Three new services will be launching this April to support victims of crime in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley has confirmed.
Following a commissioning process which included extensive market and victim engagement, Victim Support has been awarded the contract to deliver an Adult Service, a Sexual Violence Service will be delivered by Hope After Harm (formerly Thames Valley Partnership) while SAFE! has been recommissioned to deliver a Children and Young People’s Service.
Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “Being a victim of crime can be a difficult and frightening time so it is important that victims have access to tailored and compassionate support to help them cope with the impact of crime and build resilience.
“From listening to victims to understand their needs we recognise the importance of specialist support. These new services will enhance the offer available to victims of all types of crime but changes in provision will also mean that support will be available to meet the specific needs of victims of sexual violence in addition to children and young people.
“I am pleased to be working with Victim Support, Hope After Harm and SAFE! to deliver accessible, high quality services to anyone needing support following a crime.”
The Adult Service will provide emotional and practical support to adult victims of any crime. Support will primarily be delivered through specialist group work provision alongside online and telephone support both of which will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1-2-1 support options will also be available. A victim voice app will also quickly and regularly collect victims’ feedback.
The Children and Young People’s Service will support children and young people from ages 5–18. The service will offer a wide variety of support options for victims including story-telling, play therapy, restorative approaches, therapeutic listening and group activities in addition to a comprehensive digital support. SAFE! also provides support for parents and guardians including regular peer support groups and 1-2-1 telephone support.
The Sexual Violence Service will be provided by specialist Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs). It will offer 1-2-1 support, which will include supporting victims through the criminal justice system as well as a range of specialist group work provision.
Katie Kempen, CEO of Victim Support, said: “We are delighted and honoured that Victim Support has been commissioned to deliver the Thames Valley Adult Victim Services for the next three years (with the option to extend up to five years).
“This innovative new service, commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner, will provide victims with an exciting new method of support through group work that will help them to cope with the impact of crime and move forward in their lives. We are looking forward to building new relationships with the OPCC, commissioners, stakeholders and, importantly, victims throughout the Thames Valley area.”
Chloe Purcell, CEO of SAFE!, said: “We are thrilled to have been successful in our bid to run the Young Victim Service and to continue working alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner to improve the landscape for children and young people affected by crime in the Thames Valley.
“We have a shared mission to improve young people’s experiences through the criminal justice system, both in the provision of high-quality victim services but also through advocating for improvements to the wider system. This new contract offers SAFE! the opportunity to continue building on 15 years’ experience of providing services to children and families affected by crime and abuse, by creating new and varied support packages informed by young people.”
Nikki Ross, Chief Executive of Hope After Harm, said: “We at Hope After Harm are delighted to have been awarded the new contract for the delivery of Sexual Violence services across the Thames Valley.
“We have been delivering in this area for some time and are keen for our current provision to grow and strengthen to ensure that all victims and survivors of sexual abuse receive first class support when they need it. We will be working with service users, staff and volunteers to ensure a smooth transition of services between now and 1 April and will also be seeking continuous feedback and aiming for excellence in service delivery.”
The new contracts have been awarded for three years with the option to extend for up to five years at a value of £10,016,588 for five years. Services will commence on 1 April 2024 and will operate under the umbrella of Victims First.
Notes to Editors
Victims of crime will continue to access support via Victims First, which is managed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley.
Referrals for support can be made to Victims First by calling 0300 1234 148. You can also find more information or make a referral for support online at
Victim Support is a national independent charity offering support to victims of crime for nearly 50 years. Their services help people affected by all types of crime with support being delivered locally within communities. Victim Support also has experience in dealing with major incidents meaning they are well-placed to support should an incident of that nature happen in the Thames Valley.
SAFE! is an independent charity with over 15 years of experience in supporting young victims of crime. They specialise in supporting children and families affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence and have delivered a young victims service for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley since 2015.
Hope After Harm
Hope After Harm (formerly Thames Valley Partnership) is a regional charity with 30 years experience in providing services to victims of crime as well as programmes for offenders. They have delivered commissioned victims services for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley since 2020.