing around the country to support victims and protect the vulnerable during the Coronavirus epidemic.
“The Covid-19 crisis is having a profound effect on many people in our society and there is no doubt that it has exacerbated the challenging circumstances experienced by some victims of crime.
“It is essential that victim support services can continue to operate and support some of the most vulnerable in our communities at this critical time, which is why I moved quickly to extend the contracts of our 10 Victim Care Merseyside essential support services.
“This has relieved the pressure on the organisations who deliver these services and thereby on the people they are helping, ensuring victims know they can continue to access the help, guidance and support they need to help them cope following a crime.”
Home Secretary, Rt Honourable Priti Patel MP, said: “I have been particularly heartened to see PCCs across the country providing leadership within their communities by prioritising providing additional support to the most vulnerable during this period.
“I look forward to working with them all over the coming weeks and months to continue keeping our communities and country safe.”
APCC victims leads Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Sophie Linden, London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has put a huge strain on many families, with charities reporting an increase in demand for their services since lockdown restrictions came into force in March.
“Supporting victims of crime is at the heart of the work of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). They commission local specialist services to support all victims, including victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. It their job to understand the needs of their local community.”
See the full report here
If you’ve been affected by crime, please visit www.VictimCareMerseyside.org for information, help and advice. It also contains the details of more than 70 organisations which can offer you support to cope and recover.