From 1 October 2014, funding for victims of crime transferred to Police and Crime Commissioners from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ)
In advance of this responsibility, the PCC commissioned a review Victims Services within Cleveland. The recommendations of this report have subsequently been accepted by the PCC.
One of the recommendations was that the PCC continues to fund areas, which were previously funded by the MOJ but for which the funding has now passed to the PCC, until 31March 2015.
Arch North East was one of these organisations. It proposes to use the £16,128 requested to continue to provide the services summarised below.
Arch North East would provide Advocacy, Counselling and Life Enhancement services to victims and witnesses, across Teesside on an outreach/safe venue and in-house basis, delivering holistic support from complaint to court and after.
The service will provide an individually assessed package of care to each user including:
- Client needs assessment and care plan.
- Home visits by the Advocacy and LESA Service.
- Regular contact with client either face to face or by telephone or email
- Working in partnership with other agencies, eg: Mind, Addictive Behaviour Services, Citizens Advice Bureau on behalf of the client
- Attending appointments with or on behalf of the client.
- Liaising on behalf of the client with all statutory agencies within the CJS
- Preparation for court for both victims and CPS witnesses
- Pre-trial familiarisation visits to the court.
- Support during Trial, for up to 5 days
- After Court care and support.
- Therapeutic Counselling both pre and post Trial ( in line with set protocols with CPS and Police )
With the support of these services, victims and witnesses will feel safer, informed, empowered, included and respected. This results in increased confidence in the Criminal Justice System and an overall satisfaction that their needs have been met.
The consequences of failing to meet these needs would be that victims and their families would have limited services available to them. This would result in victims failing to report offences due to lack of support from the outset, withdrawing statements part-way through the investigation or not attending court as a witness. This may be due to fear or lack of clarity around the court process.