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Rape survivors offered chance to shape police services

VICTIMS of rape who have reported to the police will be given the opportunity to feedback on their experience at key points in the investigation, as part of a new project launched this week.

The initiative, which is jointly supported by Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston, will ensure that the victim’s voice shapes the service provided by both officers and support services.

LimeCulture, a leading national sexual violence and safeguarding organisation, has been funded to lead the engagement. The 16-month project is designed to capture survivors’ experiences of the communication and support provided through their criminal justice journey.

Head of Protecting Vulnerable People and Detective Superintendent, John Massey commented: “Understanding the views of survivors through this partnership project is a pivotal element of our Violence against Women and Girls strategy and shows our commitment to all survivors of serious sexual assaults. Survivors’ voices will help improve our response; inform our investigative processes and ensure we deliver the most effective and compassionate service possible.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Darryl Preston, said: “I have pledged in my Police and Crime Plan to support all victims and witnesses and every survivor’s experience is different.

“It’s important that we continue to listen to their experiences and improve the service provided by the police wherever possible,” he continued, “their feedback, from this pioneering project, will allow us to accommodate to their needs to help them through this difficult process.”

Stephanie Reardon, CEO at LimeCulture, said: “LimeCulture is delighted to be working with Cambridgeshire Police and the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor Service to ensure victims’ voices are at the forefront of shaping a better service for victims and survivors of rape across Cambridgeshire.”

The project is voluntary, and any survivor can withdraw consent. At the end of the process, an independent and victim-anonymous study will be made available to help improve the service to survivors.