Happy six-month birthday to Cambridgeshire’s Victims’ Hub
March 25th, 2015
NEARLY 800 victims of crime in Cambridgeshire have already benefited from the skills and dedication of a team of Victim Care Co-ordinators based in the county’s police-led Victims’ Hub.
With the six-month anniversary of its opening only days away the 10 staff have already had 3,340 victims identified as requiring support referred to them, provided emotional and practical support to 781 people and wrote to a further 11,630 victims to let them know the service is there is they ever need it.
The locally-based Victim Care Co-ordinators work with the victims to identify what they might need to help them cope and recover from the impact the crime has had on them. The staff can also call on a number of specialist services, commissioned in the main by the Police and Crime Commissioner, to provide additional support. This includes Community Psychiatric Nurses who are able to conduct an assessment and then help refer individuals to appropriate support in their local area. A team of 15 newly-trained volunteers is also available to provide face-to-face support to those people who require it.
Early feedback has been encouraging with people thanking the Victim Care Co-ordinators saying they “couldn’t have coped” without them. One victim said they “helped us move forward feeling positive”, while another said “I didn’t know where to turn to” and the co-ordinator “guided me to get the help I know I needed.”
This feedback has already convinced Sir Graham Bright, the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, that commissioning a local integrated service for victims of crime rather than retaining the contract with the existing provider was the right thing to do.
He said: “In Cambridgeshire we made the decision to put victims at the centre of policing and offer support based on need, not crime type. I am delighted that our decision to open the Victims’ Hub and use local experts to meet local needs has proved so effective. I would like to congratulate the Hub Implementation Manager Steve Welby, his team and all the partners involved in providing a service that is clearly valued by the people who have had cause to use it.”
The Ministry of Justice made the move from national to local commissioning of support services for victims of crime in 2014. The central funding was re-allocated to Police and Crime Commissioners to provide services bespoke to their local areas.
Sir Graham added: “By being bold and taking the lead nationally we have been able to share our experiences with other Police and Crime Commissioners as they develop their own plans to support victims.”
When someone reports a crime in Cambridgeshire an Initial Victim Needs Assessment is carried out to identify those victims who require additional support. Their details are passed onto the Hub staff. This ensures support is offered based on need rather than crime type. Victims of crime, who haven’t reported their experience to the police can also request support by calling the Hub direct.
Victims’ Hub Implementation Manager, Steve Welby said: “The first six months have been incredible with the team taking calls from day one. I have been hugely impressed with the passion and dedication shown by everyone in making this new service such a success.”
Looking to the future the Hub will continue to expand its services further including developing the support available to victims of anti-social behaviour.
Further information visit the Victims’ Hub website www.cambsvictimshub.co.uk
Media enquiries to:
Charles Kitchin – Director of Public Engagement & Communications
Director of Public Engagement & Communications
Tel DD: 01954 713906
Mobile: 07809 332291
About The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Sir Graham Bright is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire.
Police and Crime Commissioners have responsibility for delivering an efficient and effective police service in their area. Commissioners set police and crime objectives, the police budget and issue crime and disorder reduction grants through the Police and Crime Plan. Commissioners also hold the police to account, making them answerable to the public.