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Victims’ Commissioner to visit Cambridgeshire to see victim care work in action

Victims’ Commissioner Baroness Newlove is to visit Cambridgeshire’s Victims’ Hub to see the ground-breaking work being undertaken to improve support for victims of crime, it can be revealed.

Baroness Newlove, responsible for promoting the interests of victims’ and witnesses across England and Wales, will be visiting the facility tomorrow (June 16) to meet members of staff who are the front end of responding to the needs of vulnerable people affected by criminality.

The visit is being hosted by Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Sir Graham Bright, and will include a short presentation on the work of the hub followed by an opportunity to meet some of the victim care coordinators and victim care volunteers on duty.

Announcing the visit, Sir Graham said: “I am delighted to welcome Baroness Newlove to Cambridgeshire and our Victims’ Hub which has really set the standard as far as servicing the needs of victims of crime is concerned.

“We’re very proud of the work taking place within the Hub.  We have had extremely positive feedback from the victims who’ve accessed the service so far – and welcome this opportunity to demonstrate what can be achieved with our colleagues nationally. Our pioneering approach has proved so successful that other police forces have decided to adopt this model.

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.

Victims’ Commissioner Baroness Newlove said:

“I know only too well that many victims of crime feel like they are passed from one agency to another – unaware of the services and help available. Victims don’t want a succession of different faces; they want one person who knows about all the criminal justice agencies and the services that might be able to help them.

“Cambridgeshire’s Victim Care Coordinators do just that. Victims have already been benefiting from the Victims’ Hub including counselling, access to relevant services and help to aid their recovery.

“I wish the Victims’ Hub continued success in helping those who have suffered at the hands of criminal activity, for as long as a victim may need it.”

Responsibility for victims’ services transferred from the Ministry of Justice to Police and Crime Commissioners in 2014 who must provide services bespoke to their local areas.

A victim’s first contact with the hub will be via a victim care coordinator. Their role will be to keep the individual updated and support them from the start to the end of the process.

Following the completion of an assessment, a personal care plan will be developed based on the individual’s circumstances and the specific crime. If there is a need for longer term emotional support, a victim care co-ordinator will be available to provide ongoing counselling and practical help.



Notes to editors:

Baroness Newlove is the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales.

Appointed in March 2013, her role is to promote the interests of victims and witnesses; encourage good practice in the treatment of victims and witnesses; and keep under review the operation of the Code of Practice for Victims

She was given a peerage in the 2010 Dissolution Honours list and sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative, Baroness Newlove of Warrington in the County of Cheshire.

She has campaigned tirelessly for victims since the tragic death of her husband Garry in 2007 and her role as the Government’s Champion for Active Safer Communities saw her work with local people to make communities safer and to find solutions for local problems.