West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has agreed to increase funding and work with other partner agencies to ensure vital services for victims of rape can continue.
The Commissioner already provides over £1.7m in funding for West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC), an increase of over £1.2m since he came into post in 2016. This funding provides a number of different advocacy and support services for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.
Recognising that both a short-term and long term approach is required, the Commissioner has, offered an additional, immediate £100,000 for the service and has undertaken a commitment to work with other organisations including Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council, to ensure that additional and ongoing funding from these agencies is forthcoming.
So far, Herefordshire Council have agreed to contribute £120,000 towards solving the immediate crisis.
Commissioner John Campion said: “Victims are at the forefront of everything I do, so it was completely unacceptable to hear that these vital services are at risk. It was imperative all partners involved work together and step up to help those most in need in our communities.
“I have quickly made progress through the positive relationships we have with our partners, but there is still more we can do, and I will continue to work collectively to ensure victims of such a serious crime get the right specialist help at the right time, and that this much needed service is supported”
Jocelyn Anderson, CEO of WMRSASC said ‘It is very heartening to hear that both the PCC and Councils have pledged much needed support for survivors. Our service needs long-term, sustainable funding and for our counselling service to be properly commissioned by local partners. Whilst this is a huge step in the right direction and it needs to be underpinned by an ongoing commitment for survivors, knowing that the PCC will support us in this is very positive.”