Victim Care Merseyside hub launched by region’s Police Commissioner17.11.22 - Merseyside
A new service designed to provide enhanced care and support for victims of crime across Merseyside will be officially launched by the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner today (17th November 2022).
The Victim Care Merseyside hub will provide free, confidential, non-judgemental advice and support for all victims of crime across the region, no matter when the incident happened or whether it was reported to the police or not.
Delivered by a local team of 15 specialist Victim Care Advisers and Managers, the hub will act as a single point of contact for victims, offering emotional and practical support tailored to their individual needs.
All victims who report a crime to Merseyside Police will 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.
Crucially, the hub team will also make it easier and simpler for all victims, including those who don’t wish to speak to the police, to access support through the creation of a new Freephone number and an improved online reporting service on the www.victimcaremerseyside.org website.
The new hub is an integral part of the Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell’s wider Victim Care Merseyside service. It will link in closely with the 10 other independent services already commissioned to provide specialist support services to those affected by the most serious and harmful crimes, including rape and sexual assault, child exploitation and hate crime.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Ensuring every victim gets the right support, at the right time, in the right way is an absolute priority for me and the creation of the new Victim Care Merseyside hub is a major milestone in that work.
“The Victim Care Merseyside service already does a vital job supporting thousands of vulnerable people. By launching this new hub our aim is to ensure many more victims receive support and that it is far easier for people to reach out when they are in need.
“The hub has been designed to act as a single point of contact, a one-stop shop, where all victims and survivors are guaranteed access to free, confidential, non-judgemental support, tailored to their individual needs, whether they have reported to the police or not.
“This new team will be at the very heart of my Victim Care Merseyside service – with advisors on hand to offer enhanced support to all victims of crime, but also to provide a smoother, more connected transition, to the 10 other independent services I commission for those with specialist needs.
“Using their extensive knowledge and community links, the team will also be able to access a whole range of additional services – from counselling and therapeutic support to financial advice or addiction services, while also linking in with local grassroots organisations who do such a vital job supporting people in their communities.
“The creation of this hub is entirely focused on improving the care and support we provide to victim of crimes on Merseyside – providing a dedicated team of real people on hand to make a real difference.”
While the Victim Care Merseyside hub will be officially launched today, the team first started work on 3rd October. In its first six weeks in operation, more than 6,570 victims received information about the support now on offer. From those, more than 1,100 were proactively contacted so an assessment of their needs could be made, with many now having a dedicated care plan in place.
Merseyside Police’s Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “The Police and Crime Commissioner, working with Merseyside Police, is driving change in the victim services commissioning strategy, and we welcome the opportunity to work together in enhancing the support available to victims to help them cope and recover following a crime.
“We aim to ensure victims are supported at every stage of their journey and we have committed and dedicated people who do their very best for victims every day. From police officers that are the first to attend an incident and specially trained detectives that will support victims with sensitivity and compassion, through to the tireless work of colleagues in the Witness Care Unit.
“The Victim Care Merseyside hub enhances all of this work, and it underlines the commitment of Merseyside Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner to deliver the best service possible to the communities of Merseyside.
“Nationally, the hub model has proven to be the most effective way to reach and support victims of crime through a seamless pathway of care. It offers opportunities to not only support victims and vulnerable people, but to also help identify repeat victimisation and use a preventative approach to solving reoccurring problems. These are two vital parts of the Force Strategy."
Victim Care Merseyside hub manager Nicky Griffiths said: “We know that in the wake of a crime, many people feel lost, vulnerable, sometimes scared. They don’t always know how to pick up the pieces.
“They need a simple, straightforward way of accessing support.
“Sometimes you just want someone to talk to in confidence – a real person that cares and that wants to help. That’s exactly what we are here to provide. We understand how you feel, and we are here to support you.”
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.
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
Restorative Justice – get help to get answers in the wake of a crime through Restorative Justice.
- Restorative Solutions - 0737 780 0254