16/06/2017

National Victims’ Commissioner praises services in Cleveland

The national Victims’ Commissioner says she’s very impressed with the work being done in Cleveland to support victims of crime.

National Victims’ Commissioner praises services in Cleveland

Baroness Helen Newlove praised how services in Cleveland identify the needs of victims, the wealth of services victims have access to and how they help to prevent further crime.

The national advocate visited the region on May 19th as part of her pledge to visit all PCC offices by March 2019, to assess how support services for vulnerable victims of crime are commissioned.

She spoke at length with local victims and joined a number of them in a Friends Against Scams awareness session at Cleveland Police headquarters.

She said: “I’ve been very impressed with the work in Cleveland in supporting victims of crime, particularly the great work taking place to help prevent further victims of fraud. 

“Cleveland certainly has a lot of support to offer victims living in the area, and I look forward to that continuing. 

“Ensuring that victims receive a personalised service that suits their needs and their circumstances are absolutely key – I can see that together with Durham, Cleveland is focusing on this to bring about some real improvements for victims of crime in the area.”

PCC Barry Coppinger is responsible for the delivery of victim services within the Cleveland Police force area, including specialist support for victims of sexual and domestic violence.

In April 2016, he launched Victim Care and Advice Service with Durham PCVC Ron Hogg following a £600,000 investment. Since its launch, the service has reached out to over 4,000 victims in Cleveland, with over 1,400 receiving specialist one-to-one support.

Mr Coppinger said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to showcase the wealth of victim services on offer in the Cleveland area to Baroness Newlove during her visit.
“Helen has given us a unique and independent perspective on the victim experience and I’m so pleased she was impressed by the services we have on offer.

“Ensuring a better deal for victims and witnesses is a key objective in my Police and Crime Plan and I will continue to work closely with the police to make sure victims are placed at the centre of the criminal justice process.”

Chief Constable Iain Spittal said: “Victims are absolutely at the heart of all we do and it’s so important that we get our victim journey right, so that they receive an excellent service alongside the bespoke support that they need.

“I was extremely humbled to have met Baroness Newlove, who is a strong advocate for victims across the country and a reminder of the importance of ensuring that victims are always put first.”