Support for victims of crime in Derbyshire is set to become increasingly tailored to specific need with a new contract from Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles.
The £776,150 two-year contract has been awarded to criminal justice experts Remedi, who already delivery restorative justice services across the county. Around 19,000 victims of crime are expected to seek support from the new service each year.
Commissioner Charles said: “This marks the beginning of a new era in victim support.
“We are making changes to the way the service is delivered, providing a more joined-up approach that is aimed at helping victims recover quickly and effectively.
“Since taking over responsibility from the Ministry of Justice for commissioning victims services in Derbyshire, my goal has been to create a central system that links and embraces all the different types of support required. That means providers working as a team rather than separate entities, whether they are helping victims, witnesses or offering restorative justice services.”
When the new contract becomes operational on 1 April 2016 – following expiry of the current contract with Victim Support – there will be a greater focus on increasing self-referrals and awareness of the service. This should then ensure that more people are able to access the support available.
Remedi Director Steve Jones said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner and to have the opportunity to provide a responsive and sensitive service, tailored to the individual needs of the victim to help them cope and recover.”
Committed to putting the victim first and ensuring that all victims have ready access to a wide range of support services, he said that “being a victim should be a temporary experience.”
He went on: “We will work tirelessly to ensure all those accessing the service are supported to ensure their full needs are met and that they recover, emotionally and physically, as smoothly as possible.”
Among the changes to be brought is an ‘opt in’ referral system rather than an automatic police data transfer. In line with the Victims’ Code of Practice, services are free of charge, confidential, and available whether or not a crime has been reported to the police.
All in all, this latest advance in the support of victims forms part of Commissioner Charles’ commitment in his Police and Crime Plan 2012-2017 to reducing crime, making Derbyshire safer, protecting the vulnerable and providing reassurance to the public.
This is the Commissioner’s second signing with Remedi, who have been providing their restorative justice (RJ) service in Derbyshire since July this year. RJ offers victims a means to be heard, have a say in the resolution of offences and provide a means of closure to cope and recover from the aftermath of the crime. It also enables offenders to face the consequences of their crime and understand the impact it has on the victims with the aim of reducing reoffending and enable their own rehabilitation.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Monday 23rd November 2015