Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles today announced plans to boost specialist help services for the most vulnerable victims of crime in the county.
Mr Charles has made a series of funding decisions aimed at strengthening provision for victims of hate crime, sexual abuse and violence and domestic abuse to improve the recovery process.
Among the proposed arrangements is the development of a new emotional and practical support service for victims of sexual abuse and violence in the county.
Currently, Derbyshire Police transfers the details of rape and sexual abuse/violence victims to either the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for forensic, clinical and therapeutic need or Victim Support for general support
Following engagement with service providers, it has been decided an additional volunteer-based service with case management and general emotional and practical support would help to signpost victims to other support agencies and provide more referrals for therapeutic counselling.
The current number of known victims of Sexual Abuse and Violence in Derbyshire is around 1074 per year, based on those who have reported a crime to the Police. Based on evidence that only 10.3% of such crimes are reported to the police, the number of those crimes not reported is estimated at around 10,352 per year. Research has shown that around 16% of victims access a service which would suggest a potential demand of around 1,828 per year.
The new contract could potentially be worth £50,000 and Commissioner Charles hopes to secure a provider by April 1 2016.
Elsewhere, the Commissioner has agreed to extend existing project agreements in support of victims of hate crime to the end of March 2016. As a result, Spectrum’s A.C.T Against Hate and Harassment initiative has been awarded £5,757 to continue its work providing victims with a platform to voice their experiences; Derby Citizen’s Advice and Law Centre has been allocated £6,681 for its Victim’s Support Service to recruit, train and empower volunteers to assist victims of hate crime; and the Derbyshire Law Centre has received £6,250 for its Hate and Harassment Project to encourage reporting to the police.
Meanwhile, Derby Citizen’s Advice and Law Centre has been awarded £24,218 for its Hate Crime Coordination Service for Derbyshire to continue its work providing a comprehensive support network for victims of hate crime.
Finally, Commissioner Charles has given a huge boost to improving services to victims of domestic abuse in Derby City. He has awarded a contract to domestic violence support charity Refuge to deliver specialist help services for those at medium or standard risk of abuse in Derby.
Commenting on the new funding arrangements, Commissioner Charles said: “It’s vital we deliver the right support and help to victims of these horrific, typically under-reported, crimes to ease the recovery process and prevent future harm. This means putting the right funding and services in place to keep up the good work we’re already witnessing in the City and County.
“Victims who receive prompt specialist help are less likely to suffer repeat victimisation and can go on to rebuild their lives with confidence. It is these positive experiences that will help to grow confidence and satisfaction in the Police and encourage more victims to come forward and break the cycle of abuse.”
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Tuesday 23rd February 2016