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Working together to support victims


Supporting victims was the focus of PCC Mark Shelford’s latest engagement day in Taunton and Burnham-on-Sea

During a visit to Taunton, the PCC met with Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (SARSAS) to find out more about the work they do to support local people who have experienced rape or any kind of sexual assault at any time in their lives.

The specialist support service supports local people from across Avon and Somerset and offers a confidential helpline, regular support sessions, counselling and email support to survivors.

“A big thank you to SARSAS for their valuable time last Friday to allow me to find out more about the support they offer to victims of these awful crimes. Rightly so, discussions of how to support victims of rape and sexual assault continue, and local agencies, police and specialist services such as SARSAS need to carry on working collaboratively to understand how to prevent such crimes from happening in the first place and how to support victims and survivors.

“I know that SARSAS offer fantastic support to survivors – no matter how long ago the crime took place – and I encourage anybody who has been a victim of rape or sexual assault to reach out for the support you deserve.”

PCC Mark Shelford

Following this meeting, the PCC met with a resident in Burnham-on-Sea who is a victim of fraud. The PCC spoke with her about the impact this crime had on her family and what support is needed for victims. Speaking from a victim’s perspective, the local person also shed light on the legislative changes she felt are needed to protect and support others.

PCC Mark Shelford has recently become the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) lead PCC for Economic and Cybercrime including fraud, and will be working with local, regional and national agencies to tackle this crime.

“My meeting with this resident was extremely insightful and furthered my understanding about the impact that fraud has on an individual and their family. I hope to support the much-needed legislative that will help victims as well as working with agencies up and down the country to stop people becoming victims in the first place.”

PCC Mark Shelford

As part of the same engagement day, the PCC met with Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge Town Councillors and Brent Knoll Parish Councillors to discuss policing and crime issues in these areas.

Report it

If you or someone you know is a victim of fraud, please speak to someone:

Domestic abuse can be abusive physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual behaviour between adults in a relationship or between family members.

If you or someone you know is at risk of domestic abuse or sexual violence, please speak to someone:

Support for victims and survivors

Help is available whether you report to the police or not, and no matter how long ago the crime took place. Find out more about local support services.