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European Day for victims of crime

Sue Mountstevens

In 1990, Victim Support Europe declared 22 February to be the European day for victims of crime.

Since then victim support groups across Europe have come together on this day to raise awareness of how crime can affect victims and their wider families.

In Avon and Somerset, we’re taking this opportunity to raise awareness about the changes in victim care we’ll be introducing in October. These changes will improve the service victims of crime receive from the police and other key criminal justice partners.

Our proposed victim care model will bring together all those involved in providing services to victims in order to provide victims with a smooth end to end service.  We want to reduce duplication and inefficiencies and provide victims with information, advice and support as and when they need it.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said, “I’m excited by this unique opportunity to continue to improve our service to victims in Avon and Somerset.  I want all victims to feel supported throughout their journey and to trust that their voice is being listened to.”

From October 2014, PCCs will be responsible for commissioning support services for victims, which provides an opportunity to ensure that local services match local need.  This includes funding for Restorative Justice, and we are currently working with partners to explore opportunities to develop more victim-led restorative approaches in Avon and Somerset.

 As we continue to develop our approach, we’ll work in an open and collaborative way with criminal justice and community safety partners, victims and communities in the region.

 The Avon and Somerset victim care model will include:

  • Web-based portal providing information on - What to Expect, Roles and Responsibilities, Practical Advice, Directory of Services.  This will be available to all victims – regardless of whether or not they choose to report to a statutory organisation such as the police.
  • Automated services to all victims of crime via text/email/Track My Crime to keep up to date with progress of their case.
  •  Victim needs and risk assessment at first point of contact
  •  Risk proportionate intervention, including referral to a victim focus officer for ongoing support and communication for victims at greatest risk/ with greatest need
  •  Improved victim access to restorative approaches
  •  Provision of specialist support services, integrated with police support functions
Posted on Saturday 22nd February 2014
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