Lancashire Victim Services has celebrated the first anniversary of its four multi-crime support hubs, as new figures reveal that the service is supporting more victims of crime than ever before.
Staff and partners joined Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, in celebrating the milestone at the Preston hub, whilst events were also held at other centres in Accrington, Lancaster and Blackpool.
Each of the multi-crime teams working across the county is made up of independent victim advocates who offer support following any type of crime, with trained specialists available for young people, and those affected by domestic abuse, sexual violence and hate crime.
The service provides free, confidential emotional support and practical help, working to empower victims and witnesses of crime to enable them to cope and recover.
This celebration comes as latest figures show that since April last year, almost 54,000 victims of crime have been offered support by Lancashire Victim Services – more than ever before.
Lancashire Victim Services is delivered by Victim Support, who were awarded the contract last year to deliver a new, integrated service across the county by the Commissioner.
Mr Grunshaw said: “I’m delighted to celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of our innovative multi-crime hubs, which are reaching more victims of crime than ever before and making sure those that need specialist support the most, receive it.
“The one service approach provides a single access point for those who have been victims of crime, providing reassurance that they will get the help they need to move forward.
“The fantastic teams here in Preston and at each of the multi-crime hubs are working extremely hard, alongside dedicated volunteers to give victims of crime in Lancashire the support they need and deserve and I’m looking forward to seeing the service go from strength to strength as we build on this successful first year.”
In addition to calls for service, LVS has visited colleges and universities across the county to raise awareness of CSE and sexual violence, hosting teaching sessions with health and social care students. They have also hosted hate crime awareness sessions, offering support through equality forums, in addition to supporting conferences and events around modern day slavery.
Claire Powell from Lancashire Victim Services said: “The multi-crime support hubs have been such a success and it’s great to know we’re able to help even more victims through this service. Having face to face support following a crime can be very important for victims and with such a range of skills and experience from our advocates we can ensure they’re getting the best possible support.”
ACC Jo Edwards, Lancashire Constabulary said: “These hubs offer a fantastic resource to give emotional support, information and practical help. In Lancashire, we aim to ensure that no victim of crime should feel that they are alone. These four multi-crime support hubs make sure that those who need help and support can access it when they need it most.”
‘Jane’ (not her real name) who used the service after a build up of incidents with her partner at home said: “I owe a lot to the service. My support worker Bridget has been fantastic and was there for me every step of the way.
“I used to think what was happening to me was normal. The help I have received has changed my life completely. Four months ago I never left the house. Now I go out, I laugh, I joke. I have got my life back.”
Anyone affected by crime can access support by contacting Lancashire Victim Service on 0300 323 0085, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting the website at www.lancashirevictimservices.org.
Total people offered support through LVS – 53,863. Including:
Total young people offered support through Nest – 4,043
Total domestic abuse victims offered support – 8,908