Help service for victims of crime supports more than 9,000 in its first yearby Amber Valley Info on Wednesday 19 April 2017
More than 9,000 victims of crime in Derbyshire have accessed a new support service in its first year of operation.
Derbyshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa said the pioneering CORE service, which launched in April last year, had helped thousands of vulnerable people to rebuild their lives - including victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.
Between April 2016 and January this year, a total of 9,338 victims of crime accessed the service either through self or a third party referral. Among those, 932 were victims of domestic violence, 126 were victims of sexual abuse or violence and 343 were young victims of crime.
CORE aims to improve the response to vulnerable victims of criminality by ensuring survivors are offered bespoke help to resolve their problems and increase their ability to cope with their experiences - while also reducing repeat victimisation.
Victims are given the power to "opt-in" or "opt-out" of the help system depending on their needs and can self-refer without ever reporting a crime to the police.
Central to the new model of care is the CORE website connecting victims of crime and antisocial behaviour with a range of local and national support providers.
Commenting on CORE's success, Mr Dhindsa said: "CORE has achieved fantastic results in its first year and I'm delighted that the service has already reached more than 9,000 victims of crime.
"It takes real courage to seek help and support after a crime and this new, centralised service is making the whole process much easier.
"Engaging vulnerable people such as victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence isn't easy as so many of these crimes remain unreported. The strength of the new service is the acceptance that every victim deserves help regardless of whether they have formally reported their experience to the police or not.
"As we increase trust and faith in the support mechanisms available for victims, we reduce opportunities for repeat victimisation and also build confidence in the justice system overall which increases reporting in the long-term.
"The ambition is that with increased awareness we will continue to expand the volume of service users we reach and ensure no victim ever suffers alone."
Figures reveal more than nine in every 10 (94%) service users were satisfied with the help they received from CORE in its first year. The satisfaction rate was 96% for young victims of crime.
Of the 9,338 referrals to CORE, more than 2,700 were for restorative justice services which enable victims of crime to have either face-to-face meetings with the offenders responsible for their ordeal, or more indirect contact via letters or exchanges of messages, to aid emotional closure and enhance recovery.
Under the new arrangements, restorative justice experts Remedi delivers an overarching support system for all victims of crime under the title Derbyshire Victims' Services as well as a specific service for young victims and witnesses of crime. Meanwhile, support charities Refuge and SV2 delivers specialist help for victims of sexual violence and abuse, domestic violence and hate crime.
Call Derbyshire Victim Services on 0800 612 6505
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