Changes to support services for victims and witnesses of crime

From October 2014, Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales will take on the responsibility for commissioning of support services for victims and witnesses of crime.

Previously, the majority of victims’ services nationally have been funded directly by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). National charity Victim Support has had the responsibility for delivering non-specialist services to victims of crime. Other, smaller organisations have been responsible for the provision of specialist services, for example to victims of domestic abuse and sexual abuse. These specialist services are also funded by organisations such as the police, health authorities, the Ministry of Justice and with money raised through charitable organisations.

With a phased approach, between October 2014 and April 2015, Police and Crime Commissioners will be responsible for:

  • Victim assessment and support
  • Specialist services
  • Restorative Justice

The Ministry of Justice will continue to manage the national Homicide Service, Human Trafficking Service, Court based Witness Service, some funding for rape support centres and some national telephone helplines.

Surrey’s Commissioning Vision

Surrey’s commissioning of victims’ services will:

– Centre on the needs of the victims. Services will be accessible and will be tailored towards the needs of the individual. Surrey’s communities will have confidence in the support services.

– Respond to the specific needs of Surrey’s residents

– Develop services which work hand-in-hand with Surrey Police, partners and the Criminal Justice System to improve victims’ experiences.

– Respect and build on good practice already in place

– Provide strong management of victims’ services, ensuring that all funding is allocated fairly and transparently against need, that services are outcome focussed, provide good value for money and continuously improve.

– Invest in future victims’ services by medium to long-term planning and building evidence of good practice.


Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley – working together for victims and witnesses

The Police and Crime Commissioners for Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley are working together in a consortium to commission a single support service for all three police areas. This contract will establish an assessment and referral centre for victims of crime and provide the support needed to help them cope and recover from their experiences.

Through this new contract, Police and Crime Commissioners will be looking to improve the service that victims receive from the Criminal Justice System, and by introducing support services at a local level, will have the ability to develop services that best meet the needs of local people.

In addition, the Surrey PCC will commission a range of specialist services to support victims of crime.

You can read more about our commissioning intentions here – Surrey OPCC commissioning intentions 2014-16


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