The Victims Referral Service has been provided in Cleveland and Durham via grant arrangements through the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) prior to 2015 and for 2015/16 via a grant agreement jointly between the two PCCs. The service has been provided by Victim Support for many years and their support has been very much appreciated.
The Durham and Cleveland PCCs in 2015/16 agreed that due to the changing legislation for victims, the changing environment for the provision of services and increasing service providers, that it would be appropriate to test the market to ensure that the maximum value for money was being achieved, at the same time as defining a revised specification to achieve the optimum service to victims. Following a robust procurement exercise a contract was awarded in December 2015 to Safe In Tees Valley.
During this time it became apparent that in Cleveland there were many specialist services providers delivering services to victims of domestic abuse and it was felt that victims of such incidents / crime should be supported by specialist agencies that have the in-depth experience of working with such clients and understand their needs. Domestic and Sexual Abuse was therefore excluded from this contract.
To ensure that no victims ‘slip through the net’ and to ensure that all victims regardless of risk status are offered a service, work is on-going with Safe in Tees Valley and their Victim Care and Advice Service (VCAS) to develop a pilot project to ensure all victims of domestic abuse are referred to specialist support services if they wish.
A number of reviews are currently ongoing in Cleveland Police including in the Protecting Vulnerable People Unit (PVP).
Any suggested pilot will be discussed with this team and the Business Transformation Unit (BTU) who are leading on the implementation of these changes to ensure no duplication and that proposals compliment what is already delivered.