A new support programme for victims of crime in Thames Valley has been launched by the police and crime commissioner (PCC).
Anthony Stansfeld has launched Victims First, which includes a website with advice on what to do and how to get help for victims of crime, including information on what to expect from the police and other criminal justice agencies if a crime is reported.
The website includes a directory which allows victims to find relevant support to help them cope and recover from the impact of the crime.
People can use the website to refer themselves directly to the PCCs own support services, using the online form, or find information and contact details for other organisations.
This support is available regardless of whether or not the victim has reported the crime to the police.
The website has information and advice to help people to recognise hidden crimes such as modern slavery, domestic abuse, including coercive control, and hate crime.
Victims First also provides a third party reporting mechanism for hate crime so those who don’t want to report directly to the police can either complete a reporting form on the website or call 0300 1234 148.
The PCC has also commissioned new services for young victims, victims of sexual violence, a victim-led restorative justice service and a local support service to assist other victims.
Victims First is to expand over the coming year, with plans to include a single referral point and specialist counselling.
PCC Anthony Stansfeld said: “I recently launched my new police and crime plan which reaffirmed my commitment to making sure that victims have access to the support they need to cope and recover from the impact of crime.
“The launch of Victims First and the website is a key milestone in my work in this area and will allow victims to easily find information and support in one place.
“I believe it will be a valuable resource not just for victims but also for people and organisations that come into contact with victims of crime who can now use the website to find and refer people to an appropriate service.”
The new website can be found at www.victims-first.org.uk