Helping victims of crime
The new hub-based approach is the first of its kind in the UK and Baroness Newlove, whose role as Victims’ Commissioner is to promote the interests of victims and witnesses, encouraging good practice in their treatment, was able to see the service in action.
Mr Grunshaw established the Lancashire Victim Services to deliver a new, integrated service across Lancashire, with the new model providing four multi-crime teams across the county. These are made up of domestic violence advisors, sexual violence advisors, specialist children and young people support workers and hate crime case workers alongside independent victim advocates.
There is also strong partnership working with other local groups – victims are directed to the support they need, when they need it, with clear and easy access to services.
Responsibility for victim services transferred to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office in April 2015 – Lancashire Victim Services was established that month and launched the new and enhanced service earlier this year.
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Lancashire Victim Services are doing a fantastic job in supporting victims of crime in the county. The new service model makes it as easy as possible for those that need help and support.
“This pioneering approach provides a seamless service to anyone affected by crime in Lancashire, with specialist services providing tailored support that meets the individual needs of anyone who is a victim.
“I’m really pleased to welcome the Victims’ Commissioner to the Preston hub, to hear more about the expert support available locally and the fantastic team working from all of the hubs to make sure residents receive the very best support.”
Baroness Newlove, Victims’ Commissioner said: “I am delighted to be in Lancashire and hearing how local victims are being supported. I am impressed by the good work being done by Lancashire Victim Services. I am particularly pleased to see that they are developing the role of independent victim advocates, who support victims throughout what can often be a traumatic criminal justice journey. This is a model I would like to see being used across the country and it is good to see Lancashire leading the way”.
Ellen Miller, Services Director for Lancashire Victim Service added: “Baroness Newlove is a national champion for the rights of victims, and we’re really pleased to welcome her here to Lancashire so she can hear what it’s really like for victims, and how Lancashire is leading the way. Recent events – particularly the Manchester Attack – have shown the difference in Lancashire because of investment in counselling support and support for young victims, so it’s good to spread the word and to remind anyone affected by crime that Lancashire Victim Services are there for you.”
Anyone affected by crime can access support by contacting Lancashire Victim Service on 0300 323 0085, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting the website at www.lancashirevictimservices.org.