Victims of crime in Merseyside are being urged to share their experience of the support they received in order to help others.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, is asking anyone who has been affected by crime in the last three years to share their views in order to help shape and improve the support services that are provided in the future.
Jane is responsible for commissioning many local support services for victims of crime and these are promoted and organised through the Victim Care Merseyside service. Over the last year, more than 6,000 victims have been supported by those services.
The Commissioner is now reviewing this provision to ensure they still meet the needs of victims. She is carrying out a consultation to consider how care and support should be delivered from 2022-2026, in preparation for a new PCC being elected in May who will carry the work forward.
As part of an eight-week Merseyside-wide consultation, the Commissioner is asking people to take part in a short online survey at Merseyside Victim Experience Survey 2021 which aims to test how well existing referral processes and support services are working, and where improvements might be made in the future.
Jane said: “The Victim Care Merseyside service has been running for six years offering guidance, care and support to thousands of victims of crime, helping people who have been hurt and shocked by their experience to cope and recover.
“The service is doing vital work providing often life-changing care for victims every day, but we’re not complacent about the need to constantly look for ways we can improve. It is essential that victims of crime in Merseyside have access to the best support services and it is only by listening intently to the voices of those who have been a victim and gone through this experience that we can be sure we are doing the best we can.
“I don’t want to second guess the needs of victims or the decisions that a new PCC might make. I hope that those who have used the services will complete the survey to help shape the services in the future.
“Victims of crime often rely on support services to help them to recover from what can be a traumatic event, no matter what the offence. They deserve to feel involved in the criminal justice process, to be kept up-to-date on their cases and treated with dignity and respect at all time.
“By taking part in this consultation and sharing their experiences, they will be helping to ensure the support victims of crime receive is the best it can be.“
As well as the online survey, victims will also have the opportunity to share their experiences in a focus group or a one-to-one interview either online or by telephone.
The Commissioner’s team will also be consulting with community organisations and groups and directly with the services which support victims to look at the overall picture of support for victims in Merseyside.
Victim Care Merseyside is a package of support and care which includes a dedicated victim’s referral mechanism embedded within Merseyside Police, seven specialist support services and a website, www.VictimCareMerseyside.org which acts as one-stop shop of information and advice for victims.
It is designed to prevent people becoming repeat victims, protect victims from further harm and help them to better cope and recover following the crime. It also ensures services are joined-up and consistent around the region, preventing anyone from being subjected to a postcode lottery of care.
The survey will run until Sunday 4th April.
Please share your experiences at Merseyside Victim Experience Survey 2021