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New support for victims launches

A new victim service dedicated to supporting those affected by crime throughout their journey has launched in West Mercia.

At 8am this morning, (1st April), the new Victim Advice Line (VAL) went live. Those needing support can now access the free and confidential service and receive a care package that is bespoke to them.

To make it easier for those wanting to access the service, there are a number of ways for people to get in touch:

  • The free and confidential phone line (0800 952 3000) is open 8am until 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am until 5pm on Saturdays
  • A new website (www.victimadviceline.org.uk) is now live
  • An online chat function, available on the website, gives those not wanting to use the phone an opportunity to talk to someone online
  • If someone doesn’t have time to chat on the phone or online, there is also an option to email or use the contact form on the website

Recognising the needs of victims are different, the VAL will work with the victim and allow them to have greater ownership of their journey by allowing them to shape it themselves. Those that need someone to talk to also don’t have to have reported the crime to the police.

This new service is part of Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion’s commitment to ensuring victims of crime receive an improved and more consistent service, and is also a model that is being seen as best practice and a flagship across the country in delivering support to victims, having already been adopted by other PCCs and police forces.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “I am delighted to be officially launching the Victim Advice Line today. This new service marks the beginning of big changes to the way victims are supported.

“By working with an individual and making sure they’re getting the level of support they need, and deserve, we’re sure to see those affected by crime moving on with their life with greater confidence.

“This new service also allows better multi-agency working, such as with the police and other support services, which will ensure those affected by crime will have someone with them every step of their journey.”

West Mercia Police Assistant Chief Constable, Martin Evans, said: “We are truly committed to providing the best possible service for victims and survivors. We strive to always put victims at the heart of everything we do and the support that the Victim Advice Line will provide alongside us will be invaluable.

“Every member of our force is dedicated to ensuring we are always victim focussed and the VAL is a perfect reflection of our values and commitment.

“Eighty per cent of victims of crime served by West Mercia Police are satisfied with the service we provide them. We are proud to deliver a good service to every victim of crime but are committed to becoming ever better, remaining focussed on individuals and their needs to help them cope and recover from the experience of the crime. We welcome the VAL team in working with us to achieve this.”

Issued on: Monday 1st April

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