From today, Police and Crime Commissioners across the county take on responsibility for providing support services for victims of crime.
The services that were previously commissioned nationally by the Ministry of Justice are now to be secured by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk.
Working with four other PCCs in the Eastern region, Norfolk PCC Stephen Bett has joined forces with Victim Support to deliver a victim referral and assessment service for the county.
Stephen said: “I have welcomed the opportunity to take the lead on victims’ services as it means we can use our local knowledge to provide the best possible service for the people of Norfolk.
“In preparation for this change, we looked closely at the experiences of victims and witnesses in Norfolk and the support services currently available to them. We have worked hard to really understand what they want and need from us, identifying projects that are working well and areas where there may be gaps.”
“The new assessment and referral service to be provided by our local Victim Support team will deliver an enhanced service for victims helping them cope and recover from the trauma they’ve experienced. The new arrangement will also make best use of Victim Support’s excellent links with specialist support organisations locally, ensuring more victims get the help they need.”
“By working together with other PCCs in the region, we are not only delivering an improved service for victims, but we’re also ensuring we get the best value for our money – something which is vitally important in the current financial climate.”
Heather Robbie, Contract Manager for Victim Support in Norfolk said: “We welcome the opportunity to provide this new service which will prioritise support to those people who need the greatest help to cope and recover from the impact of crime whilst enabling all victims access to the level of support they need.
“Stephen has been a fantastic champion for victims in Norfolk and we are proud to be working with him and his deputy, Jenny McKibben to ensure the needs of victims are at the heart of the criminal justice system.”
The money for the £359,000 contract with Victim Support has come directly from the Ministry of Justice and has not come out of the policing budget for the county.
LISTEN: Stephen talks about the changes
LISTEN: Stephen explains the arrangements here in Norfolk