The Victim Care and Advice Service (VCAS) provides free, independent and confidential support for victims of crime and their families.
The service runs in Cleveland, County Durham and Darlington. It is delivered by Stockton-based charity Safer Communities on behalf of the Police and Crime Commissioners of Cleveland and Durham.
Trained VCAS staff provide:
- A single point of contact;
- Support for all victims of crime, who request help – even if the incident has not been reported to the police;
- Focus on victims who have suffered the greatest harm.
Services are tailored to help victims cope with the impact of crime and help them recover from it.
VCAS helps with concerns identified by the victim. They may include:
- Responding to immediate safety concerns and risks;
- Providing immediate emotional support and practical help;
- Offering advice, support and encouragement;
- Promoting empowerment;
- Considering the benefits of participation in restorative justice
- Assisting with criminal injuries compensation claims;
- Access to the best and most relevant support services.
- Support for young victims.
Services are delivered in a number of ways including
- Home visits and face-to-face meetings;
- Regular support and contact via telephone, text or email;
- Advocacy – providing victims of crime with a voice;
- One to one care for the most vulnerable victims;
- Practical assistance and emotional support.
VCAs also delivers Friends against Scams awareness sessions.