Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping is to unveil a new-look victims of crime service to improve help and support for those who suffer through criminality.
From today (October 1), Commissioner Tipping will officially take over responsibility for commissioning local support services to aid the recovery of victims of crime with funding provided by the Ministry of Justice.
Having already drawn up his Victims’ Strategy for future support services, the Commissioner is now inviting a single provider to deliver his ambitious aims through a formal tendering process.
The new contract will run from April 1 2015 until March 31 2017 and will see the successful applicant spearheading a pioneering new service providing victims of crime in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire with access to round-the-clock practical help and counselling.
To ensure the smooth transfer of services to his new model, Commissioner Tipping has allocated funding to six organisations, including Victim Support, to continue to deliver victims’ support services until 31 March.
Protecting victims and witnesses of crime is a top priority for Commissioner Tipping and he has continually pledged to improve the system so that these vulnerable people have a better chance of recovery. At the core of his Victims Strategy is a commitment to empower victims and survivors to cope and recover from crime through the provision of effective local support services. He is also determined to prevent victimisation and ensure that vulnerable people are protected from further harm in the future.
The service will be delivered in accordance with the Victims’ Code and will offer support confidentially and free of charge. Help will be available regardless of whether a crime is recorded or not and at all stages of the victims’ journey, including after court proceedings close. This includes a holistic approach to the provision of support for victims of anti-social behaviour and hate crime incidents, road traffic accidents and identity theft.
Based locally and linked to diverse communities across the city and county via co-located local bases or locally-based staff and volunteers, it will ensure victims have a single point of contact for their recovery needs to provide clarity as well as ease their path through the justice system.
The Deputy Commissioner, Chris Cutland, is leading the work for Victims’ Services. Commenting on the launch of the tendering process, she said: “The changes I’m about to oversee in relation to the delivery of victims services’ are among the most important I will make as Commissioner. The emotional impact of crime can last a lifetime, long after an investigation or court case draws to a close. It’s not only our duty to bring a physical end to offending but also to stop the psychological damage it reaps upon its victims.
“We can do this by prioritising the victim in every crime, ensuring their needs are paramount and giving them access to appropriate help swiftly so that we improve outcomes relating to their physical and mental health.
“Although overall crime rates are falling, we know that lots of victims still do not report crime to the police. This means there are many people who are currently invisible to the system and losing out on vital help. We have a social duty to protect them too, regardless of whether or not they are showing up on crime statistics.
“The new service we will build will not turn anyone away. We need to increase confidence in the system so that vulnerable people will not be afraid to seek out the practical help and advice they need in the future.”
The chosen provider will be responsible for delivering a complete service to victims of crime in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Specialist support services for victims of sexual violence and survivors of domestic abuse will be commissioned separately.
Mr Tipping will commission a separate victim-centred restorative justice service which will be operational in 2015 and will provide restorative justice services when appropriate.
Demand for victims’ support services is already strong. Figures provided by the current victims’ service reveal that annual demand currently stands at around 26,332 police referrals in Nottinghamshire.
Commissioner Tipping will require quarterly performance management reports by the selected victims’ services provider to ensure outcomes are being achieved. He will also establish an independent scrutiny arrangement to hold the service to account.
Details on the tender can be found on the Commissioner’s website http://www.nottinghamshire.pcc.police.uk/
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 1st October 2014