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Victims’ Commissioner impressed with Cambridgeshire’s response to victims of crime

Victims’ Commissioner impressed with Cambridgeshire’s response to victims of crime

Victims’ Commissioner Baroness Newlove paid a special visit to Cambridgeshire’s Victims’ Hub to see how services have been transformed for victims of crime.Sir Graham Bright and Baroness Newlove

Baroness Newlove, responsible for promoting the interests of victims’ and witnesses across England and Wales, visited Cambridgeshire’s ground-breaking Victims Hub to see how vulnerable people are being supported through their experiences of criminality.

The visit, which was hosted by Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright, saw Baroness Newlove meet some of the victim care coordinators and victim care volunteers who work within the unit Tuesday. She was also given a presentation to explain how the system worked in practice and the benefits behind this new approach.

Commenting on the visit, Sir Graham said: “We are incredibly grateful to Baroness Newlove for visiting the Victims’ Hub and sharing her own valuable experience of the victims’ journey and how important it is that we deliver the right help whenever it is needed.

“The Baroness was impressed with our innovative approach to helping people cope and recover from what are often very traumatic experiences. Victims of crime are a priority in Cambridgeshire and the new Victims’ Hub ensures that anyone suffering physically, emotionally or economically as a result of crime is directed to the right help.

“The staff and volunteers on duty during this visit greatly appreciated the opportunity to showcase our unique model, which is something we are all very proud of.”

Victims’ Commissioner Baroness Newlove added: “It is so important for victims to have that one person they can turn to, who knows all about the criminal justice system and can offer valuable advice and support when a victim needs it most.

“The Cambridgeshire Care Coordinators are delivering a vital service to those who have suffered at the hands of criminal activity – this is a positive step forward for the support of victims. I wish the service continued success.”

The Victims’ Hub, which launched in October last year, assesses the individual needs of victims of crime before they are directed to the appropriate service. The Hub is staffed by a team of victim care coordinators, led by retired Superintendent Steve Welby, who work with victims to identify what they might need to help them cope and recover from the impact of crime.

Staff can draw upon a wealth of specialist services, commissioned in the main by the Police and Crime Commissioner, to provide additional support. This can include Community Psychiatric Nurses who are able to assess and refer individuals for appropriate support within their local area.

Thousands of victims have already received help through the service since its launch and work is ongoing to ensure all victims are notified of the availability of the service if they need it.

The feedback received so far has been extremely positive, with victims praising victim care coordinators for providing a listening ear when they could not speak to a member of their own family for fear of worrying them.

The approach has proved so successful that other police forces have decided to adopt this model.


Photograph shows Sir Graham Bright and Baroness Newlove