Community groups urged to share their views on support services for victims of crime

Community organisations that may support victims of crime in Merseyside are being urged to share their views of the support currently on offer to help improve services in the future.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, is currently running an eight-week Victim Experience consultation asking victims, community groups and support services to share their experiences of the support that is currently available across Merseyside in order to help shape and improve the services that are commissioned over the next four years.

Jane is responsible for commissioning many local support services for victims of crime and these are promoted and organised through the Victim Care Merseyside service. Over the last year, more than 6,000 victims have been supported by those services.

The Commissioner is now reviewing this provision to ensure they still meet the needs of victims. She is carrying out a consultation to consider how care and support should be delivered from 2022-2026, in preparation for a new PCC being elected in May who will carry the work forward.

As part of the Merseyside-wide consultation, the Commissioner is urging community groups and organisations and faith groups which may help victims of crime to take part in a short online survey at Merseyside Victim Experience Survey 2021 to give an insight into the overall picture of where people seek support across Merseyside and where improvements might be made in the future.

By asking community organisations for their views, the Commissioner also helps to develop a greater understanding of ‘hidden’ victims of crime, who may not be reaching out to the police or even using support services.

Jane said: “Victims of crime deserve to have access to the best support services, to feel involved in the criminal justice process, to be kept up-to-date on their cases and treated with dignity and respect at all time.

“Community groups and organisations are on the frontline working with victims and they are really well-placed to tell me about how support services are running and, crucially, when people may be struggling to access support or not getting any at all.

“I want them to share their views with me, so I have a clearer picture of if victims are getting the support they need. I also want to hear about the victims who may still be ‘hidden’ from the view of the police and support services and who may still be suffering in silence. 

“The Victim Care Merseyside service has been running for six years offering guidance, care and support to thousands of victims of crime, helping people who have been hurt and shocked by their experience to cope and recover.

“The service is doing vital work providing often life-changing care for victims every day, but we’re not complacent about the need to constantly look for ways we can improve.

“I don’t want to second guess the needs of victims or the decisions that a new PCC might make, so I hope that community groups and organisations will share their views with me by completing this online survey.

“By doing so they will play a vital role in ensuring future support services are as good as they can be and that victims get the support they need and deserve.”

The Commissioner is also urging anyone who has been a victim of crime in the last three years to share their personal experiences of the support they received to share their experiences.

Victim Care Merseyside is a package of support and care which includes a dedicated victim’s referral mechanism embedded within Merseyside Police, seven specialist support services and a website, www.VictimCareMerseyside.org which acts as one-stop shop of information and advice for victims.

It is designed to prevent people becoming repeat victims, protect victims from further harm and help them to better cope and recover following the crime. It also ensures services are joined-up and consistent around the region, preventing anyone from being subjected to a postcode lottery of care.

The survey will run until Sunday 4 April.  Please share your views at Merseyside Victim Experience Survey 2021

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