A multi-million pound contract to care for victims of crime has been agreed by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire.
The £2.8m four-year contract, to begin this April, ensures those who live in Hertfordshire will continue to benefit from one of the UK’s most comprehensive schemes run through the Hertfordshire Beacon Victim Care Centre.
Independent case managers can provide emotional and practical support to victims of crime, even if they have not reported the offence to the police.
The contract was renewed with Catch22, a not for profit business with a social mission, who have helped run Beacon since 2017 with the Constabulary’s Victim Services Team.
The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, is responsible for ensuring the provision of victim support services within Hertfordshire, but it is funded by central government by the way of a Victims Grant.
Mr Lloyd said: “Beacon is a flagship victim service centre. Here in Hertfordshire we have one of the largest teams of victim service professionals in the country.
"Catch22 have been key to this and I am delighted they will be carrying on with us.
“Beacon provides support for everything from criminal damage to those affected by serious sexual assaults and murder.
"It ensures victims are cared for and kept updated as their case progresses through the investigation and judicial system.
“Historically victims support was often run by volunteers but our model is staffed by professionals working to a service delivery programme that has provided evidence of positives outcomes.
"It is a long way from the traditional idea that victims are only offered sympathy with a cup of tea and slice of cake.
“I have ensured continued investment in Beacon so it now has additional specialist teams which work with the victims of domestic violence, anti-social behaviour and fraud.”
Emma Jones, assistant director for Victims Services at Catch22, said: “We’ve supported hundreds of victims of crime over the last four years and we’re now in the privileged position to be able to help hundreds more.
"It’s not always easy for victims to come forward and ask for help.
“But whether it’s fraud, domestic violence or anti-social behaviour, we’re here to make sure they have someone to talk to who they can trust and who has the expertise to help them recover.
"We’re looking forward to work with the PCC and local partners to provide the best possible service to victims in Hertfordshire.”
The Beacon team, based at Hertfordshire Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, will contact all victims of crime and, where appropriate, work with specialist case managers to provide a complete wrap-around service to help victims to cope and recover.
The Beacon Case Managed Service is available to all victims of crime regardless of when the crime was committed or whether the crime has been reported.
Individuals will be supported on the journey to recovery by case managed support dependent on the individual’s needs and wishes.
The service offered and expertise available focuses on specialist provision to victims of; Fraud, Children and Young Persons Victims of Abuse, Victims of Stalking and Victims of Sexual and Domestic Abuse victims who are entitled to ‘Enhanced Rights’ under the Victims Code of Practise.
The service will provide organisational expertise in supporting victims of crime to both cope with the immediate impact of crime and to recover over the long term that includes but not limited to in-depth needs assessment, creation of a support plan, emotional and practical support and advocacy.