Helping victims of crime
West Mercia Victims’ Charter
The Commissioner pledged to deliver a new Victims’ Charter for West Mercia within 100 days of taking office. He delivered on that pledge with the new charter coming into practice on August 12th 2016.
The charter creates a means of detailing precisely what services victims can expect and what the police and other partners are expected to provide. It is a means by which the PCC, the police and contracted partners can be held to account for delivering improved and consistent services.
Please click here to view the charter.
Victims’ Code of Practice
The code of practice for Victims of Crime (the “Victims’ Code”) is a statutory Government document which sets out the information, support and services that victims of crime are entitled to receive from criminal justice agencies in England and Wales. These criminal justice agencies include the police and Crown Prosecution Service.
What the code does
The code covers the support victims should expect at every stage of the process from reporting a crime to post-trial support. This includes an entitlement to make a Victim Personal Statement (VPS) explaining how the crime has affected you emotionally, financially or in any other way, and an entitlement to be kept informed about the progress of a court trial.
The new code sets out enhanced support for victims of the most serious crime, persistently targeted and vulnerable or intimidated victims. It also includes a section dedicated to the needs of children and young people, their parents and guardians.
Businesses that are victims are also covered by the Victims’ Code, which sets out the specific entitlements they have if they are a victim of crime.
Find out more
A full version of the Victims’ Code, leaflet guides for adults and young people, a poster, and a video for under-18s can be accessed on the GOV. UK website. Click here to be directed to this website.
The Commissioner has funded, through Victim Support, the Restorative Justice process. Restorative Justice brings those that have been harmed by crime, and those responsible for the harm, into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward. Restorative justice gives victims the chance to have their say, to get answers to their questions, and to move on with their lives.
Restorative justice gives offenders, or the person that caused harm, an insight into the real impact of their behaviour and an opportunity to make amends.
Restorative justice is not designed to replace criminal justice proceedings; alongside and integrated with criminal justice it can deliver benefits that traditional criminal justice on its own cannot.
“I remember everything about what happened that’s why I feel so bad about it all. I want to say sorry. I didn’t intend to scare her, if someone had done that to my family I would have gone mad. I don’t want her to keep feeling worried. Meeting her will be the hardest thing I have ever done, including going to jail.” Quote from offender, 2017.
The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has issued some guidance around support for those suffering from domestic abuse. The guidance covers off what to do, should you find yourself a victim of domestic abuse, and how you go about informing the DWP in order to protect your benefits. To read the guidance, click here.
Support Services For Victims
The following services receive funding from the PCC.
For details of all of the current projects which have been commissioned by the PCC, click here.
Victim Advice Line
From 1st April 2019, the Victim Advice Line will launch.
The Victim Advice Line will be made up of a team of expert and fully trained Victim Care Coordinators who will help the victim when they come through to the service, be it through police, third party or self-referral (the crime doesn’t have to have been reported to the police). The victim may then be referred onto other specialist services, dependent on the level of support they may need.
This type of model is being seen as best practice and a flagship across the country in delivering support to victims.
For advice after 1st April 2019, call 0800 952 3000 or visit www.victimadviceline.org.uk
Since October 2014, Police and Crime Commisioners have been responsible for commissioning local victim’s services.
In West Mercia, the PCC commissions the independent charity Victim Support.
If you have been a victim of crime and would like support from the charity call 01905 726896.
To contact the charity online of for more information on their services visit their website.
Other victim’s services commissioned by the PCC include the following:
West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC)
The PCC funds Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) and Family Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (FISVAs) in Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
For support call 01905 724514 (Worcestershire) or 01432 344777 (Herefordshire)
For more contact details and information on the services provided visit their website.
West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC)- Branch Project
The PCC funds this project which provides education, intervention and support to children and young people (CYP) who are at risk of or have been a victim of CSE, across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.
For support call 01905 724514 (Worcestershire) or 01432 344777 (Herefordshire) or contact via the website.
For more contact details and information on the services provided visit their website
The PCC funds Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) as well as a pilot Independent Sexual Violence Parent Advisor Service for child victims of sexual abuse.
For support in Shropshire call 01743 357777. For support in Telford call 01952 278000.
For more information visit their website
West Mercia Women’s Aid
The PCC provides funding for the referral helpline, and has also commissioned Children and Young People Workers to engage with those aged between 5 and 19 who are identified as being at risk of domestic abuse and violence.
For support in Worcestershire call 0800 980 3331. For support in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford or Wrekin call 0800 783 1359.
For more information visit their website.
West Midlands Paediatric Sexual Assault Service
The West Midlands Paediatric Sexual Assault Service is a region-wide service which provides expert care for children and young people who have disclosed sexual assault, or who may have been subject to sexual abuse.
Clients are seen by an experienced paediatrician with specialist training in forensic examination and are supported by a crisis worker.
For support, call 0800 953 4133 for self-referrals or 0800 953 4113 for referrals from professionals or agencies. Please also refer to their Referral Criteria leaflet for information.
For more information visit their website.