More than 19,000 victims offered support as Victim Care Merseyside hub marks three-month anniversary17.02.23 - Merseyside
More than 19,000 victims of crime have been offered specialist advice and support from the Victim Care Merseyside hub since it was launched by the region’s Police Commissioner three months ago today.
Of those, more than 2,650 have taken up the offer of support and have already benefitted from a detailed assessment of their needs and a care plan being put in place by the dedicated hub team to help them to recover in the wake of a crime.
Testimony from those using the service since the launch on 17th November 2022, shows the difference it’s already making, with victim’s feedback including:
- “I appreciated so, so much (having) someone to talk to who tries to get me to speak about how I am feeling. I really do appreciate your calls. Thank you for calling me and keeping in touch with me.”
- “Felt totally listened to, not rushed. Looked forward to her calls. Wonderful!”
- “Thanks for listening - helped me understand what I was feeling is normal.”
Delivered by a local team of 15 trained and knowledgeable Victim Care advisers and managers, the hub was launched by the Police Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, to act as a single point of contact for all victims and survivors, providing free, confidential, non-judgemental advice and support.
The free service is available to for all victims of crime across Merseyside, no matter when the incident happened or whether it was reported to the police or not.
As well as offering emotional and practical support tailored to an individual’s needs, the hub links in closely with the 10 independent support services also commissioned by the PCC as part of the Victim Care Merseyside service to provide care for those affected by some of the most harmful crimes.
The team also uses their extensive knowledge and ties with a wide range of additional services and community groups to help with an individual’s ongoing needs, from counselling and therapeutic support to financial advice or addiction services.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Three months in and the Victim Care Merseyside hub is already making a huge difference in the lives of thousands of victims of crime right across Merseyside.
“From an autistic man assaulted on a bus, to a stalking victim living in fear and a profoundly deaf man vulnerable after a burglary and so many more, thousands of victims provided with dedicated, individual support from the hub to help them to properly recover from the crime they’ve suffered, build their confidence and regain their independence.
“The testimony we have received so far is simply amazing and show just how vital the support provided by the hub is for those who have been affected by crime.
“Ensuring every victim gets the right support, at the right time, in the right way is an absolute priority for me and it’s been fantastic to see the progress of the hub in just three months - with more than 19,000 potentially vulnerable people directly receiving information about the hub and more than 2,650 people already taking advantage of the support the hub offers.
“I’m incredibly grateful to the entire team for their tireless efforts so far and, as we mark three months since the launch, my message is simple: if you’ve been affected by crime, no matter when it happened or whether you reported it to the police or not, Victim Care Merseyside is here to support you.”
As well as providing essential support to thousands of victims, the hub team have also visited numerous organisations across Merseyside to increase awareness of the new service and ensure they know how to advise victims to access the service, while also providing training to Merseyside Police officers and staff.
Visits to the Victim Care Merseyside website have also increased by more than 170% since the launch, compared to the same three-month period the previous year.
All victims who report a crime to Merseyside Police and may require support now receive information about the Victim Care Merseyside hub explaining the help and support they can provide, with victims who are identified as being particularly vulnerable being proactively contacted by the team.
Victim Care Merseyside hub manager Nicky Griffiths said: “Many people feel anxious, worried, intimidated, and sometimes scared in the wake of a crime, but no-one has to go through being a victim of crime on their own.
“My team is made up of real people who care and are here to help. It doesn’t matter how long ago the crime happened or if you reported it to the police or not – we are here to support you.
“I’m so proud of what the team have achieved in the last three months, supporting thousands of victims of crime and we want to reach many, many more.
“If there is anything you need following a crime, please get in touch.”
Merseyside Police’s Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “Merseyside Police aims to ensure victims are supported at every stage of their journey. From the compassion shown by police officers and detectives that first attend an incident, through to the assistance provided by colleagues in the Witness Care Unit, we have committed and dedicated people doing their very best for victims every day.
“The Victim Care Merseyside hub is proving to be an invaluable resource, allowing officers to make referrals for victims that would benefit from additional support. To have offered support and advice to thousands of victims of crime in its first three months is an incredible achievement and our officers will continue to work closely with the hub team to ensure victims and survivors are offered the best victim care possible.”
If you’ve been affected by crime, Victim Care Merseyside is here to provide support. Call Freephone 0808 175 3080 on weekdays between 8am and 6pm or request support online at www.victimcaremerseyside.org at any time.
About Victim Care Merseyside
Anyone affected by crime can request support from the Victim Care Merseyside hub by calling Freephone 0808 175 3080 on weekdays between 8am and 6pm.
Alternatively, a contact form can be submitted at www.victimcaremerseyside.org at any time.
Victims of crime can also access specialist support from the 10 other independent support services encompassed within the Victim Care Merseyside service. This includes:
Child exploitation - support for any young person affected by sexual or criminal exploitation.
- Catch 22 – 0797 924 1502
Hate crime - if you have been affected by hate you can access support tailored to the type of abuse you have suffered.
- Racial or religious hate crime – Anthony Walker Foundation - 0151 237 3974
- Disability hate crime – Daisy Inclusive UK - 0151 261 0309
- LGBTQ+ hate crime – Citizens Advice Liverpool - 0151 522 1400 ext. 5006
If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to the police, you can report a hate crime anonymously and in confidence 24/7 to independent charity Stop Hate UK - 0800 138 1625
Harmful practices - support for victims of culturally specific abuse and harmful practices, including ‘honour’-based abuse, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
- Savera UK - 0800 107 0726
Murder or manslaughter - emotional and practical support for any family affected by homicide, including culpable road deaths.
- Families Fighting for Justice (FFfJ) - 0151 709 2994
Rape and sexual assault - dedicated aftercare support service for anyone affected by sexual violence at any time in their lives.
- RASA Merseyside - 0151 558 1801
- Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) - 0330 363 0063 / 01744 877987