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Study begins to assess support for victims - can you help us by taking part?


Research has begun focusing on the impact of the support and care provided to victims of crime and anti-social behaviour – and we need victims to help us by taking part in the study.

Funded by PCC Sue Mountstevens’ office and undertaken by the University of the West of England (UWE) the aim of the research is to determine whether the support and care provided to victims by Avon and Somerset Police is meeting the needs of victims, stakeholders and the police themselves. In particular, the study will be evaluating the new Lighthouse integrated victim and witness care teams so the study is looking for victims from both before and after it was launched on October 1, 2014.

Speaking in support of the study, PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “Victims should be at the heart of the police service and this includes making sure they have the best support possible after they have experienced a crime or anti-social behaviour. In October we launched Lighthouse to improve how victims are supported and it’s important that it is assessed to make sure it is delivering the improvements we expect. By listening to victims’ feedback we can make sure we are doing as much as we can for victims so if you can take part in the study and want to help make a difference do please get involved.” 

The study comes shortly after the announcement of a range of new services for victims which will be launched from April 2015.  You can find out more about the new services here.

Here is some information about the study, provided by the researchers, for victims thinking about taking part:

Interviews with researchers will examine your attitudes, based upon your experiences, towards previous and current victim support procedures within Avon & Somerset Police. The research will adhere to regulatory ethical guidelines (UWE; ESRC; British Psychological Society; British Society of Criminology); and the research will be participant focused (i.e., participant(s) having the opportunity to take breaks, ask questions and have access to their transcribed data as well as the resulting publications). As the research is asking for the participants’ personal perspectives and opinions there is absolutely no deception involved in this study. Hence, the researcher is only gauging your perspectives and not trying to catch you out, confuse you or trying to gain your support unawares. It is only your true perspective that matters, so please be as honest as possible. The research will be conducted by the research team myself and all the interviews will be analyzed by us, Avon & Somerset Police will have no access to primary data. Therefore please feel free to be as candid as you wish. The interviews will be between 30-50 minutes in length, and can take place in Bristol, Bridgwater or Keynsham.

All the personal participant information gathered throughout the research (including but not limited to your name, contact details or your transcript/recorded data) will remain strictly confidential. No-one will know who completed the research or which opinions/attitudes are linked to specific participants. The only person that will have access to the material will be the researcher with all the participant records (audio recordings, transcriptions, participant list) being securely stored. In the final written documentation no-one will be mentioned by name and all information will be described in qualitative terms.

All participants have the right to withdraw from the research at any stage; they do not have to give any reason for doing so. The researchers will be available before, during and after the study to answer any questions relating to the material covered within. However, in saying this it does not mean that they will be expert enough to answer all potential questions that are raised. In response to this they will be able to provide reading material and/or agency contacts to help the participants deal with any relevant queries.

All the material collected in the research will be destroyed in due course, with the data being kept for the period of the research, data analysis and write up in line with British Psychological Society and British Society of Criminology publication recommendations. Unless the participant withdraws from the research, then it will be destroyed.

If you want to become involved in the study please email Kieran McCartan at Kieran.mccartan@uwe.ac.uk or James Hoggett at james.hoggett@uwe.ac.uk.

Posted on Friday 30th January 2015
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