Support Services For Victims
The following services receive funding from the PCC.
Victim Advice Line
On 1st April 2019, the Victim Advice Line launched.
The Victim Advice Line is 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.
- Call 0800 952 3000 – you will get through to a care coordinator who will discuss with you what you need
- Email [email protected] and a care coordinator will respond to you.
- Online chat at victimadviceline.org.uk– this option, allows you to talk to a care coordinator if it’s not possible, or convenient, to talk on the phone
Opening times are:
- Monday to Friday – 8am until 8pm
- Saturday – 9am until 5pm
Since October 2014, Police and Crime Commissioners 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 the local office 01905 726896 or the support line 0808 1689 111
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.
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)
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.
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.
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 4131 for referrals from professionals or agencies. Please also refer to their Referral Criteria leaflet for information.
Other Commissioned Services
You can view details of all of the current projects which have been commissioned by the PCC.
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 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.
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.
What is the Community Trigger?
The Community Trigger is designed to give victims of anti-social behaviour (ASB) the right to request a review of their case and bring agencies together to take a joined up, problem solving approach to find a solution.
It is also called the ASB Case Review.
When can I activate the Community Trigger?
The Community Trigger can be used if you have complained to your local authority, the police and/or a registered housing provider (social landlord) on 3 or more occasions about separate incidents in the past 6 months. Each incident of anti-social behaviour must have been reported within one month of it happening. This is called the threshold. If the threshold is not met the case review will not occur.
How do I activate the Community Trigger?
If you decide to activate the Community Trigger you will need to give the following details:
- Dates of each time you’ve complained
- Details of where you complained (name, organisation and/or incident reference number)
- Information about the anti-social behaviour
What can I expect?
Once you have activated the Community Trigger, agencies must decide whether or not the threshold has been met. This decision will be made within 10 working days.
If the threshold is met, a case review will be undertaken by partner agencies. The group will review how the partnership has responded to include sharing of information, reviewing actions already taken, and if necessary, make recommendations on how the problem can be resolved. This review will take place within 21 days of the decision being made.
Each victim has the right to appeal the decisions made by the panel (regarding whether or not the threshold has been met – or with the decision made at the review stage). Appeals will be heard within 15 working days of the appeal being received.
You will be notified at each step of the process what is happening with your application.
Find out more about how this works in your local area:
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.
Child sexual exploitation
Child sexual exploitation involves situations, contexts or relationships in which a person under 18 is given something, such as food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts or money in return for performing sexual activities or having sexual activities performed on them. It can also involve violence, coercion and intimidation, with threats of physical harm or humiliation.
For information on how to get support if you are a victim, or suspect someone is a victim, of CSE visit West Mercia Police’s website.