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PCC's £3m budget focuses on protecting vulnerable people

Sue-highstreet-2016

Protecting the most vulnerable people from harm is at the centre of Sue Mountstevens’ £3.4 million budget for support services and grants next year.

Following her re-election Sue Mountstevens asked providers of services funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to review their services in line with her new priorities in the 2016 Police and Crime Plan. The highest priority in the new Plan is to ‘protect the most vulnerable from harm,’ particularly children.

While the £3.4 million budget remains unchanged for 2017-18, there are additional pressures on the funding created by the new mental health control room triage service. As well as increased funding of nearly £500,000 for the child sexual exploitation (CSE) support service*. (*The CSE service initially received short-term Home Office funding which ends in March 2017).

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “More crimes against our most vulnerable in society are being reported which is causing new pressures on our police and the vital support services which so importantly help victims cope and recover from their ordeal.

“When I prepared the new Police and Crime Plan in consultation with local people, partners and the police I was clear that protecting our most vulnerable from harm particularly our children should be given the highest priority. This focus is driving my decisions not only in policing, but also in the support services I will fund next year.

“I have re-prioritised the budget to reflect the areas of services which are under the most pressure and strain and where there is real benefit to victims. No service has been lost, it may be carried out differently but I am positive that if all partners work together victims of crime will not be affected.”

 “I have also made investment into innovative new projects like the control room mental health triage service, which for the first time sees mental health professionals working alongside the police call handlers to help people in mental health crisis. We’ve also seen the difference that the child sexual exploitation service has made. Nearly 200 young people have been helped by dedicated support workers and there is a waiting list to assist more victims. It is inconceivable that this type of support should cease.”

Sue Mountstevens has committed £228,000 to match fund support services for victims of child sexual exploitation with each of the five local authorities within Avon and Somerset. A competitive process for the £456,000** support service has begun and consultation opened last Friday (Friday, November 11) visit www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk to find out more.

To meet these challenges all providers of services paid for by the PCC have been consulted and the following decisions for 2017-18 have been made:

  • Victim services including Victim Support, Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs), AVoice, Young Victims Service, Unseen and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)

Providers will not see a reduction in funding. Services are already at, or well over, capacity and they are supporting vulnerable victims.

  • Child Sexual Abuse grant funded services includingSomerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (SARSAS), Bristol Missing Link, Southmead project and The Green House.

Providers will not see a reduction in funding. Services are already at, or well over capacity and they are supporting vulnerable victims

  • Appropriate Adult Service

There will be no reduction.

  • Commissioner’s Community Action Fund

The fund will reduce to £150,000 (from £200,000) and maximum grants will reduce from £5,000 to £3,000.

  • Arrest Intervention Referral Service

Funding will reduce by 15% (£109,000). This is possible by reducing admin hours, reducing attendance at police operations and reducing the number of recovery workers. The core service will not be affected.

  • Restorative Justice

Currently reviewing and consulting on the future structure of the service, in order to release efficiencies and increase capacity, whilst maintaining quality.

  • Lighthouse Victim and Witness Care Unit

Decided in principle to reduce funding by 10% (£100,000) due to capacity in the service. However separately the Constabulary, via their priority based resourcing review, are looking at options that may affect Lighthouse, which will need to be considered alongside this reduction so as to ensure no detriment to the service.

  • Community safety grant / youth offending team grant

Funding will reduce by 10% (£82,000). These grants will be combined into a Police and Crime Grant for the area and move away from being awarded annually with a commitment to provide funding for a three year period (subject to any reductions in central government funding). This will offer a longer term commitment for local partners. This funding is allocated at the discretion of the local area to meet local need, not by the PCC.

The decisions were taken at the PCC’s Police and Crime Board, held on November 10 at Police Headquarters. Agenda and minutes from the meeting can be found here. Decision notices can be found here.

**New child sexual exploitation support service information (breakdown):

Local Authority area

PCC contribution (£)

Local Authority contribution (£)

Total funding (£)

BaNES

30,000

30,000

60,000

Bristol

78,000

78,000

156,000

North Somerset

15,000

15,000

30,000

Somerset

75,000

75,000

150,000

South Gloucestershire

30,000

30,000

60,000

Total:

228,000

228,000

456,000

 

Posted on Monday 21st November 2016
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