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Victim services funding

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) receives funding from the Ministry of Justice to commission services for victims of crime and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) with the aim of helping them to cope and recover.

The services that the OPCC wants to put in place are outlined in a Commissioning Plan and follow a set commissioning process.

The commissioning process includes:

2019/2020 victim services commissioning

On 1 April 2019, new contracts for a range of services commissioned by the OPCC began:

  • Lighthouse Integrated Victim and Witness Care (Avon and Somerset Police): A practical and emotional support service for witnesses including guidance through the criminal justice system offered by specially trained staff.
  • Victim Support: A practical and emotional support service for adult victims of any crime or ASB. Contract value: £327,670 p.a 4+1+1-year contract.
  • VOCAS Swan Advocacy: An enhanced adult support service for victims of any crime or ASB/Victims of Crime Advocacy Service (VOCAS). Contract value: £254,932 p.a 4+1+1 year contract.
  • Young Victims’ Service: A children and young adult’s support service for victims of any crime or ASB up to the age of 18 (or 25 where there are additional needs). Contract value: £165,000 p.a 4+1+1 year contract.
  • Safe Link: An Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) service. Contract value: £389,159 p.a 4+1+1 year contract.
  • Resolve West: A Restorative Justice (RJ) service for victims of any crime or ASB. Contract value: £179,000 p.a 4+1+1 year contract.
2019/2020 other victim services funding

There are other victim services commissioned by the OPCC:

  • The Bridge, United Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust: Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Contract value: Commissioned by NHS England, OPCC co-commissioner contribution £178,481 (one year).
  • Modern Slavery support service grant: Unseen UK. Contract value: £38,595 (one year).
  • Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) grant: Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (SARSAS). Contract value: £19,009 (one year).
  • Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) grant: The Green House. Contact value: £48,213 (one year).
  • Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) grant: Southmead Project. Contract value: £65,026 (one year).
  • Special support service for victims of CSE 2018-2019: Barnardo’s. Contract value: The OPCC contributes £222,883.50 per year.
  • Working together to improve lives and build resilience for the most vulnerable victims for sexual assault with additional needs: Home Office VAWG Transformation Fund Project. Contract value: £123,465 over three years.
  • Avon and Somerset Sexual Violence Therapy Services: Sexual Violence Consortium of SARSAS, The Green House and Womankind. Contract value: The service is co-funded by the area’s three Clinical Commissioning groups (CCG), the OPCC and NHS England with Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG acting as lead commissioner. The OPCC contributes £50,000 per year.
2020 Covid-19 Extraordinary Ministry of Justice Funding for Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Support Services

The extraordinary fund was set up to help cover organisations’ losses and costs incurred, following both adapting and increasing their services during the pandemic. The fund also aims to help these organisations strength their response to any potential change in demand and complexity of need in the recovery phase of lockdown.

Local organisations who were successful include:

  • Crimestoppers – £4,850
  • Kinergy – £9,995
  • Safe Link – £62,187
  • Next Link – £149,344
  • Southmead Project – £33,835.90
  • The Green House – £15,500
  • Mankind Initiative  – £9,072
  • The Nelson Trust – £34,450
  • VOICES – £24,771.42
  • Opoka – £18,000
  • SARSAS – £18,883
  • Southside Family Project – £35,343.17
  • Swan/ VOCAS – £18.683.96
  • The YOU Trust – £25,100
  • Trauma Breakthrough – £8,029.24
  • VANS – Reclaim Project – £12,375
  • Victim Support  – £25,564.19

Organisations with unsuccessful bids include:

  • Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (AFFDA) – £2,463

2019/2020 Co-commissioned victim services

The OPCC co-commissions other local services to help in the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan priorities.

Advice and Support at Custody and Court (ASCC) Service

The service works with offenders who have mental health problems, learning disabilities or substance misuse issues. From the point of arrest, custody, to court and in the community.

  • AWP (NHS England is the lead commissioner): Advice and Support at Custody and Court Service, which provides assessment and referral for vulnerable individuals throughout the criminal justice system from police custody, voluntary attendees and courts. The service works with individuals who are vulnerable due to their mental health, learning disability or substance misuse issues and provides referrals onto relevant support agencies as well as providing expert input into court reports. The service operates across Avon and Somerset  and includes delivery of the Drug Education Programme across the area. Contract value: The PCC contributes £553,421
Appropriate Adults
  • Somerset Youth Offending Service: The service supports and safeguards the welfare and rights of vulnerable adults that are detained or being interviewed by the police in Somerset. Contract value: The PCC contributes £13,462 (Avon and Somerset Police also fund this service)
  • Brandon Trust: The service supports and safeguards the welfare and rights of vulnerable adults that are detained or being interviewed by the police in and around Bristol. Contract value: The PCC contributes £35,000 (Avon and Somerset Police and South Gloucestershire Council also contribute to funding)
Mental Health Control Room Triage

The service employs mental health professionals to work in the police control room. These professionals have access to the relevant health systems and offer advice and support to police officers and other emergency service staff.

The OPCC and the Local Health Commissioning groups in Avon and Somerset and Avon Fire and Rescue Service jointly fund the service.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP)

AWP is a significant provider of specialist mental health services.

Contract value 2018/2021: £122,604 per year (Local Health Commissioning groups and Avon Fire and rescue Service also contribute to this service)

Background documents

Documents include national guidelines and framework:

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have published guidance for victim services on the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) (PDF).

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