More than 900 victims have been referred for specialist support in the first three months of a new service aimed at helping people recover from crime, it has been revealed.
The Victim Triage Unit was launched by Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa in February this year to give as many victims of crime as possible the opportunity of receiving professional help to move on in the aftermath of crime.
A progress report presented to the PCC’s Strategic Priorities Assurance Board shows between February and April 2019 – the first three months of service - 913 victims of crime accepted the offer of a support referral to Derbyshire Victim Services.
Of the 3,013 victims who declined a support referral after being contacted by the Triage Unit, the majority were very grateful for the contact with many providing positive feedback about the service.
Commenting on the success, Mr Dhindsa said: “I’m very encouraged by these results which show how valuable this service is and how much demand exists for recovery support from victims across all crime categories.
“It is still early days but I’m hopeful that many more victims will accept help as awareness grows of the extra care and support available.
“As with any new service, issues have been identified, primarily in relation to initial capacity. However, now that the team is fully staffed we expect to reach all victims of crime over the coming months.
“The next steps will be to quantify the impact this help has had on those who have taken up the services to continually raise standards of care.”
The Triage Unit is a small team of 3.6 posts which is based within the Force’s wider Victim and Witness Care Unit, jointly funded by the PCC and Constabulary.
The team launched in February although one full time post remained vacant until May 2019. This reduced the team’s capacity during the first quarter’s results.
The team was set up to contact as many victims of crime as possible within 48 hours of a crime being recorded with the exception of specialist Public Protection Unit (PPU) managed cases relating to domestic and sexual violence and child abuse.
Since the unit launched, the Force has a greater understanding of which crimes are most likely to lead to a referral with the highest acceptance of help among harassment victims (38.5%) followed by Public Order (13.1%), Violence Against the Person (12.8%), Burglary 9.6% and Criminal Damage 6%.
In a further effort to expand provision, the Commissioner has secured additional funding through a grant from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to recruit two new ‘two-year’ staffing posts which will provide referral support specifically for victims of Domestic Abuse incidents and are likely to be filled by September.
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Posted on Wednesday 17th July 2019