Victim's Services Re-design
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has been responsible for commissioning victims services since October 2014. In Thames Valley the annual victim’s grant from the Ministry of Justice has been used to provide:
i. A referral mechanism with onward local support
ii. A young victims service
iii. Third- party reporting for hate crime
iv. An Independent Sexual Violence Advisory (ISVA) service
v. A victim – led Restorative Justice service
vi. Specialist Counselling
vii. Domestic Violence Complex Needs Pilots
viii. Independent Trauma Advisory service pilots for victims of exploitation and modern slavery *funded separately by Home Office grants
The Office of the PCC is currently going through a ‘Victim’s Services Re-design Project’ to:
- Bring to an end the existing ‘opt-out’ police referral mechanism and move to an opt-in (consent-based) model
- Replace the Victim Assessment and Referral Centre with a Thames Valley based ‘Hub’ (‘Victim’s First’ hub)
This will require the start of a commissioning process for some or all Victim’s First Hub functions by August 2017, ready for March 2018. A separate timetable will be laid out for other (specialist) victims’ services.
The principles of this approach were outlined in the first of a short series of engagement events including Voluntary & Community Sector organisations (VCSOs), held on 7 February 2017. Further work is also being carried out, in particular learning directly from victims: those who use current services funded by the PCC, those who use other services and victims not directly engaged in victims’ services.
Emerging findings from the victims’ needs assessment will be included in the second engagement event scheduled for 25 April, 9.30am-12.00/30pm (High Wycombe).
Market Engagement Events
- Tuesday 7th February 2017 (9.30am - 12pm), Jury's Inn, Oxford - Powerpoint presentation
- Tuesday 25th April 2017 (9.30am - 12pm), Holiday Inn, High Wycombe
Future dates of additional engagement events are to be announced, for May-July 2017
If you are a voluntary or community sector organisation working with victims of crime and would like to attend the events please email email@example.com to be added to the invite list
1. In a move from opt-out to opt-in referral to victims’ services, how do we ensure victims are given every opportunity to opt-in?
- Most victim referrals at present come via the Police. Several projects are running to help raise awareness of services in communities and with victims not included in the criminal justice system.
- There needs to be clear messages and raised awareness of the victims’ service for victims and community-based organisations, if victims are to self-refer and access the support they need.
2. Will there be exemptions to opt-in, in particular for vulnerable people and victims with complex needs?
- Further work is being carried out on the best methods of contact for victims, and to ensure appropriate questions are asked right at the start of the process. This will include insight from the recent pilot projects on Domestic Violence and learning from other work.
3. What does a referral hub look like?
- The Victims’ First Hub will provide a single point of contact for all PCC funded victims’ services, and co-location with: Thames Valley Police Witness Care Service; the PCC’s counselling hub administration; and other administrative functions.
- Consideration is being given to the Hub’s design to include: helpline/telephone support; a single point of referral and triage (reported and unreported cases); central co-ordination of service delivery for ‘less complex’ cases; and other co-ordination and governance functions.
4. Where do services sit in the victim’s journey?
- Further work is being carried out to ensure wider support is accessed in a local context and in respect of specialist victims’ services. In particular to encourage collaboration between commissioners and between providers.