£12 million boost to local victims’ services

3 Jul 2014 03:30 PM

£12 million of innovative technologies and specialist services, funded by offenders, to support victims of crime. 

Successful projects put forward for funding by Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) include:

  • body-worn cameras to support victims of racial hate crime and capture evidence of new incidents
  • a specially designed audiovisual system to comfort young victims of sexual abuse during medical examinations
  • dedicated counselling for victims of female genital mutilation (FGM)

Most of the successful bids will support victims of sexual and domestic abuse, but there are also projects that will help victims of hate crime, young victims and LGBT victims, among others. PCCs have worked with local voluntary organisations to identify the services that best meet the needs of victims of crime in their areas.

Victims’ Minister Damian Green said:

Victims of crime need and deserve the best possible support to cope with what they have been through. That’s why government is raising more money than ever before from offenders to fund vital services to help victims move on with their lives.

The excellent and innovative ideas put forward for this fund show exactly why PCCs are best placed to understand the needs of their local communities and commission the majority of victims’ services. I’ve no doubt they will make a difference to victims up and down the country.

Some examples of the projects being funded are:

  • £12,000 for an interactive system to support young sexual violence victims in a newly established Sexual Assault Reference Centre in Suffolk
  • £35,000 for discreet body-worn cameras for victims in Merseyside who have been subjected to racial abuse in their working environments
  • £1.2 million to support young victims of crime, and support for vulnerable or persistently targeted victims of fraud or other economic crimes in London
  • facilities in several locations for sexual violence victims to give evidence via video link in a setting outside the criminal justice system rather than having to go to court
  • £150,000 to improve support for victims with mental health problems in Cambridgeshire
  • more than £120,000 for rural rape crisis centres in Dyfed Powys, Wales
  • £66,000 for specialist LGBT hate crime case workers in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire

The £12.5 million comes from additional receipts from offenders, raised through the victim surcharge and increased financial penalties such as Penalty Notices for Disorder. It is in addition to the 2014 to 2015 budgets of £31.55 million which have already been confirmed to PCCs. The Ministry of Justice launched a competition to allow PCCs to bid for money to support victims of the most serious crimes, persistently targeted victims and intimidated or vulnerable victims.

This funding is in addition to a range of measures brought in by the government to provide unprecedented support for victims, including the new and improved Victims’ Code and pre-trial cross-examination for young and vulnerable witnesses.

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