- The new contract will provide help and support for around 60,000 people a year from four local bases across Lancashire
- Contract offered to Victim Support who will work with local providers to help enhance the services they offer
Crime victims in Lancashire will benefit from enhanced services designed to help them get back on their feet thanks to a new three-year contract offered by Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
The £6.6m contract to deliver Lancashire Victim Services and Nest Lancashire (services for young crime victims) will also deliver specialist support for those who have experienced sexual violence, domestic abuse and hate crime.
Victim Support – who currently provide a Lancashire-wide service for crime victims on behalf of the Commissioner – has been offered the contract from April 2017. This was based on a legal tender process undertaken following consultation with victims, local providers and partners across the county earlier this year.
The new contract also includes domestic abuse services for the Lancashire county administrative area for the first time – a decision that has allowed Lancashire County Council to make savings and maintain funding for refuges in the county.
The new Lancashire Victim Services model will provide:
- Four multi-crime teams across the county made up of domestic violence advisors, sexual violence advisors, children and young people and hate crime case workers and independent victim advocates
- A central management operations hub in Lancashire
- Clear and easy access to services for those in need of help with victims directed to the support they need, when they need it
- Strong partnership working with local groups – including sub-contracting arrangements for specialist services.
Mr Grunshaw said: “Lancashire Victim Services has provided fantastic support to victims across the county since we established the service in 2015. The police and our partners do their best to keep people safe, but sadly crime does happen and it is vital that support services are there for people to help them back on their feet.
“We have taken services for victims and revitalised them in the county since it became my responsibility in 2015 – residents can be assured that they will continue to receive great support from Lancashire Victim Services and Nest Lancashire for the foreseeable future.
“We currently help 40,000 local people a year and thanks to the new contract, services will now be able to support an additional 20,000 people.
“Specialist services will ensure expert support for the most vulnerable in our communities, to provide counselling and to help with their recovery. This will enhance the domestic abuse provision that is already being supported by my office. Services will continue to be of the highest quality and will be delivered locally.”
County Councillor Tony Martin, cabinet member for adult and community services for Lancashire,said: “Protecting people from domestic abuse and ensuring victims and survivors of abuse have the support they need are key priorities for us. That’s why we’ve invested £1.25m in a range of services to tackle this issue despite the council facing unprecedented financial challenges.
“The domestic abuse victim service is a key part of this and we’re pleased to be working with the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office to retender for this service to provide the same levels of support.
“I’m also pleased to say we’ve been able to continue funding women’s refuges and support other services which are vital in helping to address this issue, including investing £150,000 in the Lancashire Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme, to help prevent abuse.”
Ellen Miller, Victims Services Director at Victim Support said: “We’re really pleased to be able to continue our relationship with the Police and Crime Commissioner’s team delivering first rate services for victims of crime through Lancashire Victim Services.
“As part of the new contract, local multi-crime teams will mean we can provide a more seamless and consistent service for victims of crime. Partners working with us to deliver this contract include Disability Equality North West, Lancashire Council of Mosques and Renaissance. Lancashire is leading the way for an integrated, victim-centred support service and we’re proud to be involved”.
Shelley Mullarkey, Service Manager at Renaissance, said: “Renaissance is delighted to be working in official partnership for the first time with Victim Support. We support individuals through our Independent Sexual Violence Advisor service and have worked closely with LGB&T communities to increase Hate Crime reporting and awareness. Supporting victims directly will be an exciting new arm of delivery for us, we are sure this partnership will bring great success and an indispensable service for individuals across Lancashire.”
Mel Close, Chief Executive at Disability Equality North West, said: “We are delighted to be working with Victim Support on specialist support to victims of disability hate crime. As a user-led disabled people’s organisation we are pleased to respond to the needs of disabled people suffering the effects of hate crime’.
Victims of crime should seek help via lancashirevictimservices.org or call 0300 323 0085