The service is designed to give victims the best possible help to cope and recover from the after effects of crime and ensure victims get enhanced support from the first moment they report a crime to Merseyside Police right through to greater emotional support and increased counselling and therapeutic services.
Included within the new Victim Care Merseyside package is a new victims’ referral system delivered by Merseyside Police which will ensure people affected by crime are directed straight to the best placed teams to support them and increase the number of face-to-face visits, while also reducing duplication and costs; six key new support services providing additional care to some of the most vulnerable; and a dedicated new victims’ websitewww.VictimCareMerseyside.org
Through the new Victim Care Merseyside referral system, as soon as a victim reports a crime, Merseyside Police’s trained call handers will carry out a rapid vulnerability assessment, to identify their needs. They will then use this information to direct the person straight to the dedicated teams who are best placed to help them. This ranges from the existing multi-agency safeguarding teams staffed by the police and a range of partner agencies for the most vulnerable victims, the Force’s specialist teams such as the anti-hate crime SIMGA unit, the sexual offences UNITY team or the Neighbourhood teams. This replaces the previous referral process which saw a victim’s details being sent to an external agency.
By making these changes, the PCC has released funds to pay for five dedicated new risk assessors who will focus on ensuring the most vulnerable people get the protection and care they need and 12 new PCSOs who will strengthen the Neighbourhood teams and visit more victims. These officers will then help victims get all the additional support they need, either by signposting them to external charities and organisations, arranging for on-going volunteer visits or providing crime prevention advice and tips.
To enhance this service, Jane has also funded six new pan-Merseyside specialist support services, providing vital support to people affected by some of the most serious crimes.
These services are:
- An entirely new support service for victims of Child Sexual Exploitation – provided by Catch 22
- A new serviced dedicated to supporting children and young people affected by Domestic Abuse – provided by Listening Ear
- Enhanced support for victims of Sexual Offences – jointly provided by RASA/RASASC
- Vulnerable victim support service provided by Victim Support
- A new Hate Crime Advocacy Service delivered by a consortium led by the Anthony Walker Foundation
- This service will be complemented by the pilot of a new pan-Merseyside support service for high-risk victims of Hate Crime & ASB – provided by Light for Life
The final piece of the Victim Care Merseyside jigsaw is a dedicated new victims’ website www.VictimCareMerseyside.org which provides a one-stop shop of information and advice. The website enables users to search for organisations by crime type or geographical area or both, so they can directly access the best organisations to help them, whether they report it to the police or not.
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